raising Kids. In this case we encourage it.
by John Troesser
About 20 miles
South of Monahans
in Ward County, you'll come to Grandfalls,
Texas. It's right between Royalty and Imperial. If you've ever
driven from Monahans to Fort Stockton, Grandfalls is the town with
the Armored Personnel Carrier next to the chamber of commerce.
It was high noon on a Sunday in August, and most people were inside
their houses. We looked down a side street as we drove through Grandfalls
and we saw three people walking four goats. The humans were casually
dressed, but the goats looked formal. We pulled up alongside the
group and found a father and daughter along with the daughter's
friend (the people). We're still not sure of the relationship of
the goats, but trust us, they were related.
They were Boer
Goats. The ones that originated in South Africa that are raised
for meat. While we're used to being around Nubians, Toggenburgs,
and Alpines these immediately struck us as different. Their entire
demeanor was regal. Maybe that just comes from growing up between
Royalty and Imperial. It was quite a change from our last encounter
with the wild goat-children of Weimar. See The
Weimar Goatherd. (Now that David Kraemer isn't here, we don't
mind telling you that his goats were just plain spoiled. Nothing
serious; just too much attention and not enough discipline, that's
We asked for
a photo and as we raised our camera - the goats suddenly stood stock-still
and gave us their best profile. This is the behavior pet photographers
dream of. Now, we've found that animals (and some humans) sometimes
confuse cameras and guns. Maybe it's the word millimeter that scares
them. Maybe it's the phrase "Stand over there and let me shoot you."
These goats had been through this before and were as anxious for
a good image as we were (like they're going to get copies for their
The humans were Frank Pesina, 11 year-old daughter Crystal, and
a rather sunburned Melody Bowden, age 9. We were then introduced
to the goats and their names were much easier to remember, since
every one of them were named after their markings. There was Sandy,
Cinnamon, Spot and Spotted Ears. This sort of naming just isn't
done with humans. There was "Scarface" Al Capone, but of course
no one called him that to his (scared) face. We found out that the
goats were being walked to develop their musculature and that Frank,
Crystal and Melody were returning this group to pick up a fresh
batch back at the pen. They gave us directions to the pen and said
they'd meet us there. They then jogged behind us until we got there.
It was evident that the goats enjoyed the run.
we neared the pens one little goat was bleating. This was "Collie."
Collie had seen her mother approaching and was anxious to have her
back. We were able to photograph Collie in mid-bleat and also the
mother and child reunion a few seconds later. "Big Red" suddenly
appeared in the pen from "out of nowhere" and for a minute we expected
trouble. Something about the name "Big Red" and "in the pen" brought
visions of Huntsville and red-headed convicts. But he was as well
behaved as the others.
Although Goats frequently have twins, there had been a recent birth
and Melody are both in the Grandfalls FFA program and their goats
have won 1st Place in local and regional competition. Father Frank
is a mechanic in Monahans, and we think he is deserving of a blue
ribbon himself for taking time to take the girls and their goats
around town on a Sunday afternoon.
always have problems remembering names, but luckily we wrote them
down. We could've remembered without help if their names had been
Mustache, Ponytail and Blondie. The girls want to say hello to their
schoolmates and promise they won't forget them after they move to
© John Troesser