Day 23 Prompt to write a poem about an animal. And I’ve done too many ‘cat’ poems so that today I chose to write about a Billy Goat. I took a scene depicted both by Captain Cook and one of his crewmen. When I say ‘today’ – (I am late.) Had two goat poem I’d written a while back but it wouldn’t be playing the game to use something so out of date. So here I am, a new poem and quite pleased with it. Research is always fun and exciting. To be late at this end of the month is no shame I feel.
The Goat and a Young Boy’s Vanity
The father had come to trade. To Captain Cook,
he offered green stone chisel and blades. Cook,
in return, offers this Maori man “many little presents.”
To the man’s young son, a shirt of his own. Now,
with no little vanity, the lad shewed of his finery.
That beautiful proud parading ‘tamariki’ *
swamped in such unfamiliar cloth as to make
some theatre. But theatre, on this ship’s deck,
belongs it would seem to Will the Ram Goat:
and so he rushes the child who is now skid
in dirt and seeking sympathy from his father.
Will the Ram Goat would like it otherwise yet is
restrained while no pity given unto this father’s, (a Chief’s)
humiliation. The crewmen seek only good intentions
and thereby refresh both boy and shirt. Whereupon
that same shirt is wrapped then close in the
thankful father’s possession.
While Captain Cook gifted a few goats to Maori
too soon they were made a meal and that was of little
purpose; breeding may be more helpful. And
so in more devious fashion Cook released the
goats in unpeopled bays. Will the Ram Goat
was likely left on deck. Some goat as returned
to England; some as not.
Benita H. Kape © 24.4.2019
* tamariki = child or children