“It’s the girls’ version of steer wrestling,” my friend offered after seeing the look on my face.
Having grown up a city girl in Seattle, I missed the whole—livestock—rodeo thing. Even as an adult my knowledge of saddles, steers, Wrangler jeans, and Texas bling, is pretty much nil. Within the past few years, however, thanks to a few country friends and the many Podunk towns my occupation has dropped me into, I have, at least, been to one.
“Poor little guy is no better than a sitting duck,” I pointed out during the goat tying event. Goat tying, if you don’t know, is basically baiting a rope with a goat. A kid is tethered to a stake in the middle of the arena with a rope no longer than 10 feet long. On top of that, the goat is held facing its opposition as horse and girl head full speed toward it. The handler releases the goat to let it squirm about before the rider jumps off her horse, runs to the goat, slams it on its back, ties all four legs together, throws her hands in the air to indicate that the clock can be stopped, and steps away. The goat must remain in this awkward, subservient position for six seconds. If it gets up … no points are awarded.
“Where’s the sport in that?” I asked, a question that would only receive a chuckle. But I honestly expected an answer. I know, each of us thought the other equally absurd: I with my sensitivity to animal welfare, and he with his right to slaughter cattle and hunt. Granted, goat tying is not a “match to the death” like bull fighting. They even swap out ducks, I mean goats, every third competitor. But perhaps the fresh meat satisfies sportsmanship more so than humanity. At least let the little guys make a run for it, for God’s sake.
It’s not as though I want to change the “sport.” Shoot (country explicative)! I don’t understand baseball either. But I sympathized with the goats, maybe because, a lot of the time, I feel hog tied too. By the time I wiggle out of one jam or knot, life has another headed straight for me. It’s just the way it is, a fact that emphasizes the importance of attitude and temperament. We can either lay down and assume defeat, or struggle to get back up again—repeatedly.
I want to be the goat that earns the name of “little bastard” and is the target of cowgirl vengeance. I want to get up despite the odds, piss off those opposed and inspire the disadvantaged ... in less than six seconds, of course.