Animals In Appalachia Appalachia

Goat Mascot

Today’s guest post was written by Wayne Easter.

In the 1960s photograph (made in my front yard) a sure sign that I had “Messed up.”

It was in the 1960s; Franklin Volunteer Fire Department was almost new and us volunteer firemen were hard-working souls. Even so, every now and then, we had fun. For reasons no longer remembered, we wound up with a goat for a mascot. It had to be fed and cared for by someone and at the weekly meeting, it was declared that when a fireman “messed up,” his fine would be caring for the goat for a whole week. How would it get to his house? He need not sweat, it would soon be there; “staked out” in his yard: hungry and telling the world about it.

Came the day when a certain fireman became “It.” It was well after dark, when his fellow firemen hauled the goat to his neighborhood (Westwood) off North Franklin Road. Just as they got it off the pickup, the goat escaped and the race was on. They chased around in the dark, yelling, “Yonder it goes,” and “there it went,” and “It’s headed your way.” They made crashing sounds as they fought their way through the woods, back yards and briar patches. Meanwhile, every dog in the neighborhood barked like it had a bear up a tree and every porch light came on.

No home owner had any idea what was out there, but whatever it was, it had to be mighty big and somebody yelled, (so it was said) “Call the law, Sadie and bring me my gun.” Try as the firemen might, the goat was never seen again and one of them said, “Last I seen, it was headed for the mountain.”

Then they tried to explain to the home owners what it was all about, but it hardly made sense that their very own fire department would be out there in the middle of the night chasing a goat through the woods. At the next weekly meeting, the vote was unanimous: “No more goats for mascots.”


I hope you enjoyed Wayne’s story as much as I did! He has written several books about growing up in Northwest North Carolina. You can see the books and find out more about Wayne here.

Tipper

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    judy barrett
    March 5, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    The story of Uncle Milton’s goat.
    My mother’s sister Ruby and her husband Milton bought a sturdy little house in Goldsboro North Carolina sometime in the 1930s or 40s. The house had a huge back yard. The yard was a jungle. There were young trees, weeds, and thickets of thorny vines. At that time, there was no such thing as a power mower, or even a push mower that could handle such a mess the only way to handle the jungle was to get out there with a scythe or a sling or maybe, a saw. Uncle Milton thought about the problem for a while and had a better idea.
    He bought a skinny goat from a friend for 3 dollars and turned the animal loose in the yard, the place had a good fence so the goat could not escape. Aunt Ruby set out fresh water for the goat each day. Little by little, the goat cleared the yard. The process took some time, probably about 2 weeks. When all the unwanted vegetation was gone, and the goat was fat and happy, Uncle Milton sold him for 5 dollars.
    Whenever anyone made a clever deal, or found a way to make a hard job easy we would say it was like Uncle Milton’s goat.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      March 5, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      Judy-what a great story 🙂

  • Reply
    Rita Speers
    March 3, 2022 at 7:06 am

    LOVE IT!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 1, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    I remember going up on Licklog Creek when Daddy went to visit Berlin Posey. The first thing I noticed when we arrived was there was goats everywhere. Berlin’s car was sitting out front and some of those goats were standing on it. Goats like to climb I guess and that car was all they had. Shortly after that Berlin moved his whole family to Washington State and I never say any of them or those goats again.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 1, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Is Wayne Easter related to the Easter Brothers? The Easter Brothers were a gospel singing group from the Mt. Airy area. Some of their descendants, most noticeably Jeff Easter, are following in their footsteps.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      March 1, 2022 at 7:01 pm

      Ed-I’m not sure if he is related to them or not 🙂

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    March 1, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Funny story! We can all use a good laugh!

  • Reply
    Kim Smith
    March 1, 2022 at 11:34 am

    Wayne Easter and I are from the same neck of the woods; he is a treasure. I love his writings and artwork.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    March 1, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Goats show that God has a sense of humor. I always heard that they would eat anything, even important things you wished they would not eat. Working Home Health it seemed I was always in some dilemma, especially in Monroe County, West Virginia. There was the occasional having to open a gate to get in with cattle standing in the way, and you could not chance letting one out. There were also biting dogs, and as I found out one day there was goats. The horn worked sometimes, but not always. By far the worst was visiting where they had goats running loose. As I left one home a Billy Goat proceeded to place its hooves on the front of my vehicle and try its best to climb on the hood repeatedly. With the horn and backing away he was finally encouraged to stay back from the vehicle. I reassured myself as I usually did in such situations that at least he was not my goat. There is so much to be grateful for! That was my one and only encounter ever with a goat.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    March 1, 2022 at 10:45 am

    I had a pet goat as a child. He was white with a streak of gray along his back. I loved him better than any other childhood pet. He would follow me all over We played together over many a hill. My sister and I would run the goat all over too. They exercise so much they get plenty hungry. Enjoy the goats.

