I usually drive by the ramshackle farm house to find the billy goat coatless on the porch, but today he was in the middle of the road, forcing me to stop. He was woolen for the winter.
I didn't quite know what to do. He was messing with my habit of agricultural rubbernecking. I drive by every so often on meandering jaunts through scenic byroads, seeing if he's still there in his enormous gruffness and checking on the status of the freakish red stripes--like the kind my daughter would draw with a marker--that cover his skin. It's those stripes that keep me coming back. I look for clues as to the identity of the artist who paints goats red.
At first I stopped. The beast was unmoving. I wanted to let the owners know he was on the loose, but I didn't want to frighten him with my GMC's deep beep. I slowly pulled around and then beyond, waiting till he was a car-length behind me. I honked once and watched the property, which sprouted garbage in fruitful yields, for signs of life. There was nothing. I honked again, and then again. On the house, clapboards hung haphazard and scraps of wood covered several of the street facing windows. Nothing.
I could have gotten out of the car and corralled the enormous billy goat back to his perch on the porch. I could have, but I am either too fearful or too smart. I could've pulled to the side of the road with my hazards on and waited till someone with claim to the goat took responsibility. I could've called animal control. I could've done a lot of things.
Instead, I beeped once more for good measure and again set my wheels to turning. An oil truck came up the road in front of me. I gestured for the driver to go slow as I pointed behind me. I turned left and was afforded a view of the backside of the house, beyond which I could see that the truck had come to a stop.
I wondered what he would choose to do as I drove away.