Having a goat for a pet had it’s own brand of excitement for a first grade child.

One weekend morning I got up early to play with Billy.  I called and searched and could not find him.  After a complete tour of the yard, including around and under the rows of rabbit hutches, I checked the gate and found it open.  Billy was gone.

The majority of the kids in the area were Hispanic.  One of them was a cute little boy my age who I once attempted to kiss just to hear him protest in Spanish about girl germs (he must have picked that up from the white boys as they were the biggest wusses about girls).  I no longer remember his name, so let’s call him Mark.

I frantically searched the neighborhood, looking for him.  Mark lived across the street about half a block down from me.  He came out and stood in his yard watching me.  Finally, he approached and asked “What are you looking for?”

I explained about Billy and he informed me that he and his brother had found a goat eating their mother’s flowers in the front yard that morning.  Mark took me around to the gate into his back yard.

There was Billy standing next to the biggest sheep I had ever seen.  In the eye of my memory that sheep looked about the size of Godzilla.   I immediately began to shriek.  “That sheep is going to eat my goat.”

Mark patted my shoulder and tried in vain to reassure me that sheep did not eat goats.  However, I kept screaming until he got Billy out of the yard and safely away from the goat-eating sheep.

I got Billy home and made certain the gate was well closed.  Afterward, I spent an hour listening to Papa explain the difference between a herbivore and a carnivore.  Sheep did not eat goats.  I accepted his explanation.  However, I had my doubts for a long time.

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