Giving Thanks for Goats

24 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist



This is the photo our mother sent to our father when he was in the infantry on the European front during WWII. The story is about the time just before he went away. He did come back, so the story’s not about that, it’s about goats.1

In 1943, my family had a nanny goat. We called her Nanny. When she had a kid, we called him Billy. I loved the warm foamy milk Nanny gave and Billy was glad to share with me. This is all when we lived down in Crowley, Colorado and Dad worked at the tomato factory keeping their machines going. We lived in a “railroad apartment.” That’s a long house built with a room or two going back in a row like train cars and an indoor side hallway to enter them by.

Speaking of trains, we did have one rumble past, practically in our back yard, every day. When we heard it coming David and I would be waiting to wave to the conductor who was always there in his dark uniform and square looking hat to wave back. Something tells me he stationed himself on purpose to say good morning to the two little kids who were so glad to see him.


Anyhow mother had more jobs than kids, housework, and animals. She cooked dinner, which we now call lunch, for all the men who worked at the factory, so with that, and the care of children and animals, she was a busy woman.

When the tomatoes were ripe, dad would bring some home and I remember sitting outside, on the stoop in the sun, with a salt shaker and salting each bite of that delicious fruit before I bit into it. You can be sure I was “all over” tomato juice when I finished, but I was washable and so was my dress, so that was all right.

Sometimes, Mother would take my brother who was about two, and I over to the factory to see daddy. Everybody went, walking the aisle between tomato plants. Here’s the line-up. Mother, DiVoran (5), David (2), Red, the Irish setter, Nanny, Billy, and Chanticleer the rooster. The baby goat wasn’t so bound by the aisle that he couldn’t divert to where the newest plants lived under panes of glass. Mother said his little hooves went trip-trap, over the glass and he never broke a thing.

This Christmas I’m buying a goat in memory of Nanny and Billy, but I don’t have any place to keep her, so I am sending her to a far away country and the people who live there will keep her, breed her, use her milk. Did you know that goat’s milk is especially nutritious for people who have AIDS? I’ll see my goat and all her progeny in a big tribe spreading over the hills when I get to heaven, (after I see Jesus and my family, of course). I’m looking forward to the whole scenario.




Matthew 25:35

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

3 Responses to “Giving Thanks for Goats”

  1. Barbara A Martin November 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    A goat was given in our names one Christmas by Bill’s uncle. What a unique and blessed gift.


  2. Author Tamie Dearen November 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Who would have imagined giving a goat? Thanks for a great reminder of how we all need to give! It’s hard not to be self-centered when we live in this country.


  3. Old Things R New November 24, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    I would love to have seen all of you walking through the tomato plant! Giving a goat is a marvelous gift.


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