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The Christmas Goat

By John "Potato Jack" LeFebvre

 

The cold, cold air of the morning tickled the nose of Christmas Goat as he lay quietly in bed, just waking up.

The cold air of the morning whispered in the ear of Christmas Goat; it whispered:- icicle secrets!

The moon, round and white, with swirling breezes, made Christmas Goat’s bedroom look like milk.

That reminded Christmas Goat – "It’s time to milk my cows!"

Christmas Goat peeled away the bed sheet and four blankets which kept him warm at night, and sitting on the edge of the bed he put on his gumboots.

He walked out of his bedroom and bumped into a wall because he was still a bit tired. He stood out on his front verandah and looked at the farm. "Come on you cows! It’s time for milking!!" he yelled.

The cows made a quiet line and walked, one behind the other, off to the milking sheds…

..all except for two cows who Christmas Goat had to throw a few potatoes at: then they got moving.

In the shed, the moos filled the air. Christmas Goat made his way past steaming cow flops carrying a bucket and a small stool.

He sat down next to Harry the cow.

"Ready for milking?", he asked.

"Yes, but you should have given me a girls name," said the cow.

"Oh well", said Christmas Goat, "here we go".

"Okay" said the cow, so Christmas Goat grabbed her teats with both hands and made the squirty milk goosh into the bucket.

"How are the kids?" asked Christmas Goat.

"Oh not bad," said Harry. "Bruce is in school and Terry’s just learning to moo."

"Yes, they’re good cows," said Christmas Goat.

"They are" said Harry. "I just wish you hadn’t given them boy’s names."

"Oh well," said Christmas Goat.

Christmas Goat milked all the cows one by one, and then he said to himself, "I think I’ll make myself a hot coffee". Back inside, he turned on the radio, and stirred the coffee powder into the hot water. Yum, he thought, pouring the cow’s milk on top. "Yum Yum Yum".

Christmas Goat drank all of this hot coffee and then made toast. A bird landed on his window sill and said "tweet tweet, tweet tweet ".

"Tweet tweet " said Christmas Goat".

The telephone rang four times and Christmas Goat picked it up.

"Hello, this is Christmas Goat?"

"Hello Christmas Goat? I’ve been a good goat all year and can you tell me what I’m getting for Christmas?"

"Christmas is tomorrow," said Christmas Goat.

"I know, but … - please tell me, just this once ..!"

"All right little goatgirl, what’s your name?"

"My name is Brenda," said the little girlgoat.

"Let me look at my list here…" said Christmas Goat. "

"Hmmm…" He moved his papers around.

"Are you still there?" asked the little goatgirl.

"Aha!! Yes I’m still here. I’ve just found your name on the list Brenda, here it is. Let’s see, oooh!"

"What is it! Wot is it!"

"It’s a …." But then Christmas Goat stopped talking.

"Why have you stopped talking?" said Brenda, panicking.

"Now, now," said Christmas Goat, "I just remembered it’s a secret."

"A secret!" said Brenda.

"Yes," said ChristmasGoat. "It has to be a surprise."

"No! Tell me now!" said Brenda.

Christmas Goat made a whistling sound with his lips. And then he hung up the phone.

By hanging up the phone like that, Christmas Goat felt a bit rude. But Brenda was rude first, he thought. Meanwhile, Brenda was at home, crying.

Christmas Goat thought , " I better go to see Brenda and explain to her why Christmas has to be a surprise." He went to the garage, oiled the wheels of his cart, and tied up a couple of humans.

"Good humans!" he said as they pulled him out of the garage down the street. The two people pulled the cart steadily along, steam pluming their foreheads.

It was a cold morning, and yet ChristmasGoat knew the earth was a round huge ball that spun on it’s axis while being invisibly dragged around a gigantic non stop fire- "the sun" – and that soon, because of this axis-spin, his part of the world would be receiving increasingly direct sun rays and it would get warm, so he didn’t worry . He explained this to the two men pulling his cart as it rolled through the suburbs, but they just blinked.

