Some time ago, while enjoying a summer holiday in Waimarama, I stopped in for a 3 day visit with an old eremite in Haumoana. He lived on a couple of acres, alongside the river. It is here that I met Floppyfoot - a good sized goat, with a deformed right/front foot.
He could walk ok, but that foot sort of flopped around; his walking signature best described with Onomatopoeia: Plack, Plack, Plack......Flooof. Every 4th, floppy step was a flooof. And, naturally, his time signature was not 2/4 or 4/4 as is the usual case in nature - his walk was in 7/8 time as the floppy foot stalled the rhthym. 7/8 time is quite rare; the only musical example I can think of at this time is Money, by Pink Floyd. That is how Floppyfoot walked.
I took quite a shine to Floppyfoot and over the first two days he became a very good friend. (I assure you it was entirely platonic). Each morning, I'd wander over to the river and set a spell with a cup of tea and the morning paper - which was not to read, because Floppyfoot would eat the paper before you had a chance to read it. He was particularly fond of the glossy catalogue inserts.
He tried to eat my hair a lot too - it really beggars belief as to what a goat will eat.
He also ate the garden. The entire contents.
On the second night in Haumoana it rained. Big rain. Endless, hard rain of the type you get in the 'Bay, in Summer, every 2 to 3 years. Warm rain.
Mad Brian, my eremite pal warned of flooding, which, a couple of times a year, would come right up to the house.
Which it did - the vista next morning was a changed, unrecognisable landscape.
And then I saw it.
Floppyfoot's floppy foot, in a tree.
I waded over and was greeted with a sad sight. Floppyfoot was bloated and dead: drowned and now wedged in the split-trunk crevice of an old tree.
Today is the 7th anniversary of old Floppyfoot's fateful demise in the Haumoana flood. As such, It would please me greatly if we could take a moment to reflect on Floppyfoot, his unusual 7/8 time signature and his status as a pretty good joker as far as goats go. A good mate. A gate mood. He was bold.
And I like that in a goat.
The garden now grows in Haumoana.