Saturday, August 17, 2013

A goat story

They Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Ohio's only national park. It winds around the Cuyahoga River and includes more than a few acres of land that were at one time or another owned by my family. We've been here since the mid 1800's. The park bought plenty of my family's land via eminent domain, raising the ire of many Doublers and O'Briens back in the 1970s. Now I'm sort of glad. No Golden Arches or WalMarts will defile that land.

Yeah, yeah. Enough about that. This story is about goats, and then some.

The park leases land to area farmers, including one that keeps a herd of positively darling goats. I passed by the goats for the first time a couple of days ago. I was immediately enchanted. They were a smaller breed. There were so many, playing and hopping around. Alas, I did not have my camera and it was getting dark anyway.

The next day, my regular Goat and I decided to give the goats a proper visit, so we made the short drive to Peninsula. There is no where to park near them, so I drove until I spied a little gravel turn off--about a quarter of a mile down the road, maybe less.

We weren't with the goats two minutes before a pick-up stopped on the road behind us.

"Your car's blocking a horse trail," barked the guy in the cab.

"Okay, sorry," I said. "I'll get right out of there. I'm just taking a few pictures of the goats."

"Horses could be coming any minute," he hollered, then drove off. It was 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon.

Folks, I am the first one to admit that there are way too many cars and far too few horses. The cars sure as hell have plenty of roadways and parking areas and horses too few. To be sure, a car has no business blocking a horse trail.

But did that guy have to be such a hard-on?

I hurriedly took a few more pix and headed back to the car. We were still walking down the road when--not two minutes after the first ranger had yelled at us--another ranger in a car pulled up behind the VW and turned on his lights.

No, we did not get a ticket. Yes, he turned off his lights and pulled away when he saw us waving and heading towards the car. But still, really?

The rustic horse trail comes out of the woods and only a tiny portion is graveled--the same portion that is adjacent to a gate in the goats' fenced pen. The gravel wasn't there for the horses or goats. Someone was allowed to park there, just not me. (Yes, there was a "Horse Crossing" sign. No, there wasn't a "No Parking" sign)

So it goes. Maybe I should be thankful they didn't threaten me with a Taser and handcuff me or send in the SWAT team.

Maybe I shouldn't.

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philbilly said...

Today I went to Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Park @ East
55th Street to eat lunch, and as I pulled in the lot there was a big 'ol heapa steamin' horse dung right smack dab in the middle of the roadway. And a more beautiful sight I have rarely seen.

Ya see, on June 6th, we transferred management of our Lakefront parks to Metroparks fer a hunnert years, fer a dollar. It is the greatest thing to happen in a long time. Within the first week, the change was palpable everywhere, even machines grooming the beach sand. Cleveland has a goldmine on its front porch, and the Metroparks people know how to run it.

On an unrelated note, earlier in the week, I stopped at Star$'s in Willoughby, and while I drank some java, a woman, I'd say late 40's-early 50's, got out of her car and sauntered into the joint. What I noticed first was her confident sway, and generally attractive packaging. What caught my discrete gaze next, was the most magnificent rack I have never seen. While she was not dressed provocatively, there was no obfuscating the spectacular profile, the understated erotic yaw denoting firmness and perfection as she swaggered demurely along. Her breasts possessed a pendulance that defied the timeless pull of this weary Earth. Judging by the rock on her finger, she is betrothed. Lucky bastard.

Anonymous said...

In the park, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

If the goats could be saddled and ridden, perhaps they'd get a little more respect from housekeeping.


Erin O'Brien said...

Phil: +1 +1 on all points.

MR: The goats seemed to be doing just fine.

And for the record, folks, dumb as it seems, I truly didn't realize I was parking on the outlet for the horse trail.

Also, the "Taser" link in the essay is fixed.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the goat story. Innocent mistake it seems. Maybe the ranger just doesn't get many chances to exercise his authority and took advantage of the opportunity. Nevertheless, at the risk of being labeled misoyginistic, I found phibillies description of pendulant gravity defying breasts a more pleasing image than that of Capra aegagrus hircus.


philbilly said...

I should probably clarify that the horse dung was from a Metroparks Ranger's horse. They are everywhere, rangers on bikes, on horses, on foot, and in patrol cars that actually drive slowly down the walking trails sometimes. They are all about business. As a result , people feel safe, are safe, and it is amazing to see the increase in people out and about on the lakefront.
While the Rangers are not unpleasant, they'll let kids pet the horses, they never drop the authority schtick, which reflects their training. They remind me of the RCMP in Canada. As a racecar mechanic traveling with a team, we were warned not to f with the RCMP. This ain't the U.S., no automatic habeus corpus. So we avoided them, and took cabs.