Billy was not just a goat — but the Great­est Of All Time

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS - By MERANIA KARAURIA

Ifell in love with Billy. I knew I wanted to grow old with him. He was just a kid when he came to me. I was told he was minia­ture. But he grew a beard, and then horns. Billy lived with me for three years and ev­ery morn­ing we’d go to the woods at the back of our prop­erty where he could browse the tempt­ing lower branches of the trees.

The branches he could not reach I’d pull down and he’d rest his two front hooves on my arm, and eat. He did not like the rain and would cry, so I’d hurry to move him to shel­ter.

One Christ­mas he climbed on to the out­door ta­ble and ate the Christ­mas lights. I have a dress that I’ll keep for­ever be­cause Billy ate the lin­ing when it was dry­ing on the clothes­line.

He loved cel­ery and I al­lowed him to eat it and his breath smelled so fresh. He once ate aga­pan­thus and be­haved like a goat with ADHD; he never ate that poi­sonous plant again.

I loved the way he ate the figs, rolling them around in his mouth, or the crunch of the fig branches that he loved to eat.

But I live in a sub­urb and Billy was tied up and I knew goats were so­cial an­i­mals and liked to be around their own kind. I also did not like that he had to be tied up, so I ap­proached a friend to al­low Billy to go to his land on the Para­para. A few days later I vis­ited Billy, and he climbed on to the back seat of my twodoor car and I took my grow­ing kid back to the city. He was in­tact, and the beauty of that strong acidic goat odour meant ants no longer fre­quented the house in­te­rior. But this kid was grow­ing big­ger and was too strong for me.

Plan B swung into ac­tion and I found a place for Billy on the Black Sheep Sanc­tu­ary in Otaki. King Billy was at home, and I vis­ited him reg­u­larly. He had grown into a hand­some goat and he al­ways recog­nised me when I vis­ited. I would treat my­self and spend my birth­day with him. But it was two days be­fore my birth­day three years ago that I re­ceived the mes­sage that Billy had died in the night af­ter he and two other goats were mis­tak­enly fed tutu. The other two goats sur­vived. For me Billy was a true GOAT — the Great­est Of All Time.

‘One Christ­mas he climbed on to the out­door ta­ble and ate the Christ­mas lights. I have a dress that I’ll keep for­ever be­cause Billy ate the lin­ing when it was dry­ing on the ’ clothes­line.

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