This is a big week for goats as I’m sure everyone is aware that the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats opens in theaters across the country on Friday. Well, I don’t know a whole lot about the plot – I have shied away from reading any reviews for the film thus far, lest the movie be ruined for me before I have the opportunity to watch it – but from watching the commercials, things don’t go particularly well for the goats. It seems that there are individuals in the movie that have the ability to stare at goats (and hence the name of the film) and have the goats drop dead. Poor goats…
This was unacceptable to me because as you are well aware, I have a huge admiration for goats. So I’ve decided to retell a more uplifting tale of goats, if you’ll indulge me. There once were three goats called the Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Billy Goats Gruff were of varying sizes, and one day the smallest of the three wanted to cross a bridge so that he could eat the grass on the other side. The problem is that there is a powerful troll living under the bridge who eats those who attempt to pass. But this smallest of the Billy Goats Gruff was really hungry and so he approached the bridge. Sure enough, the troll emerged and threatened to eat the goat. The goat, thinking quickly, convinced the troll that he was too small and that the troll would much prefer to eat his bigger goat brother. So the troll allowed the goat to go. Similarly, the middle sized goat approached the bridge and was stopped by the troll and pleaded that troll would much prefer to eat his larger brother. The troll allows this goat to pass as well. Soon the largest of the goats approached and again the troll jumped out, but rather than talk to the troll, this largest goat gored the troll and let him fall into the river. The largest of the goats walked across the river to join his brothers in eating the grass.
Now we’ve always heard that this was the end of the story, but this is utter nonsense. And so the story continues… Soon all of the other goats, not just the Three Billy Goats Gruff, crossed the bridge to join in the delectable grass. However, this is what the troll had planned all along. You see, this was a magical and clever troll (as most trolls are) and certainly couldn’t be outsmarted by creatures such as goats who routinely faint when afraid. After all of the goats were across the river, the troll calmly stood up from where he had fallen in the river. He then stared at the bridge, causing the bridge to explode. The troll was a little bit dejected about losing the bridge under which he had lived for a long time, but he knew that he had gained so much more: an almost unlimited buffet of goats.
Journal Entry: And in another alternate ending to this story, the third of the Three Billy Goats Gruff did actually kill the troll (in this case the troll wasn’t magical because you can’t kill a magical troll) and walked across the bridge to join his brothers. The smaller two goats were of course overjoyed that the troll was dead. However, the largest goat was quite a bit pissed off at his brothers for having sent the troll after him and so he chased them off (or gored them, I can’t remember this part of the story exactly) and enjoyed a life of eating grass all by himself.