By Ryn Gargulinski: Local Columnist
TUCUMCARI — Just as the food of the gods is billed as ambrosia — whatever that is — I recently discovered the food of the goats.
Contrary to the months of sweet grain, hand-fed and carefully sliced carrots side-dished with fresh corn tortillas, this breakfast had them licking their chops from at least two yards away and even started a riot.
Goats love KFC.
I guess the riot-like activity actually started the night before, when my boyfriend didn’t want the baked beans. The minute I stepped outside and yelled “beans!” something strange happened. No, the cops didn’t come, but Slim, the premiere bully goat, leapt in the air as if suspended by those stupidly obvious wires you’re not supposed to see when a low-budget theater company does Peter Pan.
This, of course, caused the other goats to gallop toward the trough — well, all except Doug, who can only hobble sort of sideways. As the bean fest went down, the trough was actually shaking viciously as they all vied violently for the Boston beans (which, coming from Kentucky Fried Chicken, must have been imported).
The next morning broke with bean success excitedly trembling through my veins as I had a whole sack of KFC biscuits still to feed.
This time the goats didn’t even wait for my usual greeting; they were at the fence screaming with glee the moment they saw Colonel Sanders’ face on the soggy sack I carried their way.
In my usual position, I sat on a large concrete block among the goats to divvy up the goods. This is when mayhem broke out. Slim jumped from the concrete block and down into the mosh pit on top of Doug and Wendy, just like punk rockers from a stage into drunken concert-goers.
As I watched three of the goats gruffly battle for the ripped-up biscuits, Shady started licking colonel crumbs off the concrete.
When the ferocity of the mosh pit subsided, I nearly fell from the concrete myself. Not because I, too, was so dizzied by the thrill of the biscuits, but because Doug and Wendy had blood streaming from their skulls.
Quickly seeking biscuit parts to sop it up — and finding none, of course — I was gripped with fear at their gushing lesions, wondering if I could use the biscuit bag as a tourniquet and figuring Slim must have injured them from his leap into the mosh pit atop their heads.
That’s when I saw the blood was the same color as the previous night’s baked bean juice. And the clot of scar tissue near Wendy’s eyes was actually a bean itself frozen to the top of her head.
And who says there’s not a lot to do in Tucumcari?
Before hate mail comes pouring in from the descendents of Colonel Sanders himself, this is not to say that KFC is only fit for goats. Quite the contrary. The goats’ penchant for the food of the fried chicken empire is actually a compliment for they are incredibly finicky eaters, even worse than my Grandma G who used to put ketchup on everything.
Never mind boring old grass, the goats twist themselves sideways to climb trees for the freshly crisp leaves. They won’t touch usual goat fodder like potatoes or tomatoes, but dine finely on grits and insist on sips of my morning coffee. We even got a free coffee mug from the coffee bean company when I sent them a photo of Slim downing gulps of the butterscotch flavor.
Heck, if I tried new recipes, I’d even test them first on the goats to see if they were worth eating — like when my mom made microwave goulash and we knew it was a bust when it wasn’t even sniffed at by the greedy dogs next door.
Perhaps I’ll even market the goats to those Zagat Survey people to have the goats rate restaurants. If the goats think the food passes muster without adding mustard, I can even nab some leftovers for myself.
And I can thank my four-hooved friends for their epicurean input by offering them the grandest treat of all — a succulent serving of quivering ambrosia.
Ryn Gargulinski writes for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. Contact her at 505-461-1952 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org