Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Year of the Goat

When my daughter Molly was four, I took her with me to a choir rehearsal. Practicing for a Messiah performance, we were paying particular attention to “All We Like Sheep.” Molly listened to us sing that line repeatedly for several minutes. Finally, in exasperation, she whispered, “Actually, some of us prefer goats.”

One thing for sure: Molly was no sheep. We used to say that her stubbornness had a bright side: nobody would ever be able to lead her astray. And nobody did. Her husband calls me a contrarian. It may run in the family.

In any case, I’ve recently read two delightful accounts of life with goats. Thanks to friend Amy Tracy for pointing out a Slate article by dog-writer Jon Katz, “Getting My Goat” (“My three goats won’t stop jeering me, and I love them for it”). And for those who want more information on where their goat cheese comes from, Margaret Hathaway is both entertaining and informative in The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese (thanks to John Wilson for this tip). From the Publishers Weekly review: “Local-eating, slow-food activists will find much to chew on here.”

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