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There is a meme going around about da evil menz. It’s a meme that has been repeated more often than any meme ever, even more than meme’s about big bad witches!
THE TROLL, THE GOAT, AND THE PLAIN OLD POOPY FACTS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF MARGINALIZATION:
There’s this creature, see, and it lives under a bridge. That’s what they say, anyways. Of course–well, you can’t truly see it, because you are always on top of the bridge ignoring the bridge entirely because you are always thinking of crossing the bridge to the greener pasture, and eating!
And anyone, or anything that gets in your way…well, you just watch out! Your horns will put them in their place!
But there are others–who we will get to shortly–who think about the other end of your meal. I will however give you one clue–it isn’t the farmer or his wife.
Or perhaps you are walking over the bridge, or blocking the bridge, or muddying up the water next to the bridge every time you choose to walk in the water, instead of using the bridge, which was designed for everybody, and is clearly marked with a sign, that says:
“Cross at your own peril.”
Not that anyone reads the signs–but they are there! “so you will have to trust me,” she is saying “I have known a few trolls in my day, and my herd even went off to foreign fields once to butt heads with trolls before you were born.”
Even though that sounds like second hand information, just nod your head.
“That’s why there is so much grass around you to eat and so many fields to wander in.,” said the large female billy goat, which was echoed by her one horned brother, who said ‘blahaahahhaaaat.”.
“I even lost my udder for your safety,” she said, lifting her rear leg to reveal a scarred stomach, and no teats. All of the goats knew she was too old, and too tough to eat, so the farmer and his wife generally just left her alone.
Now, the young goat listening was caprinious, to say the least, and not at all aware of the context of utter udderlessness, and also kind of grossed out because she had heard that story all of her life–from her mother, her aunt, and every other goat who had heard that story as well.
And so she had utter disdain for the old goats story, which may or may not turn out to be a bad thing, because time has a way of revealing that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and even then, medicine and science–the new Gods of modernity, post-modernity, post structuralist, and new era scientism–have invented prosthetic devices, and new dogmas that make old goats and old dogmas look new again.
But “that’s neither here nor there,” said the narrator, sweeping his arm widely from left to right, and spanning the entire set of fields surrounding the dialectic of the bridge, which was set at the very center of the panorama. What’s important is that the young goat fears the trolls!
“But what about the trolls??” said a group of young bessies, and baby billies, “what about the trolls??”
“I am getting to that–be patient, because backdrop is everything…” and the narrator receded into the woods with a flashlight–and the backdrop itself was actually a poorly painted canvass, hurriedly painted no doubt, and just beyond the fields of grass wafting their seed.
Well, either way time passes, doesn’t it?
Young goats become old goats more quickly than trees grow bark, or grass grows no more and forever; and goats become more and more head strong, and willing to fight their own battles, and find their way in the world all by themselves.
It happens so that on a moonlit night, while the herd slept, the young goat was feeling restless, hungry, and she looked around her at the herd. She stood up, and quietly, daintily even, stepped outside the boundaries of the resting spot, at once amazed, and also fearful of the direct lusciousness of the susurrous grasses around her, where all of her kin were sleeping.
And there was something else stirring in her, that which had no name. And that which had no name was stirring in her rather strongly! Frankly it aggravated her in an odd way which had no words–and most goats don’t have many words anyways, just bleating, farting and burping.
Oh, and the ‘swish swish swish,’ sounds their jaws make when they chew their cud.
So she took it upon herself to go about and find something to eat–even though she had been told that going forth alone is dangerous–and really, do any goats have any sense of danger? Ask a mountain!
“No, of course,” she said, sure-footedly, and off she wandered by herself into the moonlight. It wasn’t that the soughing grass surrounding her was unworthy of her munch, but rather, she seemed to crave the further pasture.
Likely, also that the moon caught her eye. Moonlight itself can make you weep drunken tears, and lose your way with it’s intoxicating and illusory clarity; make you find yourself in a larger mirror..
Suddenly she realized that she was at the bridge–all by herself!! And she was scared–very scared. She remembered the story of the troll! The story that her mother and her 5 aunts and her 7 older sisters, which of course, they shared with 47 cousins and so on ….
She didn’t know what to do! She looked for her mother, her aunt, her cousins, and her cousins cousins cousins, and the billies that were always supposed to be there, because that is what billies are for!
