This Really Gets my Goat


I tore into the envelope and yanked the paper from its sleeve. I was clutching a Christmas gift from a student; now all that remained was to determine the type of gift certificate and the dollar amount. Sure, teaching has its own rewards and nothing makes me happier than to see a child finally learn how to craft a thesis statement or add fifteen points to a test; but given the number of times I pull a 60 hour week, watch a student pick his nose in class, or feel the droplets of a sneeze from a flu-infested child standing a mere 22 inches away, the gift cards at Christmas time are darn nice, too. So I scanned the writing on the page to determine which Japanese steakhouse would receive my patronage over the holidays and discovered that it wasn’t a gift card after all. It was a dedication announcement.

“What’d you get?” Deidre asked as she walked into my classroom.

“I’m a part of some heifer club.”

“Beg pardon?”

“Jessie has donated an animal in my name to some village in another part of the world.” I continued to scan the information sheet. “It seems there’s now a goat out there with my name on it, feeding a small tribal group in some remote area.  Huh.”  I pulled a brochure from the package and started leafing through the pages.

“It sounds right up your alley.”

“It really is. After those years overseas when I lived next to that family that couldn’t even feed their 9 children, I like the sound of this.  Just think, because of me, children will now have cheese and milk.”

“You mean because of your student.”

“Hey, it’s my gift; it’s my goat. Go get your own heifer.”

“Only in South Georgia does that command sound logical.  Enjoy your goat,” she said and strolled out.

I’ll admit, a quadruped wasn’t on my Christmas list, but it is a gift that keeps on giving.

Give the gift of goats

Give the gift of goats

© 2013 – Traci Carver


17 responses »

  1. Sweet! I got that for a gift one year- and this was before my son was a sheep wrecked guy and another time friends of my parents gave one in memory of my dad when he died. Glad you got a giving goat!

  2. Years ago, my Aunt Ruthie donated a llama in my name to a family in a Third World country. It was a generous gesture by any measure, but it got my goat.

    Like you, “I admit, a quadruped wasn’t on my Christmas list, but it is a gift that keeps on giving.”

  3. That is TOTALLY up your alley!! How great a gift! 🙂 I know it’s not Starbucks or steak, but you’ll be happy every time you think of it. 🙂

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