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A Free Short Story: I Went To Buy A Goat With Johnny: A Funny Tale
Johnny's next birthday present. A book on goat herding...
Or maybe some goats body products...
Hi there, if you're not in a rush you might like to read this story! Why? It might make you smile or even laugh, but one thing you won't do is buy a goat! Well, not like we did anyway...
It's Monday afternoon. The sun is shining. The sea is a cool blue and it's the perfect time for a perfect gin & tonic. Scrap that picture. I'm bouncing around in a jeep: it's hot; I'm sweaty and I'm speeding along a dusty dirt track that has more sand than Arabia, following a crazy man that can't drive; who I've never even met before up the side of a mountain. Why? to buy a goat of course.
My friend, the one driving the jeep, wants a goat. One day last week while getting petrol, he asked a guy at the pump.
''Know anyone that has goat's for sale?'' I mean that's a perfectly normal question! To his delight, the guy did. You got it! The crazy guy we're now following.
The higher we climbed the hotter it got. The narrower the track got and even more dust went down my throat. I swore as I banged my head off the roll bar for the third time as the jeep skidded to a stop.
''Must be here,'' my friend Johnny said as he jumped enthusiastically from the jeep.
I'd like to say so did I, but crawling comes to mind, while exclaiming under heated breath. ''Honestly Johnny!''
The crazy guy pointed and did some fantastic articulate moves, before disappearing down some old stone steps.
''Come on,'' Johnny beckoned as he followed. I stood and looked around. The views were amazing. I could see the windmills on the plateau and the lush forestry stretched for miles and miles. Then the smell hit me like a bolt of lightning. I wish I meant the aroma of the Laurel Silva trees and the hint of heather. But nah! it was the aroma of shit with the hint of some other shit.
Gingerly I followed, wrinkling my nose as the smell got worse. Now don't get me wrong. I grew up on a farm and there's nothing wrong with the smell of animals. In fact I like the smell of animals. This smell however, was enough to encourage your system to close down. Two dogs stared at me as I rounded the corner. A pile of dung the size of Mount Everest steamed in the 35 degree heat. I clamped my hand over my mouth with the speed of light. I read somewhere that we smell things because tiny particles of the substance we smell enter our nostrils. Great I now had dung up my nose. With a step forward and a squelch beneath my foot, I looked over to see Johnny explaining with great difficulty to the man that he didn't want a dog; he wanted a goat.
Back up the steps; we walked along the track then preceded to ramble down the side of a mountain. I mean a proper mountain as in my ears were popping. A mountain side that was steep and required natural balance and fleet of foot, which of course I have neither. I skipped, hopped and slipped, all involuntary reactions down the mountain slope following close on the heels of Johnny and the man, who had also tried to sell Johnny some sheep on the way down, to no avail thank heaven.
In the distance I could hear the bleat of goats and felt the rise of hope in my heart that we were nearly there. Wherever there was! We crossed over a brook and to my horror started hiking back up the other side of the mountain, finally coming out onto a small beaten rambling track. I wiped a strand of sweaty hair from across my face and picked at sticky things on my legs. Convincing myself they weren't moving. The sticky things not my legs.
''Hey Heidi,'' Johnny smirked, ''you OK?''
My thoughts: I really need new friends, and in the words of a goat I wanted to say naaaaa but, I didn't want to be a wimp so I said.
''Sure, but don't call me Heidi.'' We stood and looked around. There was total silence and nothing but nature surrounded us. The expanse of the forest was breath taking.
My delightful thoughts of how beautiful it was, were ripped to shreds as Johnny's voice with eerie calm said.
''You know, that guy,'' he pointed in the direction the man had gone, ''he could be a mass murderer, leading us deep into the mountains to kill us savagely, slice our throats, cut us into bits and bury us.''
I looked at Johnny and thought about all the times you read about people being murderer and wondering what on earth they were doing there in the first place. At the same time thinking I left my mobile in the jeep. We had nothing to worry about. It's normal to be on the side of a mountain with a complete stranger when you want to buy a goat.
We struggled up the hill and finally caught up with goat man. His new nickname compliments of us. He pointed out a family of goats. A mum and three kids.
''Only one, I only want one goat!'' said Johnny holding up one finger. After some deliberation Johnny reasoned with goat man to my relief that we were only taking one goat. Business was done and Johnny became the proud owner of a delightful young goat. Holding the goat tightly by a rope the goat man handed the rope to Johnny and with a quick wave disappeared through the brush. We looked at each other in complete shock.
''F**k where the hell is he gone?'' Johnny's eyes were popping out of his head.
I started to laugh with a hint of hysteria. ''Looks like he's gone home for tea,'' I giggled.
''You've got to be kidding,'' shrieked Johnny. With that we both erupted into squeals of laughter. Johnny trying desperately to hold onto his precious goat and me thinking, thank god he only bought one, as I looked back down the steep mountain side.
Well the good news is we; that is the goat, Johnny and I, all made it safely if not finally back to the jeep. However getting the damn goat into the jeep and keeping him there, well that's a whole other story...
© 2010 Gabriel Wilson