–she looked at her shadow between her legs, and looked at how long it seemed to be growing in the transient moonlight– And then, suddenly, from the shadows underneath her shadow, from shadows underneath the bridge, she saw–another shadow!
And it was growing bigger than her own! And it was growing underneath her own belly shadow!!!!!
She was petrified, and she tried to run–but her legs wouldn’t let her! All she could do was ‘bleat-blaaht!….’and “bleat…’ but very quietly–as if her voice had gotten itself stuck in her own cud! All four of her hooves were like pillars of salt, poking down into internecine, ancient oceans, now gone dry!
She worked her jaw furiously and stopped. She swished her jaw again–and then stopped( because that is what goats do!)
And the shadow was suddenly not a shadow–but a form–some kind of human-like form that slightly resembled her keepers–her owners, the herders–the round, fat, old woman and the drunken old man that came to the pasture every day to take her mothers milk, her five aunts milk, her seven older sisters’ milk, her one brothers testicles that time, her 47 cousins milk, her….
This is an announcement from the narrator to the audience: “In case you are unaware of how herd animals view themselves, they view themselves exclusively in direct relation to their bodily functions of reproduction, it’s subsidiary functions, it’s commodious by-products, and indirectly–they are all situational and relational sexists.”
Oh! But the troll!!
And–The shadow! It appeared; was like them herders–but not the same at all! IT had brown and white splotched skin that sparkled in the moonlight; it had a pot belly; it’s hands were gnarled like worm-trailed knotholes on old oak trees, and it’s back was hunched over; it had long, pointed ears, not at all unlike her mothers!
And bessie-goat worked her jaw, and chewed her cud, blinking hers eyes, and twitching her ears like a deer in the headlights…
“Oh never mind!”, said the narrator, briefly poking his head back in, highlighted by his flashlight underneath his chin–“that’s a whole ‘nother story too!”
And then! Form took even more shape, and stood fully erect, and the goat could see something about the form that seemed out of place: despite its gnarly hands, and its protruding, distorted back; it was wearing knee high rubber boots—but otherwise, fully naked!
Her mind flashed back to all that she had heard about trolls “They will eat you,” said her mother, her aunt, and most of the goats on her mothers side of the family.
“they will poke their long knives in you, all the while smiling at you with their bad teeth, and mocking your udder helplessness. They will sniff at you, and creep toward you in your sleep, and if I still could, I would ram my head at their…” said the uddereless one–who could never finish her story before the other mothers, aunts and cousins–the sensible ones at least–started bleating, loudly.
They will “take out your brain until you are nothing but a piece of meat hanging in the herders barn!” said most of the herd, who mostly heard their information from others in the herd, but who also knew the farmer’s wife could really throw down when it came to proteins.
All the billies, to a horn, no matter how long their beards, always said “I will kill the troll with my big strong horns, if it ever even looks at you,” and young and old, they all confirmed that desire, and that impulse, not realizing how dull and redundant they sound when they say that, or how more often than not, their breath smelled like cheese.
And yet “IT” spoke to her suddenly, somewhat gruffly.
It said “Hello goat–do you realize how late it is? And what are you doing out so late at night?”
Needless to say, she was petrified! The hairs on her back were standing like needles (and anyone who has ever seen a petrified goat knows this is true, and anyone who hates needles knows what they could feel like when they are all on your back!).
Her eyes flashed on the sign at the bridge which said:
“Cross at your own peril.”
Far beyond being motionless now; far beyond being merely voiceless–she was dropping poop pellets like a pasta machine cranking out gnocchi, but from beneath her tail!
Because that is what goats do–anyone who has ever spent time around…
At each plitter, and each plop of pellet, she noticed the face of the creature frown deeper and wider, looking further and further down, until the creature was staring at it’s feet. She could feel her poop drop as its head dropped. At some point it occurred to her that there was some sort of rhythm.
But the goat–being a goat–moved her head lower as well–but she didn’t know why! But anyone who knows goats, knows that is what goats do! They cannot help themselves. Because…..
The creature noticed as well, and, finally, lifted his head: “Why are you pooping at my doorstep? Young she-goat, does it occur to you that this bridge–this bridge that you and your herd clatter over daily just after sunrise, and stomp across just before nightfall–is where I live?
