"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

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Countdown to Halloween - The Stick People


Awhile back, the goatdaughter came to visit. She and the goat-son-in-law decided to spend a day in Seattle before coming over to the Olympic Peninsula. While in Seattle visiting a museum, the goatdaughter was told the spooky tale of the 'stick people' who are said to inhabit the Olympics. What!? That's where we live! So I decided it would be most wise to investigate this legend a bit further, especially since we have a LOT of sticks around here.

It seems many of the Salish tribes that live in this area, as well as British Columbia, have legends of the 'stick people'. Some say they are 'little people' and some say they are the size of a person, but all say they dwell in the mountain forests and in no way do you want to mess with them. The Yakama Indians call them the Ste-ye-hah' mah (spirit hiding under the cover of the woods. Spooky, huh?) They are said to whistle like a bird in the evening when birds are normally silent. If you care to investigate, you are led farther and farther into the forest, never to return.

Oy.

Now one might tend to begin speculating at this point. Why would anyone, especially a goat, be afraid of a stick? Oh, Goat Eggs! I mean we're talking sticks here. But you see, several accounts of encounters with these 'stick people' relate the very peculiar habit these beings seem to possess of 'poking sticks into lodges to extract or harass victims', or even to 'rain sticks down upon them'. One account even has them as skilled hunters of goats! Egoats! I can tell you right now, if I feel any sticks poking through the walls of my 'lodge' on a cold October night, Homegoat Security is going on red alert and it will be 'man the buttle stations'!!! Ain't no arborescent-American comin' in on my watch! Besides that, we have quite enough rain here, thank you very much, without having to submit to any raining down of long, straight pieces of solid material. We get quite enough of that when the wind blows.

All in all, I have to admit to a little uneasiness, though. One of the S'Klallam tribes is just down the road from us. Don't you suppose that might tend to attract those sticky little devils? On the other hand, I have read that the S'Klallam raised 'herds' of wool dogs, kept solely for the purpose of growing wool to make blankets. Historical records describe them as small dogs with long, fine, soft hair that were either white or sort of beige in color. Hmmmm.... Now who does that sound like? Perhaps, we goats have nothing to fear, and those resinous, goat-hunting menaces will go after that downy little dirt-devil instead. In fact, this wouldn't be a bad thing since the Mighty Quinn actually likes chasing sticks. As a matter of fact, he lives to chase sticks. I believe it was Theodore Roosevelt who said, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick'. To that, I say, 'Go Fetch, Mighty Quinn! Go Fetch!'

1 comment:

goatfarmer said...

Sticky wicket, Marigold. We have a wool dog here and also a wool cat. In fact if I ever have another child I am going to name it woolcat. I have not seen any stick people but the people around here eat a lot of dairy products.