November 04, 2015

Requiem for a goat

It is with heavy heart that I must report the passing of Arcadia Starlight Venus, doyenne of Goat Rope Farm and the initial inspiration for the name of this blog. She died at nearly 15 years of age, which is pretty old for a diary goat.

I still remember when she first came into my life. I had gotten back late on a Saturday night from a work trip around April Fool's Day 2005. My wife woke me up on Sunday morning with words that have sometimes caused me trepidation, to wit "Honey, come see."

There she was in all her glory.

From my earliest infancy, it has been the height of my ambition to be the partial owner/caregiver of a pregnant Alpine dairy goat. Imagine my delight in this first encounter. (Note: that was mild irony.)

My first thought was, who on earth would name a goat after the Roman goddess of love? But then I got it.

Venus turned out to be a delight, a sweet affectionate goat,  a good mother and grandmother and a good milker. Yes, she had that Alpine contrarian attitude, but she was a heart-breaker in her way. I must admit that she was the first goat I ever kissed...

(It's probably not a coincidence that according to Greek mythology Zeus, father of gods and men, was nourished in his infancy by the mother goat Amalthea. Or that the Norse god Thor rode in a chariot drawn by goats.)

Among her descendants at Goat Rope Farm are son Cornelius Agrippa, daughter Pina, and granddaughter Honeysuckle.

This song is for her.

I like to think that Venus has gone to the place where good goats go. I don't think it's very crowded, since in my experience there aren't all that many good goats.

Anna and I are sad tonight. We can only say, "Goodnight, sweet princess: and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

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