Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Goat lovers are everywhere

Stella and the young actor from the Anchor Light production

Here's a guest post today from my cousin Debby, a retired school psychologist and raiser of goats. Her email about a film shoot in NYC was so wonderful, I asked her if I could share it.

You can see more pictures of her animals and read about them at Sheep Gate Farm.

Stella has an acting career! A small production company contacted me, they needed a goat and Stella fit the bill. A story of a boy who finds a goat in NYC. We shot the movie in NYC and Queens this weekend. Stella and a boy named Chris were the protagonists for a short Internet film called "Scapegrace". It was done by a small production company, Anchor Light, with talented camera crew and director Kevin Hayden. You can see some of his videos on his website. I will let you know when the movie is released.

Who knew that a goat in the city could cause such a commotion. It was very touching. I heard many, many stories from people who had memories of goats. A 75 yr old man originally from Yugoslavia, stood about 15 ft away, looked at her and shouted to me, "She is 5 or 6 years old".  How do you know? I shouted back. "By the growth of her horns and the hairs on her nose," he replied. He didn't even have to look at her teeth.  My vet isn't that good. Next thing you know we were deep in conversation about the herd of 12 white goats he was in charge of sheepherding at the age of 6 yrs old during WWII. Then the conversation turned to Tito and Stalin and how Tito survived Stalin's intended assassination plot.

There was a young man from the Ukraine you grew up on goats milk and was thrilled to tell me his experiences. A woman from Asia, when she saw the teats with milk, gave me 2 thumbs up with a huge grin, as she passed by. Children in absolute awe. A woman from South America with a cup in hand pleading with me for just a small amount of milk for the baby in her arms. Many people around the world have a very strong belief in the immune enhancing qualities of goat's milk for children. Unfortunately, Stella was tired and would not stand still for me to milk her. People calling out in Spanish, "Leche! Leche!"

A woman passed by with a bicycle and stopped with tears in her eyes, petting Stella and  recalling her childhood farm in Pennsylvania and the goats there and how much she missed them. Another woman followed the pellet droppings in disbelief, like Hanzel and Gretal following the bread crumbs:)

Stella and I were literally mobbed and had to take refuge in the tinted glass van for breaks from the crowds, in between shoots. We arrived the 1st day in NYC at 7 am and by 9 am people had already seen her picture on the internet and were blogging about her. Stella was quite the sensation. A man from the islands stopped and told me he had been in NYC since 1976 and had never seen a goat there. He was grinning from ear to ear. if I had $1 for every passerby that took a picture we would have probably made well over $500
 Day 2 in Queens,  I learned some old time cheese recipes, how to keep weight on her and several other tips from the old timers that  had been raised in Europe with goats. And one very kind man that stayed watching over her for hours until the end of the shoot, worried because I had not brought hay for her to lay down on, so she could rest comfortably. And when he touched her, her eyes closed in pleasure and she was soothed by his touch, as if she could feel, he was someone who really knew goats. Then there was butcher who gave me some delicious dry sausage and the children who hung around all day petting her and laughing.

What an amazing experience; I learned that there remains an intense memory of goats as companion, friend, family member, and supplier of nourishment and joy, that still resonates very deeply within the human psyche.

Stella touched so many people this weekend. I appreciate my babies more than ever.  I am lucky to have them in my backyard!

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