Monday, December 27, 2010

What's the coolest thing you got for Christmas? I got a goat!

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Chinese proverb

I got something for Christmas that I never ever thought I'd get. And it's among the coolest gifts I've ever received.

I got a goat!

My dad and his groove thing Vel bought me a nanny goat.

No, it's not grazing in my back yard, annoying my dogs, upsetting the children, confounding the neighbors.

It's being sent to someone who's facing bleak times, somewhere far away.

Stop. What's this It stuff? I need to give my nanny goat a name. I think I'll call her Anita.

So Anita is a productive, scrappy upstart. My dad found her through Heifer, International

It's a grassroots organization that helps the desperate and hungry. In Haiti. In Africa. In Romania. All over the place.

I'm sure that precocious Anita will definitely not disappoint, wherever she goes.

Because lovely Anita is a giver.

She can produce up to a gallon of milk every day.

Which means whoever she winds up with might decide to make some cheese, too.

Eventually, charming Anita will find her billy goat soulmate, thanks most likely to Heifer, International.

Anita will be coy and charming at first, and yet ultimately she'll relent to the seething, brooding yet whimsical charm of Tim (that's what I've decided to call Anita's billy goat gruff).

Tim and Anita will get right to it, to put it delicately.

And before you know it, Tim and Anita will be surrounded by their offspring. Because Anita can have two or three kids every year. Unlike the humans who are benefitting from her bounty, Anita apparently has no memory of the pain of childbirth.

Good for her.

And good for Tim! Because he's productive, too! And let's not even get started on the kids. So helpful, so charming, so many.

Which is good for the impoverished community where Anita and Tim have found themselves.

They're a happy goat family.

But Heifer, Intl. isn't just about goats. My children received flocks of chicks from dad and Vel.

Imagine the possibilities. The usefulness.

Imagine all the names we'll have to come up with.

And there's more.

Llamas. Sheep. Trees. Bees. Hogs. Water buffalo. And, of course, heifers.

Heifer, International teaches people to fish with all of this amazing livestock.

So little means so much to so many.

Which brings me back to Anita.

She's just a goat. But she represents sustainability to people who consider living without hunger their greatest gift.

You go, Anita. Kick some ass. Make some milk. Have some fun with Tim. Churn out those kids.

Make a difference.


  1. I love Heifer, Mary! Send this to them. Their catalogs are compelling, but this one's fun, too!

  2. Please look deeper into the reality of Heifer International. The following article (link) gives more of the true story. There are other, more compassionate and environmentally conscious groups to support.