Running (around with) The Goat(s), Part 1


There is a particularly lively and challenging traditional dance in Newfoundland called “Running the Goat“. It is a series of movements and an interweaving of people that carries with it the spirit of the Newfoundland community of Harbour Deep, the community in which its roots are deeply seated and a community that has also been resettled. The community was packed up and moved in 2002 and its people now return as seasonal visitors only. Their forefathers’ legacy to this province is profound, but has been culturally distilled and metaphorically condensed in this dance, the intricacies of which some feel embodies what we were, what we are and what we hope for as a people on this island.

I’ve never run the goat personally. Well, I’ve never done the dance, at any rate.

Yesterday turned out to be a very goatish day, however, and there was indeed some running.

Pecking order
Rose and Sophia at The Grumpy Goat Gallery. Rose likes to tell Sophia what to do, which is a bit of an odd twist on the Golden Girls characters.

Goats appear to be one of the newest trends to hit eastern Newfoundland.

Every couple of months, another friend or acquaintance of mine will sudden acquire a goat (or more likely two) of some sort. It is a strange sort of trend, to be sure, but since goats are such charming and personable creatures, I understand the inclination*.

*Side note: John does not. We will not be joining the throng of folks engaged in goat husbandry on any level. He has also nixed chickens and sheep. In future, I will not be mentioning animals before acquiring them. This worked well for the dogs. I ordered them on the Internet and hey presto, Dogs! One day he’ll come home to a horse on the front lawn and geese in the garden and that will teach him to be more accepting of small, egg-producing chickens.

Our intention, initially, was to see how many goat families we could visit in one day. We thought we might fit in three of them. Sadly, we didn’t make it through the whole litany, but were sidetracked by Very Exciting Adventures.

_DSC3981a copy
Usually when someone giving me directions says, “you can’t miss it,” I immediately assume I’ll drive right by three times without seeing it. Not so with this place. If you miss The Grumpy Goat Gallery, you really ought to have your eyes checked.

Firstly, we really wanted to drop by and visit Pam and Cara at The Grumpy Goat Gallery. These two creative and incredibly decent people have known each other for twenty years and have decided that the trial is over, that they not only “like each other because,” but they also “love each other although” and they’re going to be married at the end of the month.

It was as good a reason as any to visit and to wish them well for the next twenty. I’ve been trying and I can’t come up with many other couples that are as perfect for each other as these two. If you have not yet visited their blog, you really must do so. Quite apart from the beauty of their creations, the wit and whimsy of the writing is delightful.

The Grumpy Goat Gallery
The Grumpy Goat Gallery. Really, if you miss this, please shred your driver’s license.

Sophia and Rose were glad to see us. We brought carrots, which went over well and we also took them for a walk along their personal goat trail:

Walking the goat
Walking the goats. Not a dance.

There were cute goat pictures against a stunning blue sky on a perfect day.

Feigning solemnity
We will pose, but only because the nice person off-screen has carrots and a cat.

The goats have their own palace. And their own cats.

Home is where the goat is
Home is where the goat is. Sophia is stylin’.

And Pam has built Cara the most delicious studio atop the hill. The view over looks the ocean. And the goat pen.

The painting studio
The painting studio. Upstairs is for oil painting and downstairs is for larger three-dimensional pieces and installations. Notice the gourd-geous birdhouse.

Rose is the shy one. She’s quite fond of her people but more reserved around visitors. She can feign a quiet dignity quite nicely.

Rose. And lupins.
Rose & Sophia
Rose & Sophia

As we were leaving I remembered to take a picture of The Piano. I don’t believe it has a name*.

*It came from Linda Lewis who, coincidentally, was the first of our friends to have goats and one of the goaty people whose house we didn’t get to on this trip.

The Nameless Piano
The Nameless Piano

And then we headed across the street to Spoon Cove to make a very respectable picnic, with fruit, sandwiches, cheese, waffles with blueberry jam and chocolate salami from Cara (it was delicious!).

That was where we found the fossils, which was the second great adventure, but I haven’t finished editing those pictures yet and this post is about goats.

So we ate and then we decided to go to The Feather (Adventure #3).

Cara had told us about it on a previous visit to the gallery and it came up on conversation again this time, so we decided to empty our pockets and give it a go.

I will tell you about the beauteous wonder that is The Feather, complete with goats, sheep and horses, just as soon as I get the images for it processed. Promise.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. mjspringett says:

    Love your adventures, thanks MJ

  2. Elaine Dale says:

    This post is an absolute delight! I love Pam and Cara’s blog and I’ve even won one of their t-shirts and some cards. You have done Rose and Sophia justice with their lovely portraits. Linda Lewis was a high school classmate of mine in Grand Falls and I visited her, Bern and their menagerie in 2010 – don’t they have a wonderful place? Have a great day – it’s thundering and pouring here in Woodstock, ON at the moment.

  3. hannifrieda says:

    Thats awesome! *might be beside the point but i love that yellow piano :|* awesome colours :}

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