The story of the Goat who Gets the Gold
Authors: Gunjan Vyas,Madhu Kalyan
It was a quiet day in Tambola. A boar, a horse, and a goat were investigating a patch of grass. An elderly man was tending to the saloon when a wandering gunslinger made his way into the new town.
The man had been on the trail for a long time, and was looking for a saloon to quench his thirst. As he strolled down the road, he passed the animals and a community board. He took a moment to read a few of the posted notices, giving little attention to the critters and their grazing although he did notice what an odd grouping they made.
He may not have had much interest in the temporary herd… But they had taken interest in him. The goat and horse had been discussing ‘two leggers’, and why they tie things onto horses. This caused the goat to feel a bit nervous and curious when the gunslinger passed by them.
The goat turned to sniff the gunslinger. When she noticed the leather lacings hanging from his gun holsters, she became focused on these simple things. She started to walk towards the man but stopped since she was still a bit weary.
The gunslinger turned from reading the notices on the board when he heard the goat’s hoof steps behind him. He turned to see the little goat.
“Hi, goat.” he said.
“Baa,” was the reply he got.
“Did you want something, little one?” he asked the creature.
“Baa,” which is goat for ‘hello’ was the reply.
“Now I know I’ve been on the trail too long, I’m beginning to talk to goats,” he mused to himself and turned his attention back to the community board.
The thought that this human might be a friendly sort, the goat approached further. An idea was forming in her mind. Might she be quick enough to try and steal one of the lacing She got to within a foot of the man, studying the leather straps.
Hearing the hooves again, he turned and glanced back at the goat. Trying to figure out what the small animal was doing, becoming suspicious as it inched closer.
Meanwhile the goat was formulating a complicated snatch and grab maneuver. Starting her daring feat, she moved to stand near the saloon porch. Not noticing that the gunslinger was now watching her, she kicked her back hooves on the dirt, getting ready to run.
The man bent down to investigate the goat. When he was half bent over, the lacings became within grabbing distance of the goat. She decided the time was perfect to make her attempt. In a flash of brown fur, she charged at him. Jumper up, bit off one of the leather straps. Then bounding off the gunslinger’s leg, she had accomplished her goal. Proudly she waved the lacing in victory.
The man was taken back by what had just transpired between the two of them. He just stood there and replayed the incident, trying to get a hang of it. Looking down at the goat, he realized what it had done.
“Why you little…” He grumbled and raised his fist in frustration.
His ego a bit bruised at having a goat pilfer one of his holster straps, he hurriedly tried to snatch it back from the nearby beast.
The goat was startled by the man’s lunge, and leaped clear. A few more attempts to get the lacing back, were made, but all ended in failure. The little goat was becoming quite brazen – this man seemed like a small challenge for her nimble hooves.
Becoming frustrated, the man drew out his pistol. He took a shot at the point near to the goat’s hooves. Hearing the loud sound, the goat hit him in the knees with her horns. This tripped him, and he fell to the ground. While he was trying to further shoot at the thieving animal. Two shots left the guns, as the man headed for the dusty ground. One lodged in the overhang of the saloon. The other ricocheted off the dirt, and ended up in the notice board.
The man was becoming very flustered by the actions of the mischievous hoofed bandit. He returned to his feet, and stared down at the furry little one. His mind becoming focused on regaining his now half eaten bit of leather.
The elderly gent in the saloon, had not yet taken notice of this little drama. The boar had since moved off, to paths unknown while the horse had been watching and cheering. Offering whinnies and calls for the victorious brown, leather snatcher.
Soon the gunslinger and goat were once again launching themselves past each other. One trying to capture, the other escaping. At one point, the little goat dashed under the porch planks, just out of the man’s reach. Poking her head out now and again, she teased the human with his own leather.
While under the porch, she tripped on a small pouch and bent down to investigate. She picked it up, and while the man was catching his breath. She took the pouch onto the porch. She sat down, and while still holding the strip of leather, tried to rip open the pouch.
She became intent upon it and very curious about its contents.
So hypnotized was she by it, that she didn’t see the man coming closer to her with a most unfriendly look on his dust covered face. He slowly snuck up, and when close enough, he grabbed for the pilfered strap seizing it in luscious triumph.
At that same moment, the goat had worked a hole into the pouch. When the man yanked the leather from the jaws of the bothersome animal, three small shiny yellow nuggets fell from the bag plunking neatly onto the wood deck.
Both characters stopped their pursuits to take a moment’s notice of this. The eyes of the man widened, as he recognized the golden stone. The nostrils of the goat flared, at this new questioning thing. The two then looked at each other, and the goat leaped back with the bag of nuggets tightly held in her mouth, when she realized how close the human had come.
In the distance, the horse had found much enjoyment in watching these two combatants but was now tired and had pandered off to his stall. In the saloon, the aged barkeep was entertaining a local doctor. They were discussing marital relations, and bovine acquisitions, giving little, if any, notice to the drama just outside. A bleat from the goat did prompt a moments pause in the conversation, querying as to whether there was a sheep herder in town but the two soon continued on their previous topics.
Returning to the event on the porch, Our gunslinger was now down on one knee. Tentatively holding out the now drool and dust covered bit of leather trying to entice the goat, hoping to gain the bag of found stones. The goat, still very attached to it’s new treasure, turned, and let out an ill wind, pointedly refusing the offer.
“Come on. You wanted this, right?” tempted the gunslinger.
“Baa.” and a bit of gas, was the refused response.
“Well, I never..” exclaimed insulted human.
He made a grab for the legs of the critter. Successful, he pulled the hide legs till his arms were wrapped around the animal’s middle. The wriggling creature managed to twist, and with one good kick. She got herself free, and left a neat hoof print smack in the middle of the gunslinger’s forehead.
The goat, still in possession of the gold, made her way further down the saloon porch. She was now within range of the swinging doors. As the disheveled and insulted gunslinger rushed for the goat. She darted under the doors of the saloon, and hid under a table.
Panting, she was very nervous, shaking under her table. For now she wasn’t just hiding from the gunslinger. She was hiding from the barkeep. She knew if she stayed here too long. She might end up in a stew.
The gunslinger, with guns drawn once more, seemingly very determined to get the goat, or the gold, entered into the saloon. He peered into the establishment eagerly for his target.
The two men at the bar, had finally taken notice of the little event. They turned their attention to the gunslinger, and questioned his poised pistols.
The gunslinger realized where it was he found himself. Feeling suddenly tired from the taunting of the furry thief, he remembered that it was a saloon that he wanted, before this predicament began. So taking stock of the two others, he put away his guns, and bellied up to the bar.
The goat steadied herself, seizing her opportunity for freedom, dashed back under the doors. She quietly listened through a window, to make sure she was safe. For indeed she was, she could hear the three men begin a conversation.
Thus confident in her defeat of the gunslinger, she trots off, holding the pouch of high. For the Goat had Got away with the Gold.