“That your hours of existence, and and my hours of existence are in conflict? That there are others in the world who don’t stomp across bridges, or leave poop everywhere they go? That I hear every sound? I cannot help myself but to listen–generation after generation, to the sounds of the crap, and the clatter, and the rattle of your cloven hooves over my head?
And I really have no other place to go, where such does not occur,” he said. “I am bridge cleaner by default, and a sleeper by necessity.” Noting the cud chewing look on her face as she blinked, he asked “Or didn’t your mother tell you someone lived under the bridge?”
The young bessie, was suddenly amazed, and oddly, ashamed of herself. She was also slightly surprised, and said, reflexively–“I didn’t realize that someone lived here. I had heard only trolls live under bridges. And, after all, this is public property.”
She was even more surprised to hear her own voice–her ears stood up like she had heard a baying wolf! Or like she was a wolf, but didn’t know it. She had grown so used to her voice being mixed in with the bleating dialogues with other goats, that she surprised herself.
“Well, in fact I have lived here for thousands of years,” said the creature. ” And so I ask you again: did your mother not tell you that someone lived under this bridge?”
Sheepishly, the goat said “Um, yes, I guess she did…she said it, and my aunt said it, and my cousins and my…and the old udderless billy goat told me about it too; my cousins all heard it, the billy goats all told me they wanted to kill it, the old billies would pee all over it, and the young billy goats said…”
“It,” said the troll” is me. I have heard what your herd has said. Over, and over, for generations. It is impossible to not hear them, and you–day in and day out, clattering over the bridge, like armored vehicles, chattering on and on about the danger of trolls.”
“Armored vehicles?” asked the young goat.
The troll continued: “But I would appreciate it if you would drop your pellets further uphill, or perhaps even over the hill so that they don’t roll down to my feet.”
She was instantly ashamed of herself. She was embarrassed. And just as quickly, she felt, in an odd way, violated that the troll had noticed her butt. And violated at the thought that private space–her, sunning herself in the moonlight–was actually, public space!
And so, she turned her nose uphill–and was suddenly running back toward her resting place when a thought occurred to her–she HAD been rude!
Presumptive, and not at all sensitive to the troll, or its world. And she didn’t realize that she was pooping, even when she was pooping! And worse, she felt remorse because–well because of something she had no idea what it was–because goats don’t have big vocabularies, and though they are
often wowed by the words of the herders, they soon forget what words they heard. Mostly because of the constant bleating of other goats.
Either way, she stopped in her tracks. She looked back, and the troll was gone! She had an odd lump in her throat–and it wasn’t cud, either, and suddenly, a strange almost physical feeling rolled across her lips! And then she bleated–“Hey! Troll! What’s your name?”
A distant voice, that sounded like an echo from under the bridge said, just loud enough for her to hear:
“They would call me Booger. But you can call me Boogie if you would like–all my friends do.”
And, of course, he was lying, because no one, in several thousand years had ever actually talked to him before, or really wanted to know his name, or why he was on such a weird, contradictory schedule.
The little goat licked her upper lip, wiggled her ears, and ran back to her sleeping camp, thinking about how she never ever even noticed thatthe noise she made on the bridge affected others who are not goats…
[to be continued]
- Capricorn (wolfnwings.wordpress.com)
- Guidance for Prospective Goat Ranchers, by Pamela B. (survivalblog.com)
- Goats in Caribbean life (repeatingislands.com)
- I Should Invest in a Goat Farm (buttcheeksandtoiletbowls.wordpress.com)
- NYT: LA’s weed-munching goats become local stars (msnbc.msn.com)
- Billy’s goat talent (thesun.co.uk)
- Lessons From “The Billy Goats Gruff” (achorusofehoes.wordpress.com)
- New Regs For Goat-Herders (maxredline.typepad.com)
- Yom Kippur (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- Money Savers and Crowd Pleasers With Cloven Hooves (nytimes.com)
- The Weekly Wire: This Week’s Recommended Shows (seattleweekly.com)
- A Small Iron Squatter Who’s Soon to Be Evicted (nytimes.com)
- There are Trolls in the Walls (becsface.wordpress.com)
- Troll Hunter, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Announcing increased moderation of trolls in discussion threads (arstechnica.com)
- Troll Hunter (2010) (boogiestu.wordpress.com)