What Is a Picnic without Goats?


(a true story — more or less)

A slivered moon, silver in the twilight sky,
had just begun its rising.
It was an early April evening
that begged softly for a fire
and soon it crackled, adding rhythm
to that bewitching hour.

There were shadows, there was song;
and separate from the throng
a cloth was spread.  Checkered red
and white,
laid with multi-colored cheeses,
a selection of berry juices,

and a poet reading verses to his love
who, suitably enamored of his poetry
and the sea, smiled as the moon shone down
on that inlet rich with sound.  Those innocents
were most content  to lounge rapt in that scene
until suddenly a ruckus

made an awful fuss, as berry juice
and cheeses had quickly come untrussed.
The cause of all the chaos, a herd of goats
newly escaped from the fence
where the farmer kept them safe
for milk to make the curd.

One much trusted billy, with horns as yet unshorn
and curving with intention of doing bodily harm
to anyone who stopped his fun.
Following close behind him,
a half dozen dainty nannies,
their faces lit with glee.

Since milk they had a plenty and their taste
didn’t run to cheese,
they nibbled on the checkered cloth
and gobbled poetry. The mood was lost , thus
the couple thought it best to leave
the picnic to the goats and chose that time to flee.

Many a myth has been woven
about the berry juice and cheese
and the single tattered book leaf
found at that quiet cove.
Some told tales of two lovers
who could not bear to be apart

and how the sea had called them
into its emerald heart. Others told of monsters
and a couple that was taken on a moonlit night
to a land of mystery. To this day the truth
had never yet been told, though the prince
still reads his poetry to his lady love of old.

Each night when the silver moon
rises in the sky, and all the sparkling stars
begin their evening stir,
Old Billy’s bleat
sounds oh so sweet
in iambic pentameter.

2 thoughts on “What Is a Picnic without Goats?

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