The Story of “Pan”

July 1st, 2013 No Comments
I own this image

This is Pan, from Greek legend, or One Goat Standing…his Indian name.

This could have happened anytime, but it all began shortly after Valentine’s Day.  For about three weeks I had noticed a street vendor at the corner of Stony Point and Rohnert Park Expressway.  He was surrounded by lots of garden art of various shapes and sizes.


What immediately grabbed my attention were the goats.  Being a very busy intersection, with a stop light, I naturally couldn’t take my attention away from the traffic, but on several occasions it did, and that could have been disastrous.  You see, I love goats.  I’ve always wanted to have a goat, and I’m not quite sure where this came from. Living in a townhouse with a fenced garden, and lots of flowers, isn’t the best place to accommodate a pet goat.  I know that, but I have my fantasies, like we all do.

On my way home one Friday, the sun was shining brightly.  It was bouncing off the goats as I drove by the display.  Without thinking I cut across the street, near the intersection, and drove onto a small dirt patch near where the sculptures stood.  Instantly I passed by some tall colorful flowers, cows, piglets, and whimsical characters, and went directly to the goats.  Behind the display was a pickup truck, and its owner, who I later found out was named Jim.  At first it was hard for me to determine what was more appealing……..the goats, or Jim, but it was a great combination of attractions!!!  Jim was a laid back and friendly guy.  When I could finally draw my attention back to goat shopping, I first noticed the little ones, then the medium sized moms, and then the daddy size.  They were hand made from aluminum sheet metal, molded into three dimensional forms, welded, and then painted.  They had been imported, by Jim, from Mexico.  As one would expect, the little one was the least expensive, and the daddy was of course most expensive.  The question that came to mind was not whether I was going to buy a goat, but which goat.

As I looked around I noticed there were three of the large version….daddy sized!  I think by then I had determined that bigger was indeed better, and started to look at the options more closely.  Some were a little awkward looking, and there were a couple that appeared to be smiling at me.  Then I found one that was sort of hanging with the cows and pigs.  After a few minutes of giving that one my undivided attention, Jim said, yup, that’s the best one.  Wow, we thought alike……..OMG.  The decision wasn’t made until I went back to the several that I first noticed.  No, they just weren’t up to my standards, so I made my decision.  The check was written, yikes, and Jim carried “my” new goat to the car.  After putting him gently in the trunk, I slid onto the driver’s seat.  I had no idea how I was going to get back into the traffic going north without causing some major traffic issues, but with Jim’s guidance, I managed to get the car back on the road, and going the right direction without incident.  Goat and I were on our way home to Santa Rosa.

Once inside the garage, I popped the trunk lid and slowly lifted goat out of his resting place.  I put him on the cement floor up against the trunk, and opened the gate that leads to my garden.  I was surprised at how lightweight the goat was, and happy that I could carry him to the garden.  Once inside the gate I looked around briefly to see if there was a perfect spot to set him down.  Of course I hadn’t really thought this through ahead of time.  There was a spot though, near the back fence line, and a place on the dirt area that seemed stable, and if I faced him just right I would be able to see him from my dining room window.

It wasn’t a couple of minutes after I set goat down that Paris Rose, my kitty, came up to check him out.  To my amazement she began rubbing against his hoofs and legs… she had had encountered a long lost friend.  Just in the nick of time I ran inside, grabbed my iPhone, and ran back outside.  Paris was still circling goat, and I began snapping what I thought were still shots of the two of them.  She was so excited, and I was so excited, and I can only imagine goat was rather pleased with himself to get so much attention!  After a few minutes I went in the back door, sat down in my recliner and opened the photos icon on the phone.  Instead of stills shots, I saw one, two, three, four videos! I couldn’t believe it.  I’m an old fashioned photographer, and had no intention of taking videos, especially when I wanted one or two shorts of Paris “liking” our goat!

After the disappointment wore off I began to play back the videos.  The first one was short, and rather boring, the second one was short, but Paris had come around to the front of the goat and, standing on her hind legs, was trying to reach its face.  The third video was amazing!  I managed somehow to capture my little Rosie with her furry face up against goat’s.  It was way more than I could have expected to see, and actually manage unconsciously to capture on video.

We both have a new friend.  I can’t really describe the feeling to you, of finally having this sculptured goat from Mexico, but it’s terrific!

Not wanting to have a nameless goat, I began to entertain various names that would fit this very special addition to my very small family.  He needed a name that had meaning, strength, and something that I could remember.  I know……..!!  It occurred to me that he was a creature, but I wanted a name that symbolized his stature in my garden.  Looking on-line I found a list of Latin names for boys.  Although they were appealing, and interesting, I decided not to go that route.  Greek Gods……..hummm.  They sounded more suitable for some reason.  After much searching, pondering, and visioning, I decided to name goat “Pan”.  It’s short, easy to remember, and has mythical significance which just works for “goat.”

For the first few days that Pan was in the garden, all was well, but when I got home the next day I went to check on him, and he had fallen over on his side!  It had been a little breezy that day, and just maybe that caused his downfall, but I also suspect that Paris Rose may have gotten a little too frisky with him, and ooops.  After lifting him up and trying to find a stable place for his four hollow hooves to stand, I decided the dirt was not stable enough.  There is a patch of flagstone not far from where he was, so I carefully moved him.  Although I really didn’t want to, I scanned him to see if he was still in one piece, and found that one ear was bent slightly toward his face. It seemed that the welding had loosened up where his ear met the top of his head.  Not a good sign, but the rest of him appeared to be undamaged.

From that day on, Rosie and I check him out when I get home.  I told Rosie that I wanted to see if one goat is still standing.  He has managed to stay upright, fortunately, since that fateful experience, but he ended up with yet one more name…….what I refer to as his Indian name……..”One Goat Standing.”  I think that’s the one that will stick.  I just like it, and I think he’s good with it… all is well in the garden at Shari’s house.  I still get a kick out of driving by the corner of Stony Pt. Road, and Rohnert Park Expressway.  Seeing all of the other sculptures, and of course the other goats, just makes me smile……..and it’s a great way to wind down from my work day!  Haven’t seen Jim and his sculptures in a while…..but I think he still occupies the same spot on Friday afternoons.  Stop by, say hello, and enjoy the sculptures!!

© Shari Adams

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