Anguilla Local News

Have You Got Your Baby Goat Yet?

Baby goats   Site Map   Click to enlarge pictures

Goats are an essential element in the cultural mixture that is Anguilla.

When you leave your front door open, ...
Orphan baby goats may wander in, scamper up the stairs,
around the verandah, and tiptoe silently in your bedroom door!

Almost everyone raised in Anguilla has goats. The raising, caring and tending of goats starts very young . Children 4 or 5 years old have their own goats. Everyday, before school, the goats are taken from their pen and tethered by driving a stake into the ground with a rock. After school the goats are brought back into their pens, watered and fed. Perhaps its raising goats that make Anguillian children well behaved?

These goats are not really pets. They are farm animals and a source of protein. (I thought that sounded better than "meat"). Although most Anguillians don't really eat goat on an everyday basis. They just buy their meat from the grocery. They do still eat goat for special, traditional, occasions such as weddings. For these occasions there is usually goat stew and goat-water. Goat-water is a broth with very little actual meat or vegetables just enough for flavor plus dumplings. Goat stew is usually on the menu of the local restaurants. The servings are large so we often split an order. According to informed sources, one of the best Goat stews in Anguilla is available from Oreel's white food truck, usually parked next to the High School in The Valley for weekday lunches and in the evening.

Copyright 1996 Lynne Bernbaum

Anguillians aren't the only ones who love goats. Artist Lynne Bernbaum had a showing at the Devonish Gallery (264-497-2949) where about half the paintings had lovely goats as their main theme. Most of those were sold, but Lynne painted four new small works on a "goats in the grass theme" (see picture above for a sample), for the Anguilla Arts and Craft Show which is held in February. When this Goat Report first appeared in the Anguilla Local News on the Thursday before the Show, we mentioned these new works of Lynne's. A customer read about it in the USA, came to Anguilla on Friday and went to the show on Saturday to buy a painting. Isn't the Net amazing?

If you would like to take home a memento of your goat experience, how about a goat T-shirt? Try the Exotic T-Shirt Shop next to Anguilla Drug Store in The Valley.

But the glory days of the Goat may be numbered. As time passes and Anguilla develops, the life style of the West Indies evolves. Goats still have free range rights in Anguilla and can wander whereever they like, but in nearby St. Thomas you never see a goat on the road--automobiles have taken over the free-range rights. Wandering goats in Anguilla may go the way of the horse and carriage too.

Fittingly, this Ode D'Goat report will close with a poem:

Aint Want De Goats No Mo'

Reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia Adams
More Goat Info:

Kevin Brodrick has a cute picture of baby goats on his web site,

Not all the domestic animals by the side of the road in Anguilla are goats. Some are Sheep! Alison Mussington says that if the tail points up, it is a goat. If the tail points down, it is a sheep. And all goats older than infants appear to have horns.

For cute goat T-shirts, pillow cases and cushions designed by artist Lynne Bernbaum, check the Curiosity Gift Shop

Ah aks de children to help
Dey say dat is ol' man stuff
Den I aks me fadder to help
He say dat is young man wuk
An aks me wife to help
An' she say dat is only man wuk
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

De neighbours cuss 'bout dem flowers
An' dey wash-me-out bout dem grung
Dey say de goats messing' up dem porch
An' brokin' de fences dung
Me goats mekkin' noise in dem head
An' dey cant get a good nights rest
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

A nex' ting I study hard
Is ah ain't young like befo'
Me knees dey won't carry me
Cause de journey is too far
Ah dizzy cause ah sweat too much
An' me heart beatin' like a drum
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

Ebry morning' a bag o' grass
Four buckets o' water each day
An gotta patch de broken dung fence
An plait de ropes dat fray
Get bottles for bady kids
An' look for goats dat stray
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

Now what do you tink 'bout dis
When ah kil two goats out de flock
Ah gotta gi' one to me neighbors an' friends
An' de odder one for my stock
An' gi' way de head, foot and bellies
An' half o' de butch-a bitch* too
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

An' what about all de t'eifin'
Dat somebody get'n'away wid
An' at least once ebry mont'
Is a funeral for a kid
An de' dogs dey having a feast
While man wukkin' hard, so hard
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

If de sun hot like a furnace
Or it rainin' like a flood
If it t'under or it lightnin'
An' a hurricane twist an' thud
Or if it is dry like pitch
Ah gotta get bush and grass for de tings
So I sit dung
An' I tink to meself
I ain't want de goats no mo'.

* Butch-a Bitch: A corruption of "butcher's bit." After butchering an animal, butchers were paid with organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, as well as blood and the neck bone.

The author of this poem, Patricia Adams, is better known as Teacher Patsy. Patsy has published a collection of poems on Anguillian themes entitled A Jewel Made of Sand. Look for it at the National Bookstore or the Arts and Craft Center.  Revised: June 29, 1998

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