TO GRANDPA; FROM CHRISTOPHER
Copyright 1997 - Linda L. Rigsbee
April 4:
    Mom says a ten-year-old boy needs to drink lots of milk so his bones will grow. You're not going to believe this, but she bought a stupid old goat. She said I might not be allergic to goat milk. (Like I'm going to drink that smelly old stuff anyway.) Can you believe it? A goat on a dairy farm. I just know the kids are going to tease me when the school bus comes by tomorrow. What was Mom thinking?
    Maybe she'll change her mind. You ought to see the goat. She doesn't even have any horns. Dad says they burned them off when she was a baby. Anyway, she has one ear that stands up and one that hangs down over her eye. Speaking of eyes, did you know goats have pupils like a frog? You know, like a dash instead of up and down like a cat. She looks skinny to me, but mom says goats just look that way. Mom gave forty dollars for her and I figure she got took.
    I think somebody must have scrubbed that old goat down good. She's as white as snow. She doesn't even smell like a goat. Wait till she's been on the ranch a while. Mom took her in to get shots today. She says we have to wait a week before we can drink the milk. Like that bothers me any.

April 14:
    Mom made me put some goat milk on my cereal this morning. When she wasn't looking, I put four big spoonfuls of sugar on it. I guess that must work, because it tasted just like cow milk. I didn't get a rash, either.
    It rained all day yesterday. That stupid goat won't go out in the rain. I guess she doesn't like to take a shower either. I think mom's been washing her, though. That goat is still all white. Mom's trying to get me to milk her, but I told her I didn't want to touch any smelly old goat. It's bad enough to have to drink the milk.
    The kids on the bus have been teasing me. They call that old goat my nanny. I told them that a girl goat was called a doe. They started asking me all sorts of questions about her. I told them she wasn't mine. Jimmy and I are going to the library tonight. He says he wants to check out a book about goats. He's my best friend, but sometimes I wonder about him.

April 21:
    I guess I must be used to the goat milk, because it tastes just like cow milk to me now. Mom made some butter with it today. The crazy stuff was white. Not much of it, either. Mom says the cream doesn't separate from goat milk as easy as cow milk. I'd rather drink goat milk than that old skim milk, anyway.
    Jimmy stayed over night last weekend. He drank some goat milk and said he thought it was good. Mom gave him some of the cottage cheese she made. It was real good. Mom's a good cook. I don't know what she does to that milk to take the smell out, but it works.
    That goat is still white. I figured mom would get tired of washing her by now. She must do it while I'm gone to school. Did you know goat fur feels like a horse's tail? Oh, and did you know that goat manure comes out in little pellets? I shot a dry one at Jimmy with my slingshot. You should have seen his face when he figured out what it was! I almost fell on the ground laughing so hard.

May 4:
    I let the goat out today so she could mow the lawn. Dude! Did I get in trouble! That stupid goat went straight to mom's rose bush. You should have seen her. She reached in between those thorns with her lips. Plucked off every leaf and didn't even get a scratch! Did you know a goat's muzzle is as soft as a horse’s? I had to make sure she wasn't hurt, since I was the one who let her out. Anyway, I was afraid Mom would get rid of her after that. I wouldn't want the goat to lose a good home on account of me.
    Mom said the roses would grow back. Dad said I would have to take care of the goat for a week. Have you ever milked a goat? It took a while, but I finally figured it out. I hope Mom keeps washing her.

May 10:
    I didn't latch the gate last night and Snowflake got out. That's what I named the goat. Anyway, she was on top of the cellar this morning, chewing her cud. Mom says they like high places. Me and Dad built a deck for her to climb on. She likes it up there. She hates the mud. Now I know how she stays so clean all the time.

May 14:
    Jimmy and I went fishing down by the old pond yesterday. Snowflake followed us everywhere we went. She's kind of funny, the way she tips her head and looks at us. Kind of like a dog. She's smart, too. She's always standing at the gate waiting when the school bus comes by.
    Bad Barney brought me an old tin can yesterday. He said goats like to eat tin cans. I know he was poking fun at me. I took that old tin can and thanked him - just like I believed it. The next day I brought him a hand full of BB's. I told him Snowflake sure liked that tin can. Then I told him I found the BB's in her manure. You should have seen his face. He didn't know what to think.

May 16:
    Jimmy and I hooked Snowflake up to my wagon yesterday. Cool! She can pull us around. She's so strong. She can even pull us up hill! Jimmy got the idea from one of those library books he got. Did you know they even have goat dairies? We even found a goat that looks like a sheep. They make gunnysacks from its hair!
    Mom says I can enter Snowflake in the county fair this fall. I just know she'll win a blue ribbon. You've just got to come see my goat. School will be out soon, so I hope you can come spend the summer with us like you did last year.

Love, Christopher

PS: You were right. I laugh with the kids when they tease me and it's not so bad. I guess you could say I'm not going to let them get my goat!

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This story can be purchased in the collection of short youth stories "YOUTH YARNS."

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