Alright, this has been rattling around for a while and it’s time to spit it out.
I will be the first one to admit that I always thought the idea of the mighty Thor being pulled along by goats was ridiculous. Surely there’s something wrong here. I get that goats are creatures of many uses but so are much more impressive animals like cattle and horses. So… why goats?
And then I decided that, seeing as they are in fact creatures of many uses and well suited to attempts of turning a profit on a small farm, I should get a bunch of goats.
If I had a camera that was worth a fart in the wind I’d take pictures of the black bruises from my buck. He’s freaking out because his does are heavily pregnant and smell weird and the deer are in rut and smell weird and he’s stuck in this pen and wants to go do buckly things dammit let me out of this PEN! He’s a beast. Don’t turn your back on him. I can hear him down there now strutting his stuff and beating on whatever he can reach with his horns. (Displays of virility and all that.) Even the does are pretty hardheaded. Literally and otherwise.
These creatures are TOUGH. Ignore the modern dairy breeds that have been selected for milk production over common sense, take a look at the meat breeds still around. Especially if the old meat breed you’re looking at is a scrub type, meaning they exist because a bunch of random goats got loose here and only the tough survived. These beasts are tough. Dig through the snow, chop through the ice, climb and jump everything, go toe to toe with animals three and four times their size and WIN tough. Raise up healthy babies on starved fields tough. Stray dogs run the other way tough. Pick me up and carry my fat ass thirty feet before I can get my feet back under me tough. I think I’ve got a hundred pounds on the animal, but that didn’t even slow him down.
I have a whole new respect for Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.
I used to ask ‘why goats?’ and now… I understand why goats.
(Side note: My buck was actually a very chill dude until the deer started. He came from a situation of borderline neglect and needed to be de-wormed and given copper bolus when I got him. For those who don’t know, a healthy Kiko on good pasture should never need de-worming. I could see his ribs. He was in bad shape. He’s up almost thirty pounds from May when I bought him and has all the fire and brimstone you could hope to see burning merrily along in his eyes. In a fight between him and the Highland Cattle a cousin of mine is raising, my money is on Grinder every time. Yes… I named him Grinder. It suits him.)