The HAT

This story was originally published on 12/28/2009 on the old Pack Goat Forums, which is now defunct. I dug it out of the archives and moved it here so it does not become lost in the mists of time… enjoy!

Phil discovered one way to turn our usually mild-mannered goat into a fire-breathing monster: wear a hat with horns! Yesterday, Phil decided to wear a souvenir given to him by some friends in Buffalo, NY–a nice wooly hat with a pair of buffalo horns sprouting boldly from the top. 

I was fastening Cuzco’s halter and leash for his daily walk when I felt the big goat stiffen. His gentle gaze hardened into a fixed glare as his hackles slowly rose to full height. I turned to see what he was looking at, and there was Phil, proud horns curving above his head. As I finished buckling the halter, Cuzco sprang into action. He went after Phil with all the force of his 200 lbs., standing up to his considerable height and charging, pawing, and charging again.

Cuzco was not brave enough to actually make contact with Phil, (he does know, ultimately, who is boss and that he WILL get licked if it comes to real blows), but he seemed to think that Phil’s acquisition of horns was a direct challenge to his goathood, and he wasn’t about to let the effrontery stand! We usually let Cuzco off the leash once we get to the dirt road, but not this time! As soon as we let him loose, Cuzco charged at Phil, blocking him and shoving him, and standing on his hind legs. An almost palpable wave of hostility emanated from every bristled hair on Cuzco’s body. Phil’s acquisition of horns was, in Cuzco’s mind, a grossly offensive breech of protocol and could not go unchallenged.

Needless to say, Phil had to keep Cuzco firmly leashed and strictly managed for the entire walk. Luckily Cuzco knows when he’s licked and can take defeat philosophically when he knows there is no hope of winning, so he was fairly docile and submissive once Phil had him by the halter. Even so, once we were home and we let Cuzco loose in his yard, he turned around swinging, ready to launch another assault as long as the horned hat was in view! 

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