After a while, they arrived at Brenda’s house, and Christmas Goat tied the two men to a post and gave them a bottle of beer. Christmas Goat walked up the driveway, up the stairs, and went "knock kn0ck knock". A goat came to the door.

"Hallo Brenda?"

"No I’m Brenda’s brother. Brenda’s in her room, crying."

"Rats," said Christmas Goat.

There was Brenda, covered in tears, sitting on her carpet. Christmas Goat came in and sat down.

"Why did you make me sad?" said the little goatgirl.

"Well," said Christmas Goat, "I really didn’t want to do that. Every year, thousands of little goats ask me
‘what am I getting for Christmas,’ and every time I have to say to them, ‘you’ll see on Christmas day.’ And I Have to say this, I can’t say anything else, that’s just the way Christmas is."

"Come on, you must be able to tell me something a little deeper than (sniff) that."

Oh," said Christmas Goat, "you want the Big Reality explanation.."

"Yes," said Brenda, pouting and looking up from hurt eyes.

"Well," said Christmas Goat, "think what the world would be like with no surprise."

"Why? What would the world be like without surprise?" asked Brenda.

"Utterly predicable, " said Christmas Goat.

"What does predickable mean?" asked Brenda.

"In this case, it means ‘always knowing what’s going to happen’," said Christmas Goat.

"That sounds great!" said Brenda.

"Not really," said ChristmasGoat. "Think about it. Every day you wake up, you know what to wear, you know what’s going to be for breakfast, you know what job you have to go to, you know when it starts, you know how to get there, you know what you will see on the way, you know when you will stop for lunch, you know when you will finish, you know what’s for dinner, by looking at the program, you know what’s on T.V that night, they tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow, you know that if you …"

"That sounds Great!!" butted in Brenda.

"Yeah it sounded great to humans once, too, when they ruled the world. Woops."

"What was that?" said Brenda.

"What was what?" asked Christmas Goat.

"That thing you said, " said Brenda.

"I can’t remember, " said Christmas Goat, although now the shoe was on the other hoof.

"Well I remember, " said Brenda. "It just shocked me, that’s all. You said ‘when humans ruled the world.’"

"You’re right," sighed Christmas Goat. "That’s what I said..

Maybe we can forget about it though?"

Tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me tell… "

"ALL-RIGHT" said Christmas Goat, giving in. "Are you sure you want this dark knowledge?"

"Yes, I’m sure," said Brenda dribbling with excitement.

"Right, well once upon a time, the humans, like those two hitched up to the post outside drinking beer, were our masters. What they said, went."

"Boy," said Brenda.

"That’s right," continued Christmas Goat. "In fact they were the kings of the world. Us goats were treated horribly at times."

"What happened?" asked Brenda the little goatgirl.

"Those people became so set in their ways that they became stale. Nearly every effort at becoming the rulers made them and their lives boring. They thought they knew everything."

"People don’t know anything!" said Brenda.

"Not now they don’t," said Christmas Goat. "But they did in a distant past. Unfortunately they made the mistake of killing most surprises, and that’s when we snuck up them."

"Us goats?"

"Yep."

"And now we’re the kings and queens!" said Brenda gleefully.

"Of course," said Christmas Goat. "But we mustn’t let ourselves get trapped by prediction. That’s why I’m Christmas Goat. It’s my job to make sure surprise is still big in our lives, especially at this time of the year, Christmas."
"Thankyou for telling me that true story," said Brenda. "I look forward to my surprise present tomorrow morning."

"That’s a good boy," said Christmas Goat.

"I’m a girl," said Brenda.

That night, Christmas Goat tied up his strongest humans who hauled and heaved his sleigh-cart all over the world through beautiful bright darkness. Kind Mummy and Daddy goats left a snack for Christmas Goat, and beer for the sweaty humans.

Christmas Goat and his team finished delivering the presents just in time.

"Good humans," he said, patting his helpers and switching on the T.V for them.

When Brenda woke up, there was a terrific colourful ping pong ball under her Christmas Tree.

"That is a surprise," smiled Brenda. "I’m a netballer!"

 

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