`I read your goat story` confided one of our Monday night footballers ` are you going to do one on goat yoga ?` Well actually I wasn’t, but my interest was piqued and I can now tell you that it`s huge in Amerikky where thousands pay to have Nigerian Dwarf goats, perch on the small of their backs whilst holding a cat or a hare pose.
Seems it lowers the heart rate because they release the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin, which produces the same type of feelings as when a mother looks at her baby or a lover looks at their partner.”
And before you ask, yes it has reached the UK though you`ll have to travel to Mucky Bucket Farm near Southampton to `discover your inner kid`, I’m not claiming the credit for that one nor their claim that `Goga` is `Goatally Awesome`
Anyways, all very cute, but not quite festive enough for this edition so I went looking for something more Christmassy
Celebrating with goats is actually quite an ancient tradition in Scandinavia, in Finland the name for Santa is the Christmas Goat which is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.
Well I suppose we have our own version who ride Lower Road on one wheel whilst texting with one hand..
Our own Santa`s sleigh pulled by Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and Co. comes from an 1823 poem `The Night Before Christmas` , incidentally Rudolph was never part of the original 8, it was 1939 before he made his debut in a children`s book, turns out his glowing red nose made him a bit of a social outcast but I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you.
Back to goats and the last sheaf of wheat harvested would be dried and then woven into a Yule goat and young men used to celebrate the festive season by dressing up as goats and placing a stuffed Yule goat in a neighbour’s house without them noticing; the family successfully pranked had to get rid of it in the same way. Neighbourhood Watch will love that one.
Looking for ideas for presents ?
From the country that introduced us to Abba the Swedish branch of ActionAid, dedicated to fighting global poverty, released a CD, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Goat” featuring eight holiday classics all sung by goats. `Holy Night `, with over 300,000 views on YouTube was most popular
` We don’t want to gloat, but we love our goat.` for £22 Present Aid will use your money to buy a goat for rural families in Ethiopia. They drink the milk and sell the surplus.
You have until December 12 to place your order with The Cheese Shed who will then deliver a selection of goats cheeses ready for the big day.
£15.58 will buy you a T Shirt emblazoned with “I Just Freaking Love Goats, Ok.” with an image of a cute white goat, I wasn`t too sure about this one at first but then was assured to read that it`s not only 100% cotton but ` Comfortable & stylish to wear during any occasion, parties, family gatherings, events & school.`
For £360 you can buy the real thing and get yourself a pair of pygmy goats from `All Things Rural` who will wean them for you and deliver age 12 weeks.
However, whatever you do please remember – A Goat is not just for Christmas..