I met neighbors Bob, Carol and their family at the weekend at the local Goat Show in Woodbury. Half way through had won a third prize. All the goats looked great – groomed and super clean. I wondered what the criteria fort excellence were. Well, they are meat goats, so what counts apparently is shape that reflects meat. I lamented my own decline in goat herd numbers, and my need for some new genes. I was told I could perhaps buy a new nanny for $80. Background: recently dead Billy in the lake, plus loss of one day old kid. But yesterday I spotted a mew kid on the block, all jumping around with his Mom. I abandoned plans to put both up in the barn, and let them wander off. So far so good. Dad seems to be hanging out with them too. How does he know he’s Dad? I assume he’s top goat and can claim them all. When I find myself hoping the new’un is a girl, I think about the effect of China’s one child policy in which girl babies are often aborted. Am I playing the same game? I spend so much time and effort protecting fruit trees against goats and goats against predators. And their guardians (dogs) against ticks. Why? Perhaps they are symbols of the Other, with their destructiveness the best evidence of their not being reducible to my needs etc.