BANE: Goat’s Bane By Beverly Jones

Week 3 Word: BANE
Word Count: 497

Goat’s Bane
Beverly Jones

Momma stood by the window with Sister beside her. I sat on the floor with a book on my lap. Sitting with a book is a great way to watch people who don’t want to be watched; they think I’m reading and I don’t let on any different. Baby crawled around on the floor looking under furniture for toys but finding only cat fur and dust bunnies.
Momma sighed as she looked at the yard. Other people have lawns that need to be tended, watered, pruned, planted. We had a yard. Not a thing needed to be tended; it only needed to be hacked back occasionally.
Here was the problem. Momma was allergic to grass. And weeds and trees. Allergic as in her eyes swelled shut and she wheezed for days. Sister and I could use the old-fashioned push grass-cutter on the grass inside the horse shoe shaped driveway. But between the driveway and the road was a sea of weeds moving ever closer to the house.
Momma turned around with a relieved smile on her face.
“I know what to do. I will get a goat from Linda.”
Linda was a friend down the road who always has acres of assorted critters. One year Momma wanted a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.
Linda said, “Pick one out.”
Momma squeaked, “I don’t want to meet it before I eat it!”
We got a freshly killed and plucked turkey Thanksgiving morning, one Linda picked out for us. Well, it was almost all plucked. It took a while to finish it up before we could cook it.
So, we got the goat. It was the bane of Momma’s life, although she wouldn’t admit that. It was cantankerous, even for a goat. It distained the weeds in the front yard. It ignored the weeds in the back yard, but thought the grass inside the horseshoe shaped driveway was delicious.
“Well,” Momma said hopefully.”Maybe when the grass is gone it will eat the weeds.”
Of course it did not. When the grass was nibbled down to the sandy dirt, it went to work on the wood siding of our little grey house. We discovered what it was doing over the weekend when we were home all day. It was a crafty goat. It usually chowed down on the house while we were away.
But, we caught it munching on the wood one afternoon.
“Hmm,” Momma said.
But she said much worse than “Hmm” when we went out to go to school one morning. The goat was tap dancing, or maybe it was clogging, on the hood of the car. The hood looked like it had been attacked by hailstones.
After she said much worse than “Hmm” she yelled at it, “You are barbeque!”
I don’t know what ever happened to that goat. It just wasn’t in the yard after school.
Momma only smiled and somehow found the money to pay a neighborhood boy to cut grass and weeds from then on.

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