The Fable of the Goat

Sometimes real life is better than fiction. My wife raises chickens and goats in our field down the path by the woods. The chickens are easy going and surprisingly smart. The younger goat, Dodo, is as well. But the older goat, Coco, is unsurprisingly, stubborn and demanding. She steps over the chickens and bullies Dodo when she can get away with it. Our dog Zoltan is scared of her.

But worst from my wife’s point of view, is that she wants to follow Faye home. When she was little, I carried her back. When she got older, I put her on a dog leash. But she just couldn’t stand to be left with all the animals. Sometimes Faye would get so frustrated when Coco started following her that she would yell and scream at her. Sometimes she would throw snow at her. She would even try to kick her (although Coco was usually too agile for a kick to land).

But now Faye has come up with a solution right out of a Buddhist fable. She started home, and sure enough Coco started following her. But for some reason this time she just turned and turned and silently stood there. After a while, sure enough, Coco gave up and walked back to the barn.

Sometimes quiet stillness is the best solution.

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