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    March 1, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Great post, Tipper. I was a volunteer EMT for many years. With the nature of what you deal with in Fire and EMS you have to do something to relieve the seriousness of it.
    Thanks

  • Reply
    Christine
    March 1, 2022 at 10:13 am

    That was a well written humorous story. I could imagine them men chasing that goat and then later having to explain to all the neighbors why their local firemen were running about to find the goat. I imagine some people were amused, but relieved it wasn’t anything bad happening in their neighborhood. While some folks were shaking their heads and mumbling, “What a waste of time, or What foolishness “….cause people are people….lol…

  • Reply
    Randy
    March 1, 2022 at 9:53 am

    I can imagine that happening in the early start up years with our volunteer fire department. My daddy could tell some funny stories about a Billy goat he had when he was a child.

    This has to do with yesterday’s blog about grits. St. George, SC has a grits festival each year. It is said more grits are ate per capita there than anywhere else in the world.

  • Reply
    LouiseD
    March 1, 2022 at 9:15 am

    I can just imagine the noise and chaos. I bet the firemen were pretty embarrassed, trying to explain the late night delivery of a goat.

  • Reply
    Bob Lingle
    March 1, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Oh! My side’s a-killin’ me! lol

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 1, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Wayne writes the kind of stories I like to read. The threat of having a goat staked out in one’s yard would make any grown man worry about messing up.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 1, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Wise – and easy – decision to have no more goats as a mascot. Goats being like they are, the one they were chasing may have climbed up on a roof. Great hiding place as who would look up for a four scooter critter? I heard it said one time you can’t drive sheep and you can’t lead a goat. Something to think about.

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    March 1, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Oh, that is a funny story! Thank you for sharing it, I laughed out loud (at work). hahaha

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    March 1, 2022 at 8:26 am

    I heard a story about pranksters hanging a hand lantern around a goat’s neck, then turning him loose in the woods before calling the local game warden to report night hunters in their area. Because “jacklighting” for deer is illegal, the officer was duty-bound to investigate. As the story goes, he followed tha goat over hill and dale most of the night, and never got close.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 1, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Come to find out my granny’s people were EASTERS and SURRATTS from SURRY COUNTY, NC. I’m not big into goats. To me, they look strange with their eyes and face. They make an unnerving racket too and poop like rabbits. After a tornado, one came to my place in TN. I don’t know what happened to him after that. When I go to the lake, goats are up on the mountain looking down. I don’t want any mascot that’s not in a costume… lol if you want stuff eaten, get a goat. I’m sure they’re dandy animals for children on farms. I have a distant cousin who’s got sheep and goats galore. He says he’s selling baby formula. (I think he’d sell to the devil if he had cash.)

  • Reply
    Margaret Evans
    March 1, 2022 at 7:55 am

    During the first year of lockdown there appeared on Youtube a post of some goats on holiday! In Wales (part of G.B) there is a lovely seaside town of Llandudno. Rising behind the bay is a mountain called the Great Orm and on this mountain live a herd of wild goats. I can’t quite remember the breed but it is the only place you will find them. These goats must have realised there was a lack of tourists so they all strolled down to the town in search of pastures new. They had a high old time grazing peoples gardens for months!

  • Reply
    donna sue
    March 1, 2022 at 7:21 am

    I can imagine that bedlam in the middle of the night! This was a cute story! In high school, one of my brothers and one sister were members of FFA. So we had a couple of cows, a couple of sheep. rabbits, ducks, and an old goat named Sally. Goats are definitely stubborn! I would love to read Mr. Wayne Easter’s books! Thank you for this post!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Mint2Bee
    March 1, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Funny story! Wonder who was more upset – the people or the goat. This story also reminded me of the Andy Griffith episode where the goat ate the dynamite.

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