goats at work

September 6, 2006

My morning run the other day brought me to an unfamiliar sight on a familiar road. Newly adorning the neighborhood street were 2 large back to back signs declaring SLOW GOATS WORKING. What kind of a joke is that? I wondered, laughing as I passed. And how did someone ever come up with such an idea—and get away with it??
By the end of the day, however, I had forgotten all about it . . . until yesterday.
After school yesterday, we caravanned both the women’s and men’s teams to my neighborhood. Our plan was to hold practice there, for a change of scenery [running routes around the school leave much to be desired]. It was also a practicality, as after practice we had a beginning of the season ice cream party with the parents, there at my house.
The girls are understandably self-conscious about running near the guys, so I took them in a markedly different direction. Returning, in the loudly sweaty fashion high school runners are inclined towards, the guys were talking about “the goats.”
“Goats?,” I asked—“you mean the signs?”
“No—the real ones. And the news cameras filming them. Up there,” he said, gesturing up the hill.
Turns out there really are goats “at work” in my neighborhood.
Today’s paper included an article about the pioneer project beginning this year—starting this year and continuing for 2 more, goats have been commissioned to tackle the kudzu overgrowth. A local goat farmer’s team of 30 goats are now employees of the city, eating away the kudzu. Theoretically, after 3 years of clear-cutting-by-goat, the kudzu will be permanently damaged and unable to grow back the next year.
Who would have thought? . . never underestimate the power of a goat and its appetite!

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