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News and Events

By Brian Weilert

I'm a grown man and feel stupid for having the feelings that I have concerning Cooper, my pigmy goat. I got him just a short time ago, not really enough time to get attached but I did. Maybe, it just happened at a period when I was a bit depressed about other things. Maybe, I just hadn't felt deeply about something for such a long time that Cooper filled the void. Lately, my wife and I had seemed to just be acquaintances who happened to share the same dwelling. Her busy schedule leaving little time for snuggles and real conversations. We were simply actors reciting old, overdone scripts.

HUSBAND: How was you day?

WIFE: Fine, and yours?



End Act I Scene I

I first came into contact with Cooper just three short weeks ago. He was a gift from my wife for our 14th wedding anniversary. Actually, she gave me two baby pigmy goats, one male, one female. The first order of business was to choose names. My two sons were eager to name them. Up to this point I had always let my children name the family pets, which was why we had a dog named Calowatti, and cats with names such as Shrek, Mamma Cat, and Tabooka. I told my children that the goats were a gift for me and while I would take their suggestions under advisement, ultimately I would make the final decision. After much consideration I came up with the names Alice for the white female and Cooper for the black male. My wife, who grew up in a devout Christian family, chastised me a bit for choosing the name of, what she considered, a devil worshiping freak. I ,who grew up listening to Alice Cooper, informed her she was confusing him with Ozzy Osborne. I left out the fact those were my second choices for names. After I named them my oldest son, 13, informed me, "That is total crap." He was referring to the goat naming but this was becoming a common line to refer to most anything in his life.

Me: Levi you need to get that band grade up. The teacher says you're goofing off.

Levi: That is total crap.

Me: You owe me time in your room for not doing the dishes.

Levi: That is total crap.

Me: You need to stop watching so much T.V. Its nice out.

Levi: That is total....

Anyway, you get the idea. Ahhh teenagers. My youngest boy was just disappointed. He issued a less abrasive one week protest by calling them by the names he had thought up. Luckily, the names Tipturn and Cutey didn't stick. Lately, both my kids have been defiant, my wife has been busy going back to school, and my best friend had moved to Mississippi. I found myself looking for someone to hang with. Alice was out as she had immediately taken a dislike to me. I didn't take it personal; I think it was only due to fact that I walked erect, had no horns protruding from my skull and smelled slightly too good. However, Cooper loved me. He adopted me as his buddy the first day. Goats are weird in the fact that if they attach themselves to you, they ATTACH themselves to you. I could go no where without Cooper on my heels. I had to learn to shove him away every time I opened the door to keep him outside. Once isolated he would cry until I let him in, which I did when my wife and kids weren't home. The small pellet-poop swept up easy with a broom leaving no evidence behind. While outside in the evening we would pretend as though he was a massive bighorn sheep. I would move my hand about like a puppet head of the rival ram by balling my hand into a fist and punching his head. He would rear up on his hind legs and bash down with all his might. I think it made him feel powerful. Cooper would always escort me during my 1/4 mile walk down my driveway to retrieve the mail, never straying more than 12 inches from my shoes. He could climb trees and lay in a hammock. If a could get him to like football and beer I feared I might not need any human friends at all.

This past Saturday I slept in until 10:14, according to the clock. As I lay in bed with my eyes staring at the ceiling fan, frantically trying to follow one single blade so as it was distinguishable and not a circular blur, I realized that, besides the distant sound of morning cartoons seeping through my closed door, it was too quiet. My mind took a moment to itself before becoming aware that the missing sound was the warm morning welcome of Cooper outside my window. He had began the habit after just the second day, startling my wife and I in the middle of the throws of passion. Ok, maybe that is an overstatement. With our busy schedules, we were just having sex because it had been too long and we figured we had better before the other one ran off with some 21 year old islander. A reality long gone since the development of love handles, cellulite, male pattern baldness, grey hair, back hair, grey back hair. But, still it gave us a reason to come together. So, we both just went along with it. Anyway, apparently hearing his buddies voice, me, just beyond the glass in what might have sounded like distress, he opened up with a cacophony of baa's . Since that time the ritual must have subconsciously been programmed in my brain as expected because the silence now was deafening. I rolled to the side and pulled up the blind. The sunlight caused my eyes to revolt spasmodically quivering beneath closed lids. On the second attempt I was able to scan the yard; porch swing, dead red barberry bush, a pink My Pretty Pony with only three legs purchased by my youngest boy at a garage sale, but that is a different story all together, the single surviving chicken, yet another story, but no Cooper. I groaned out of bed and dug in my closet for my blue fluffy slippers. After bringing them to my nose in a ritualistic affirmation that my feet still stink, I placed them on and headed for the back door. Once outside I went to the giant piss-elm and relieved myself; ironic I thought. About halfway done, I caught Alice out of the corner of my eye and saw that she was giving me that satanic goat stare . I swear she shook her head in disgust as she disappeared around the corner of the house while dropping mini malt-balls from her rear and leaving cloven prints in the dirt. I was certain she was the devil. I headed out to the chicken house, slash, goat shed to see what was up with my buddy. Again my eyes had to adjust as I ducked into the hay filled room. In the corner, blended in the shadows was Cooper. "Hey guy what's up?"