In Pursuit of the Goat Man–A Suburban Tale

August 7, 2007 at 4:24 am Leave a comment

GoatmanWhat ever happened to the Goat Man? Recently, I was telling some kids about my childhood adventures in the woods behind our subdivision. During the late 60’s and early 70’s there were mysterious rumors of cattle mutilations in our area. Our local kid folklore dictated that these deeds must have been the work of the Goat Man, a half-man, half-goat creature that supposedly roamed the woods looking for fresh beef on the hoof (or maybe even a kid). Needless to say, if we found ourselves in the woods as darkness began to fall, we made a beeline for the security of the city street lights.

Once, we got brave and decided to make a torchlight expedition into the woods to catch a glimpse of the Goat Man…at night! My scouting experience equipped me with the knowledge of how to make the torches, so we decided to give it a go. As the sun went down, we began soaking our torches in kerosene. Soon after, we lit them and proceeded into the dark woods.

We were familiar with the first band of trees that followed along a creek, so we weren’t too scared at first. This opened onto a big plowed field, which soon turned into another band of trees. We had never been that far before and these woods were quite unfamiliar. On top of that they were mostly ugly, snarling, scary bois d’ arc (horse apple) trees…the kind that an impressionable mind would form into macabre shapes if given half a chance. You know the kind of place…real Sleepy Hollow stuff. It was about that time that the first torch flickered and went dark. We began debating if we should be heading home when the second torch flickered out leaving us with only one torch lit. That settled it! As we made our way back towards the open field the last torch began its slow death flicker and then unceremoniously went out. When I noticed the rest of the group passing me at a full run, I thought it would be a good time to also beat a hasty retreat. After all, the Goat Man was on the loose and I’m sure he was hungry! As we all started to get winded, my friend Dan and I slowed down to catch our breath. It was at that point that we noticed a strange form moving towards us. The silhouetted shape was quite unfamiliar and clumsily continued its relentless advance. We were frozen with terror as the dark shape came right up to us…it was at that time we heard a reassuring…moooo! We were instantly calmed when we realized that our would-be assailant wasn’t half-man or half-goat…but all cow! Still, the woods were dark, and the real Goat Man might spy us standing next to this bovine delicacy, so we continued our advance towards the city.

As we crossed the first city street, we all decided to go straight home and leave daring midnight explorations to the professionals. The Goat Man was in no danger of being exposed any time soon, at least by this band of weary suburban commandos!

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Entry filed under: Strange and Wonderful. Tags: , , , .

The Suburbanization of America–The Rise of the Patio Culture

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