I guess you’re probably wondering, the what of the what by who? Haha 😂😂😂… I totally get it.
It’s Eddie’s Allegory of the Goat, a lesson I once shared at our morning devotion when I was in my last year of high school (two years ago). Unlike the renowned Plato’s Allegory of the Caves, mine was totally taken from something I witnessed first-hand. Plato sat down and made up an interesting story which defines perfectly the effect of education and the lack of it on us as humans. My guess is that he had too much free time on his hands, and thus let his creativity run wild.
Going into that will require another post on its own, and besides, who knows if this fable of mine will one day, most likely, be as well-known and quoted as Plato’s… well, dreams are valid. 🙌🙌
First, I’ll lay down some basic disclaimers. I will narrate this in the first person, unlike such stories which are done in the third. Secondly, some of the material may not be for the fainthearted. Discretion is advised… just kidding, hahaha. But yes, there is one part which might make your insides squirm a little. And lastly, if interested in knowing what Plato’s Caves are or what the heck the fancy word ‘allegory’ means, please scroll to the bottom of this post.😜😜
A little background information first. I live in a farm in Eldoret with my family. When on school session, I really do miss the place; the quiet is what strikes you first. So peaceful, calm… if I could sit for my course online, I would gladly do it from home. We own a few free-range chickens, three cows and quite a handful of goats (watch out for these guys). The almost-organic vegetable garden, the trees… there really is no place like home. I’m really proud of my parents for putting a lot into building a home, not a house. As the sages say, there’s no place quite like home.
Goats. Goats. Goats. The most reckless, troublesome, frolicky (does this word even exist?) domestic animals I have ever come across. They can spot a nice green garden that belongs to a neighbour whom you really don’t want to cross paths with, and beat you to it. Nothing is safe in their wake; Sukuma wiki, spinach, young maize, sweet potato vines, clothes, soap (both liquid and bar), even fingers if you’re not paying attention. Controlling them when they are hungry is akin to grasping oil. Herding them requires a certain amount of grace. And patience. And a long, thick rod to cane them when they get too frisky.
There was this one goat just out of kidhood and almost in the age of bearing. In goat years, she would be 14. In human years, nay, months, 14. One day, we woke up and found her looking rather pale. Tongue, eyes seemed anaemic. First guess; intestinal problems, directing us to guess a worm infestation. She was fed some medicine in the hopes that she would be better, if not by evening, then by the following day.
The following day arrived 😄😄😄 Prognosis; was that medicine a placebo or the real thing. Anyway, goats lack faith, so if it was a placebo she’d have been better by now. But heck even standing up was a big deal. All day, while her friends and relatives were jumping about, biting through their tethers and having a ball, she was by the gate. Looking forlornly at the rest. I actually felt very sorry for her. She was bloated, and I take it, in retrospect, that she would not see the light of the next day.
My fears confirmed. She had died during the night. Peacefully, I hope. But what I saw made me even sadder, and above all disgusted.
Look two paragraphs back. I gave the info purposely. Goats can do anything, and eat basically anything. Even their own kind are not spared. The dead goat had been mauled. BY THE OTHER GOATS!!!! 😱😱😱😱Thinking of it even gives me chills. (This is where I add writing effects worthy of Hollywood’s next horror blockbuster😨😨😨😨) An eye had been sucked out of its socket. Part of the nose had been chewed off, and possibly enjoyed like a piece of Juicy Fruit. The tongue, which had been hanging out, met a similar fate.
The carcass was taken out. Of course, it couldn’t just be thrown away like a rag; the meat/flesh was not affected. Goats, and all ruminants for that matter, have a very intensive digestion process, such that by the time nutrients are being absorbed into the bloodstream, all possible toxins have been flushed out. Wait one minute, no we did not, I repeat, did not, eat the meat. My daa gave orders to have the carcass disembowelled and the guts disposed of conveniently (I won’t share that, might fuel your nightmares more😅😅). The carcass was then beheaded, and the flesh burnt to a roast for our dogs to enjoy. African culture dictates that the head should be used to make a soup, which is quite delicious, but again, I insist, we tasted not a piece of the meat. I mean, who eats flesh of an animal not killed by slaughtering and bleeding?
I’m really, really tempted to leave out this last bit, but it’s necessary, as the moral of it all will show. The head was singed and split with a panga. Horror of the mother of all horrors. The brain had giant maggots in it. Possibly hatched when flies laid their eggs in its horns when it was debudded, and when the sore closed up, they couldn’t pupate and thus were at an arrested state of development. (Damn, I feel like I have a doctorate in biology, or bio-something 😂😂😂😂😂😂hahahaha).
Psalm 107:6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.
Jeremiah 33:6, 8 v6 ‘Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.
v8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?
(New King James Version, all verses)
Consider this; a goat can’t speak, or let us know of its pain. Even in birth, it doesn’t utter a groan or bleat. Similarly, when they are unwell, we can never know unless we see signs of the illness being manifested in their behaviour and patterns. Unlike human, they cannot go to a physician and state their issues, then get medical assistance.
In our life and walk with God, we are at times like goats. Wanting this but not getting it, indulging into things we are not supposed to. And in times of fault, instead of running to God, crying out to Him for salvation, we become frightfully silent, expecting Him to solve the problem without even dedicating it in prayer. Like goats, our sins are the worms that eat us up from the inside, one giving rise to another until our souls can bear it no more. Eventually, we face the fire not destined for us, all because we did not speak out to Him in our sins, for Him to help us in our distress.
He promises healing and fullness if we call out to Him to deliver us. Why should we be quiet when we are blessed with such a wonderful promise? I have been a goat severally, but knowing that I can call out to Him in whatever situation I’m in, He will answer, no matter how many worms are plaguing my spirit.
My challenge to you this week; be a human, specifically, a human whose faith in God causes a cry for help in time of turmoil, not a goat.
*check the link to the Wikipedia page of Plato’s Allegory of the Caves here
and prepare to be amazed by this lauded and acclaimed parable showing how we humans are affected by the lack of education and its effect on us.
*allegory n. a story presenting a moral principle; a fable, parable.