The Goat Days of August

Mexico Missouri, once the saddle horse capital of America, a place where Presidents and Prime Ministers came to meet with horse trainer Tom Bass, a town that once called itself the “Fire Brick Capital of the World,” the place where Miss Missouri is crowned every June, the home of Mexico Military Academy, hometown of former governors Charles H. Hardin (who led a successful statewide day of prayer for elimination of a plague of grasshoppers) and Christopher Bond (now our senior Senator), the home of Sam Locke who invented the Warm Morning Stove and of William H. Hudson, who became the President of Corning Glass Company, has become nationally if not internationally famous because of a goat.

The wandering goat that nobody can seem to catch is the biggest thing in Mexico since sliced bread.

Oh, wait, Chillicothe is where sliced bread was invented.

Well, anyway, it’s hard to think of a time when Mexico, Missouri got the media attention that the goat has given it. The goat now has a Facebook page of its own, has people suggesting it host “Saturday Night Live”—-but that would require capturing it which would end all of the publicity. The goat has a t-shirt that will benefit the humane society.

This goat is a star!! And if Mexicoans, Mexicoites, the Audrainish–whatever they call themselves–are smart they’ll let the goat “escape” capture for several more days or weeks. The stealth goat. The ghost goat. The Goat Phantom.

Eventually, of course, they’ll have to call in Goatbusters to solve the problem. And when that happens, Mexico will go back to being all of those other things that most people probably don’t know that it is.

Heck, if the stealth goat continues to roam at large, outsmarting potential captors, it could earn statue status on the courthouse lawn. Maybe the Mexico Bulldogs will change their names to the Mexico you-know-whats. Maybe the city can commemorate these events in the future with the annual Mexico Goat Festival held the weekend before Labor Day or something, with the goat as an honored guest every year for as long as he or she lives. Maybe churches could raise money for poor children at Christmas by bidding for the right to have the Mexico Goat in their outdoor manger scenes.

And when the last bleat is issued, perhaps he or she will be stuffed and accorded an honored place in the Audrain County Historical Society Museum. After all, it’s been a long time since a goat did so much for so few for so long. Move over saddle horses. There’s a new heritage in the making.

C’mon. Admit it. You wish your town had the stealth goat instead of Mexico.

But the brief fame of the Mexico Goat has some ways to go to equal the story of Bubbles the Hippo and the Hippo hype surrounding her more than thirty years ago. After all, the goat doesn’t even have a first name yet–a smooth move that focuses attention on “Mexico” instead of “Bubbles,” which had no geographic value.

Bubbles weighed two tons when she got away from a wild animal park in 1978 in Irvine, California. Bubbles didn’t amble around as the Mexico goat has done. She found a pond and settled in, becoming a star in place for almost three weeks. Captors finally used tranquilizer darts after 19 days to get her but she fell in an unnatural position and suffocated. Her bones are on display at the Los Angeles County History Museum.

Bubbles became a much bigger commercial enterprise than the Mexico Goat has become. You can still get a blue Bubbles the Hippo bubble bath dispenser. While Bubbles was hot the Gund stuffed animal company produced a stuffed hippo in her name. There was even a yellow Bubbles the Hippo candy jar. produced.

But Bubbles had 19 days to make her mark. The Mexico Goat has had less than a week.

The story of a goat on the loose in a mid-Missouri city has captured the eye of a large segment of a general public that otherwise would be battered by gruesome political talk, grim economic forecasts, and grim stories of war.

The Missourinet, with help from affiliate KXEO in Mexico, is dedicated to keeping Missourians up to date on the latest sightings and, we hope, the latest dramatic escapes.

The world needs more Mexico Goats.

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