"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Misnomer

Fed-Ex made a delivery to the goatfather a couple of days ago. As the truck drove up, the goatmother came out of the house. The Fed-Ex man exited the truck, looked at the goatmother and said, "You gotcha' some goats there."
"Yes, I do.", replied the goatmother.
"When I rounded the corner I saw that one there (indicating Ella atop the Go-Go-Goat Treadmill © ) and I slowed waaaay down 'cuz I thought he might just jump right over the fence."
"You are probably lucky that one (indicating Watson) didn't faint! He is a fainting goat.", said the goatmother.
"I've heard of them, but that one (indicating Ella) ... that one must be the ALPHA goat!!!"

Oy. The ALPHA goat??? Whoever heard of an Alpha goat, for Peanut's sake??? I don't think so, Tim! Still, it gave me pause and I began to wonder about the term. So I decided to do a little research and came upon an interesting definition. Now, mind you, this definition is for 'Alpha male', but really Alpha is Alpha, don't you agree? So here is the definition (you will, of course, notice that the word, 'male', is in parentheses : "
The (male) leader of a pack, usually earned his place through instilling fear in others. The pack is usually smarter than the alpha male, but is more afraid to have him as an enemy than a friend. Through evolution, however, the original alpha male behavior is becoming different; what was once fear of the leader himself, has now become fear of whatever the alpha male considers a threat to him. Despite the rank or power the alpha male may achieve through his methods in society, it is still a primitive role to have, due to the selfish nature of his life. Rest assured, if the pack ever had the chance, they would probably remove his role from their society without hesitation."

Allow me, now, to render this definition understandable in a personal kind of way. First of all, you will notice that the position in question is gained through 'instilling fear in others'. This, of course, would apply to Ella since she is such a bully. It also holds true that the 'pack' is smarter than the alpha character. By a long shot, I might add, although probably Peanut and Watson are the only ones fearing her enmity. For goatness' sake! She has long legs, but that's about it. Reading further, we see the phrase, 'due to the selfish nature of his life'. Naturally anyone who has seen Ella when the Sacred Peanuts are doled out would consider this to be a statement of truth. And, lastly, we see that 'if the pack ever had the chance, they would probably remove (his) role from their society without hesitation.' This goes without saying.

So, at least according to this definition, we might view Ella as the Alpha goat. The problem lies in the fact that Boo sees herself as holding this title, and it goes without saying that she has the muscle (well, weight anyway) to back up her claim. I'm sure not gonna' tell her she isn't the Alpha goat. I mean just because she has difficulty getting up on that tire doesn't mean that she wouldn't be there if it were an easier task to undertake. Besides, the definition goes on to state that alpha behavior is becoming different in that instead of fearing the leader, it has evolved to fearing whatever the leader considers a threat. Oy. If this is so, we are in dire circumstances here since Boo, being a Nubian, sees just about everything as a threat. Birds flying overhead, a new fencepost, oddly shaped piles of goat berries, the neighbor's cat in the pasture - you name it and it is the 'sword of Damocles' to Boo.

So we are left with the misnomer of Alpha goat. Ella fits the bill, but just can't pull it off. Boo, thinks she has the position all sewed up, but can't seem to find any minions to follow in awe (except of her size). So that leaves me to fill the void, don't you think? After all, Albert Einstein said, "When the solution is simple, God is answering."

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