Dog Poop Park is packed today
It’s the usual, glorious intersection of humans that gathers. Local families and their kids, elderly exercisers swinging on futuristic (but simple) machines, young footballers knocking about a too-hard plastic ball, ex-pats and backpackers taking a breath
And a collection of dogs and their owners, who think and act differently. Laid back, unconcerned, not a care in the world, it’s clear this crew knows how to take it easy.
Why does being from another country make it okay to not pick up your dog’s crap?
I ask a friend.
Well, carrying along a plastic bag and picking up poop isn’t very Bohemian
He responds, with a chuckle.
I meander across the mine field, eyes wide, alert for the all-too camouflaged nuggets that are just waiting to smell up my walk home. I contemplate saying something to the too-chill dog owners but hold off.
Nah, too soon
That’s when I spot the goat.
Normally sequestered at the side of the road, today he’s taken centre stage. Wandering across the tiled path, pausing to nibble on reedy weeds, he’s grabbed the attention of a crew of boys and girls, toddlers to teens, trailing him like newborn ducks after mama. Falling over one another and giggling to get closer. Mr. Goat obliges by leaning in. Clearly, he’s been through this before. Kids are old school.
They can’t get enough of him, he’s the greatest of all time.
The tallest girl, being the tallest, takes charge. She’s holding the remains of a loaf of bread, and the goat is hungry. She indulges him, tearing off small pieces and leading the hoofer along the trail, a Gretel without witches or ovens.
I’m enjoying the spectacle, just me and my boys, enjoying a goat. As one does.
Papa, it’s like she’s trying to leave a trail!
Don’t think it’s going to work though.
Can we pet the goat?
And for the first time since seeing the goat, a bit of paternal instinct kicks in and I find myself wondering
Do goats bite?
Are they ever rabid?
Can they get aggressive?
Am I forgetting my job as Papa?
I snap back to reality and assess the situation.
There’s really no danger here, it’s clear from the smiles on the faces of the kids, and the slow, steady calm of Mr. Goat, that this is not a moment to worry.
In these times, the zeitgeist is about panic, worry. Alarm. What could go wrong? Are we in danger? What do we have to fear?
Instead, I tap into my Bohemian instincts,
and don’t give a crap.