A Tribute for Nimzy the Goat

By “Green” Gene Sottosanto

“Nimzy” the local goat has been entertaining the town for what, to some, might seem like a long time. It was a year ago last Easter week that “Nimz” was brought to Laguna. He has since brought many smiles.
{The following tribute is written mostly in the present tense as it was mostly written before Nimzy’s death. Nimzy’s absence may be replaced by another goat we’ll call Nimby (not in my backyard) Nimzy died 12:25 am Friday July 17th ‘95. He was quietly buried at dawn.}
Have you ever heard of a one-goat herd? It’s not profitable, but Nimz is many animals in one. At first sight , some think he’s a dog. The advantages are: You don’t need to buy food; he doesn’t bark; he stays outdoors; he doesn’t attract fleas; his chocolate nuggets do not smell offensively and are useful; he doesn’t dig in the garden or chase other animals; the dear like him; and he offers interesting forms of play and affection. His back and legs are exceptionally strong for pulling kids on roller blades and land toboggan and even for riding bareback a bit. Rather than a dog, he is more like a cat in his independent ways. He’s more like a monkey when he jumps up on the railing, fence or other inappropriate situation as he is quite mischievous. He’s part mule or donkey when he resists, and he can be very stubborn! He can carry a pack. He is also part bull or ram when he paws the dirt and butts. He’s similar to a llama or deer with his hooves, and he puts elbows down first rather than sitting. He looks like a bear when he stands on his back feet, either showing his front paws in a fighting stance or his stubby posterior and tail – “He can be a real bear” Nimzy’s very favorite food is bird seed. Yet he loves pigging out of the bucket of restaurant waste we recycle and wow can he eat! Nimzy’s especially like a kid – he can demand a lot of attention and require a good bit of patience and understanding.
Nimz knows and usually listens to at least two commands. They are “get in” and “get down” Get in generally refers to getting in the back of a truck. “Get down” means settle down or stop, requiring Nimz to put elbows on the ground.
A stern “get outta there” with a finger pointed in the direction he should go usually gets results. He prefers to stay within sight.
Nimz and I do get to travel in a very nice town with many very wonderful people and for that we are very grateful. Nimzy especially likes crowds of little people but he will knock them down in play. He also dances and prances in very unique ways such as running sideways, twisting back and forth, or jumping in the air kicking all four heels together. On a slight downhill slant, doing a complete 360 degree turn in the air is possible. Nimzy can be extremely cute, it seems, as I hear it all the time.
Many think “Green Gene” plants it and Nimzy eats it. Actually he does do a little trimming now and then. (I try not to let him do the roses). He creates good fertilizer and does a good bit of weed and litter patrol – all kinds of litter. He’ll pick dried chewing gum from the ground, consume paper, plastic, and even a few cigarette butts.
Speaking of butts – not since my son’s stunning head-butting in soccer have I seen a better head butter! The de-horned animal especially likes going after kids, but frequently he’ll surprise an adult with a little shove behind the knee or a little dive at the ankles. (He’s only playing). He’s been known to go after dogs of many sizes. Sometimes – with dogs – he’s playing, or he wants to be left alone. A pit bull once lunged at first sight and took half of Nimzys ear.
Nimzy likes going up – even on cars if they’re under a tasty tree and/or give shade and safety. We went to court once. It was going to be three nearly full days to plead innocent to a “Goat at large” ticket. When the ticket was written, Nimzy had been right at my side after being tied up on the beach while I was in the water. It was the day before, when he was loose in my rather rural neighborhood, for which we were issued a warning. I decided it was relative and took a rap that put me on probation.
The very next day I worked on a job that was at the first place to pull in next to the Coast Highway on Nyes Place. Nimzy’s favorite plant on the premises was right next to the street, and sure enough I wasn’t with it (just that day). Nimz got out. There were no cars for a bit, but I couldn’t get an angle on the somewhat unlearned and skittish critter. Soon he was running between rows of cars on Coast Highway! Very fortunately, the many drivers that arrived handled it magnificently. People slowed and stopped without screeching or blasting. About three people even stepped out to help me corner the scared and confused animal. One wonderful woman, I wish I knew and could thank better, was able to stop Nimzy. I took him in my arms and quickly got my embarrassed self out of there – jumping over the guard rail, running through the bushes and back to the enclosed hidden area. Nimzy is one entertaining animal, but we do apologize for some of his antics that may offend.
Perhaps that wonderful woman who stopped Nimz on the highway could share profits from a video we submit to America’s Funniest Home Videos. There are quite a few outrageous behaviors that Nimzy is capable of.
Since our home is built into the hillside and has a flat roof, it is nothing for Nimzy to be caught on the roof and then, after being chased, to jump down to a parked car or even all the way to the ground! It is also hilarious when he pulls and jumps frantically to get away from the noisy plastic toboggan he is dragging behind him! What do you think would happen if I left the front door open for him? My son knows his ticklish spot and the ensuing ride he gets on his roller blades is just a bit too risky to be done regularly. Nimzy is a “riot!” (but I don’t think we’ll re-enact the highway scene.)