It was Liz's idea. I mean I was content in returning Miro to the Hagerstons, but Liz insisted this was a battle we needed to fight. When she gave her impassioned speech all I could think about was "will this cut into my Mario Brothers playing time?" I knew it would, I knew it would cut into catching salamanders and toads down at the bog that borders our subdivison. I knew it would cut into a lot of things that I prefered to do instead of civic activism regarding a pet goat. I was counting on the folks to step in and curb Liz's ridiculous idea. But they gently encouraged her. Especially Pa, he chided "they can't do that, the Matthews on Klipenstein Row have that flippin' doberman that barks all day and if it ever got loose is going to send somebody to the hospital - don't hear peep from our Mayor or Town Council about that!" Miro was a harmless angel, I loved her, even if she ate flowers and pooped a lot - I mean its a goat; goats do what goats do. I admit I never cleaned up after her, neither did Liz. Even though she claims she did, I never witnessed it.
Miro came to us because the Hagerston fence, well its not really a fence any more thanks to Pa Hagerston's neglect and general ambivalence towards the remnants of the hobby farm he started a few years ago, was broken. Miro was their lone goat that tended to wander and everytime we returned it to Pa Hagerston he didn't seem that thankful. He normally mumbled thanks as he was closing the door. It was hard to hear over the noise of 'The Price is Right' or whatever he was watching. Liz thought he'd become a bum and Liz was right on this one. Liz bears some, make that all, responibility in Miro returning to of all houses, ours. Liz fed Miro carrots and bread and cheetos to reward her wanderings. It was her way of having a pet without going throught the proper, parental channels to get one. So a couple of months ago when Miro returned yet again, Liz fed her yet again, but this time put out a tray of food and a thick blanket in the corner of our carpet. Miro never left, Pa Hagerston never came a knocking. We had a goat.
Now, Miro was a great addition to our home, she's cute and had a sweet personality. All the kids on our street came by and pet her and everything was cool. Ma and Pa, pretended, I think, that we didn't have goat. Miro was free to come and go as she pleased, just as she was when she resided over at the Hagerstons. I mean its the twenty first century and goats have come along away in exercising their independence. So far as Ma and Pa were concerned, Miro liked it better at ours than at Hagerston's because we wern't bums. Now the story is pretty uneventful to this point. But where it takes a turn for the worse, and by worse I mean potentially cutting into my leisure time, is when a bureaucrat noticed that in the bylaws, goats, chickens, sheeps and donkeys and probably other animals other than cats, dogs and birds were not permitted in our sleepy town. I think the bureaucrat is Mr. Matthews. We have expressed concern over the painful potential his barking and growling dog has should it ever break free from its tether. I can't prove this of course, but I can speculate and I speculate that he is a bitter, joyless man who keeps his doberman as another buffer from any type of friendly interaction. A stickler for rules, especially ones that prevent joy for independent girls with an activist streak. I could swear he's a Calvinist.
So I'll save you the letters, the knocks on the doors from various Town Hall administrators and councilmen to break the news that Miro must go. Liz and Pa maintained that Miro is an independent goat and she choose to live with us. In other words the message to the Town Hall staff was: if you have a problem with Miro hanging around our house all the time, go talk to the goat. I must agree, if I were Liz and Pa's attorney, I would hitch my arguement on this sound reasoning. But eventually diplomacy gave way to, well there's no other way to put it, city officals in their memo referred to it was "Goat Relocations" I refer to it as "Goat Kidnapping". I'm sure Pa Hagerston was disappointed when Miro, he didn't call the goat Miro, I think he called him "Work" (and that was something this mid-forties fella was done with), showed up one day on his acreage.
What the memos and interaction said, what Pa and Liz intrepreted anyway, was not that you couldn't keep a goat, it was that you couldn't care for stray animals. In Liz's mind the Town want all stray farm animals to die...Yes, Liz was prone to hyperbole. So, a few days later, who wanders by? Miro. Pa Hagerston hadn't fixed the fence. Perhaps there isn't a town and rural bylaw dealing with fence maintenance that some bureaucrat could enforce. But thankfully for couch compressing Hagerston not much changed. Liz put out the cheetos, carrots, bread and water like before. The memos and knocks on the door returned. Miro was kidnapped and couple days later Miro returned. A pattern of goat rebellion or perhaps 10 year old girl rebellion, or both.
So that's how we got here. Me, Liz and Miro standing with the smokers outside of our Town Hall building, with carboard signs hanging around our neck that read "Rebel". Miro didn't seem to mind at all.