RAISING AMADEUS

My favourite kids: Lorenzo and Amadeus. Photo: Maria Nunes

By Terri Smith —

As we come back around towards winter, Amadeus is becoming fluffier by the day. I love sinking my fingers into his warm, soft coat of cashmere. He loves it, too. Of all the goats, he is obviously the most interested in human attention and companionship. He comes over to be scratched whenever anyone walks outside, and just like our dogs, his favourite place to be scratched is on the top of his back at the base of his tail. Also just like our dogs, he wags his tail whenever he gets a good back scratch. He also twists his neck around into a most unnatural position, shuts his eyes, and sticks out his tongue (not something the dogs have yet mastered). I think he may have a good future as a contortionist should he ever decide to run away and join the circus.

He is no longer the grumpy kid he once was. Not so very long ago I had to warn my friends to watch out for him when getting out of their vehicles. He didn’t head-butt everyone, but he would usually try to head-butt most men to test whether or not they might be the dominant goat, or if perhaps he himself might win this time. I would always tell people to just grab him firmly by the horns (which he hates) and say, “No!” in an authoritative voice. This usually worked and in the last year he has all but given up on testing humans to see if he might win. He seems to have decided that it’s better to be friendly and get a nice back scratch than to be grumpy and get grabbed by the horns.

The exception is our friend Lorenzo. From the time Amadeus was still a kid, Lorenzo would play with him in the way fellow kids would have played with him had he been a normal goat. That is, he would play the head-butting game. This is something I have always discouraged since I don’t want Amadeus to think this is a good game to play, goat heads being way harder than human heads. But Lorenzo and Amadeus have a special relationship, Lorenzo being the only human who will  play with Amadeus like a fellow goat. Now that Amadeus likes other humans I have decided to not worry about these two playing their goat games. It’s nice that I have a goat who thinks he’s a human and a human friend who thinks he’s a goat.

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