“That’s disgusting, what would Louise have said”

“Come and push down on the goats bum to see if she wants to mate”. That’s a welcome home greeting that only a select few would have had.

Coming home after dark from a late shift I found Cindy and the goat bathed in the light radiating from the back door. Gert the goat was very animated, anxiously shuffling from side to side, bleating persistently and waging her tail like a child with a flag. Having consulted the books Cindy reckoned this behaviour meant our Gert was on heat, but she needed conformation of her prognosis by having me ‘act the Billy’. Feeling slightly self-conscious I stood behind Gerty and pressed down on her hips. Gerty registered her ‘requirement’ by bracing herself for some ‘nooky’ action. My remonstrations that I was too tired, and she’d have to wait till morning, got me ’THAT’ look from Cindy and her mum (who I didn’t realise was there) went back to the telly, muttering something about “that’s disgusting, what would Louise have said” (Cindy’s gran) .

We understood that the second morning of the three day season was the most fruitful time for mating. I can’t remember how, but we had the contact number a lady in Biddenden (ten miles south) who had a suitable stud Billy goat that would ‘do the deed’.

Early next day found us heading toward Gerts ‘Mr Right’. Gert was a big goat so when she stood ( she didn’t want to lay down) in the back of our old Cortina Estate her head and neck came over the back seats and pressed tight against the roof lining making her ears protrude at right angles from her head. Gerts restrictions and contortions did nothing to quell her persistent bleating, which was now at our ear hole level. We had to open the car windows when Gert gave up on bladder control and started a torrent of wee which went on for miles, most of which found its way into the spare wheel well. Exposure to warm goats pee in the confines of a moving motor vehicle must surely contravene some road traffic act or other. Going through the road works in Headcorn High Street earned us some bemused looks.

Having found the place, a smallholding in the ‘back lanes’. We introduced ourselves to a very serious lady in a once white dairyman’s coat. Stud lady was not interested in any attempt at small talk . This was SERIOUS and things had to be done correctly. Cindy and I obviously knew about the ‘plumbing aspect’ but the protocol of having a goat mated was another matter. Stud lady disappeared behind the house to get her prize Billy. I had a preconceived idea of what a stud billy goat looked like, this based on the illustrations in the Billy Goat Gruff book Mrs Taylor read to us in class two at primary school (Cira 1959). I wanted the stallion of the goat world, a big powerful beast with a flowing beard, massive sweeping horns and a look that would kill. I was thinking Arnold Schwarzenegger, I got Albert Steptoe.

Albert was small, only about two thirds the size of Gert, sported a matted nicotine yellow stained white coat. Protruding from his head was a pair of distorted horns one pointing north the other east. He had a steady dribble of ‘stuff ’ coming from the ‘nether regions’. The smell of Albert and his ‘stuff’ is beyond any words I can conjure. To complete the picture smelly Albert was salivating, had a puckered top lip, which was twitching, as was his nose as he savoured the essence of Gert, this was no Schwarzenegger.

However Albert was well up for it, he did the sniff the bum bit (Gerts not mine) Then he let out a loud bellow, ran and up and banged himself against Gerts rear in a clumsy leap frog action which had him jumping clear over Gerts head. The whole ‘action’ was over in seconds. Stud lady said “we’ll leave it a few minutes and then do a second cover”. I was not aware there had been a first cover. The second time was none the less intimate, loud bellow, leap frog over the head, but this time on landing Billy raised himself on his back legs, spun on the spot and with head cocked crashed it down on Gerts crown. My comment that “Albert was not much of gentleman, gets his end away and then head butts her”, was not well received by the serious stud lady.

We took Gert home, this time she laid down, she stopped bleating, she smelt ………as did we and the Cortina.

Son of Albert was a good looking kid, but he ended up in the pot……..

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