• Rachel Francis

Halloween Special. Goats.

Marketing Tips #1 - Find a good hook.

Me: Halloween?

But how do I link that to goats?


Let me tell you about Terry, good friend and proof reader.

Confronted with a proof reader's nightmare, he started by pulling out a whole load of stuff from the manuscript of The Long Acre that needed explaining. For example yaws, clat, the use of a running tether for goats.

Ah, goats.

In Scandinavia, there is a tradition at Christmas in which someone dresses up as a goat and accompanies carol singers from house to house. The goat plays tricks on households who aren't generous ... the original Trick or Treatster was a goat!

Pan, Silvanus, Faunus, Bacchus and Dionysus. All goats.

Goats were sacred to Artemis, goddess of independent women.

In Sumerian myth, goats are associated with magic .

Agni, the Vedic god of fire, rides a chariot pulled by goats as does Thor, the god of thunder.

Witches in late Middle Ages were portrayed as being transported through the air on goats.

Goats are tricky.

But cool.

They come from the forest depths and remote mountains, They are notorious for breaking out, doing what they please, invading the neighbour's garden, beheading the prize roses and peeling bark off apple trees. Goat's can jump fences, climb walls, squeeze through dense hedges and if you shut them in a shed, be aware that they also chew manes off ponies and the wiring off motorbikes.

On the plus side, a goat or two can supply a family with milk and meat and is well adapted to a wandering life. Nomadic peoples have kept goats for hundreds of years and are credited with inventing the running tether. In case you ever need it, here is the recipe:

YOU WILL NEED a leather collar for your goat that is fitted so that the goat can breathe, but don't be too generous. A long rope or cable. A short lead/chain with a clip on one end to attach to the collar and a snap hook on the other which will run up and down the cable . Two posts. LOOK FOR a length of scrubby undergrowth which needs clearing. Make sure there are no poisonous plants like rhododendron. Make sure there are no trees within reach. Now you take a sledge hammer.

Hammer your posts into the ground and stretch the cable between them. Put the collar on the goat, clip the short chain to the goats collar and snap the snap hook over the cable, so the goat can run up and down the strained cable on the short lead. Leave your goat to browse happily, check him or her regularly, making sure she has water and shelter from rain. Make sure she is safe. Move her twice a day. Done. Have a cup of tea and more about the book here.

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Thank you for all your feedback. I'm so pleased that people have enjoyed reading The Long Acre. News about sequel here (You need to scroll down) Rachel x