The goats stood -- for the most part, quietly -- in a line, their heads locked into a contraption to hold them in place. Daisy was the scotch-gold goat who was my destiny. I was in the third tier of the "Celebrity Goat Milking" competition at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo.
Our job, with the briefest of instruction, was to milk a goat. My only preparation had been to look at some confusing recommendations I'd Googled online and to watch a very short three-part video on how to milk a goat. One thing I knew -- do not pull on the goat's teat.
"Go ahead and pull. It's okay," my spirit guide and goat handler Josh encouraged me right at the start. His role was to a) keep the goat calm and b) keep moving the bucket to catch any errant streams I might get out of Daisy.
Well, as Chris Gray, our music editor said about his HLSR competition, "I didn't finish last." Along the way I grasped Daisy and the concept sporadically, thinking Eureka, only to lose it again. And I pulled.
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Scott Horner, superintendent of the Dairy Goat Show at the Livestock Show, remained remarkably unfazed at the prospect of his goats being manhandled.
"I don't think anyone is getting enough milk out of them to hurt anything. They're fairly durable," he said. These were all older animals who go through a milking parlor two times a day, seven days a week so they are used to being well, touched.
And he took the time to point out that unlike cows, goats won't lash out a kick at the person milking them. "They will jump straight up in the air and put both feet in the bucket," he said with some satisfaction.
The winner, by the way, in a very close match, was Outlaw Dave from 950-AM. Corilyn Shropshire from the Houston Chronicle, finished last and received a bucket filled with fake goat poop. Her goat: Daisy. There but for the grace of God...