Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sparkly the Friendly Goat

Not too long ago, I was privileged to be acquainted with a very special goat named Sparkly.

Sparkly wasn’t just any usual goat, but a goat who touched the lives of the children wherever he went. My first encounter with Sparkly was at the place where I went to pick him up from. He was a New Year’s gift to my family from our State.

I noticed, as two hefty men struggled with Sparkly as they tried to put him in my trunk, that a group of kids had gathered and were waving good-bye at Sparkly with teary eyes. Sparkly was determined not to get into my trunk and once even escaped the grip of the strong men and ran toward the children, much to their delight.

The men won and soon Sparkly was bound tightly and deposited in my trunk for the short ride from Victoria Island to Ikoyi.

Ideally short ride, except that the Lagos traffic wouldn’t allow for that to happen. So it was just me and Sparkly now stuck in traffic. He was so restless in the trunk and kept on butting against the back seat of the car. I felt so sorry for him, after all it’s not easy for anyone to be separated from his/her friends.

I decided to put the radio dial on Smooth 98.1fm, with the hope that the sweet and soulful Smooth Jazz would help calm Sparkly down. Might I add that Sparkly also has exquisite taste in music, as he soon calmed down.

We were quiet for a little while, and then I suddenly had a fright as I imagined that Sparkly might just decide he wanted to have a little chat with me!! As I looked at the faces of the street hawkers passing by, I knew they’d probably all think I’d gone crazy if I told them that the goat in my trunk was asking me “Baby how far now?”

Thank goodness Sparkly chose to remain silent for the ride, otherwise I would have finally confirmed after a lifetime of wondering, that I’m quite insane.

So we got home and unloaded Sparkly from the trunk. Bade and Lande (my 7 & 5 year old nephew and niece) ran out to welcome me, but immediately stopped in their tracks as they saw Sparkly. Sparkly also raised his head in between his struggling, saw the kids and became still. They observed each other for a while and I’m certain that was when the initial bond was formed.

From then on, Sparkly and the kids became inseparable. They fed him silly, ran around the compound screaming excitedly as he chased them while he loudly chanted “meeeh meehhhh”, and yeah even gave him the name ‘Sparkly’.

As I saw the way Sparkly lit up whenever he was with the kids, and the way they laughed and cheered him on everytime, I looked at Sparkly and marveled at how such a matured goat can also be such a ‘Maga’.

If I were in Sparkly’s shoes, knowing that my ultimate destiny is to be slaughtered, I would sit still and be a true stubborn goat. I would frown my face and bleat angrily at these kids if they came anywhere near me.

But not Sparkly, he lived with such excitement and delight that I actually started to feel that maybe Sparkly should be kept as a pet rather than slaughtered for New Year’s lunch.

Well, there wasn’t much I could do about that, as I came back home one evening, and saw the kids depressed and red-eyed. Sparkly had been brutally murdered. My insensitive house maid (who offered to slaughter Sparkly with her bare hands by the way) even put his head on a stick and was chasing the kids around the house with it.

They were so depressed that they actually went to bed that night without anyone having to scream “It’s Bedtime” at them.

I was sad for a while too but found solace in mental projections of the delicious goat pepper-soup I was going to be having soon.

Rest in peace dear Sparkly. Your life as a goat touched much more lives than that of most human beings that have lived much longer than you.

This article is dedicated to all the ‘Sparkly’s’ that will be slaughtered as we celebrate Easter. They epitomize the reason for the season.

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