Animal Magic

There are many animal lovers here on Skiathos. Most people I know regularly feed between 15 and 20 stray cats and dogs in addition to their own beloved family pets –  conventional pets ,that is, such as cats and dogs and, occasionally, a horse or two. Some keep something a bit more exotic (such as parrot or turtle) and there’s my friend George with his beloved ‘Luxandra’, the donkey (remember her?) who now regularly appears at weddings sporting a beautifully carved and brightly painted, wooden saddle embellished with tooled leather,  that George has had specially made for such occasions.

I thought nothing could surprise me until I met up with a couple of friends this afternoon. A very excited and proud Graham arrived with the latest addition to their menagerie trotting at his heels; a young GOAT, complete with collar and lead!

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“Let me introduce you” he said,  “This is Billy….. Billy the Kid”  (of course, what else?)

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‘Absolutely nothing to do with me!’ Lynne, his wife, was quick to point out,  rolling her eyes and clearly thinking her husband had finally flipped.

Turns out ‘Billy’ was purchased after a particularly heavy night on the tiles and when Graham awoke the next morning to find Billy curled up beside him, he could offer no explanation as to how he got there –  but he and his goat have been inseparable ever since!

Its easy to see why. Billy is the gentlest, quietest and most loyal of creatures and very affectionate. Within moments of my stroking his soft silky coat with his head cupped in my hand, he’d fallen fast asleep!

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The fact that goats are easy to keep – they eat virtually anything – and that Graham no longer has to be reminded to ‘take out the rubbish’ or ‘cut the grass’ (they have a very large and steep tract of land to keep under control) may also have something to do with it!

Billy is a perfect pet; undemanding, entertaining, inexpensive to keep  and very loving…… and in these ‘ecologically-aware’ times, extremely useful too – a one man recycling unit…..

I want one!