Merry Christmas, Carrot Ranchers!
Writers responded to the prompt, and what follows is a collection of perspectives in 99-word stories arranged like literary anthropology.
Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.
Bidding by D. Avery
“Daddy, why’re we going to the auction? We’ve got Bud.”
When one of Lucienne’s team died, they’d gotten the other Morgan. “Bud’s old, but is fit enough for our needs. He’s still strong and he’s patient. But he’s in a new barn and he’s lonely, Hope.”
They walked around the pens, pausing to look at a Shetland pony, even sheep.
“Those two littlest ones.”
With Hope doing the bidding they got the goats without contest.
“What’re you going to do with these goats?” the auctioneer asked Hope.
“They’re Christmas cheer for Bud. Comfort and Joy.”
Christmas Coat by Madeline Murphy
Dear Santa, How are you? Thanks for last year’s presents. I would like a goat (erase) coat for my Yorkie Goldie. Pleeze (erase), please bring lots of toys. Love, Mary
Christmas morning found Goldie growling at the Christmas tree. Mary and dad peered through the branches, pushing presents aside when they spotted something. Frightened, it catapulted over Mary’s head, landing on Dad’s back, knocking him flat. Finally, Dad grabbed the tiny, trembling thing.
The tag said, “Goldie’s Christmas goat.”
“Did you ask for a goat?”
“No, a coat.”
“My back feels great! Christmas goat it is!”
One Foggy Night by Michael Fishman
Rolfie the mini pygmy, a roan with frosted ears and a shiny bornite-colored nose, is the smallest of rancher Anders’ goats. The other goats bleat and call him names and they never invite Rolfie to any of their lively goat games.
Rolfie is all alone.
On Christmas Eve rancher Anders goes to herd his goats into the night pen a little earlier than usual. He walks to the field, but it becomes foggy and he can’t find his way back. “Rolfie,” he said. “with your nose of burnite, won’t you guide my goats tonight?”
And the rest is history.
Author’s Note: Any similarity to other famous mammals with decorative bony head gear is purely coincidental and my baaad.
What’s the Story by Joanne Fisher
“So what’s the story about then?”
“It’s about the miser Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three Christmas ghosts during Christmas morning to make him change his ways.”
“Three Christmas goats?”
“It would be more interesting with goats.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Did you know goats are good climbers, have four stomachs, and have rectangular shaped pupils that allow them to see 340 degrees around them?”
“What is this: goat fun facts day?”
“Imagine the Goat of Christmas Past being the cutest littlest Christmas goat.”
“The Goat of Christmas Past? You do know the story don’t you?”
No Crib for a Bed by Annette Rochelle Aben
Daisy did a double-take. The last time she looked, there was straw in the holiday manger. She took pride in making sure the display was neat and tidy Everything looked good except the Baby Jesus appeared uncomfortable without the straw cushion.
On her way back to the barn, she found there was a trail of straw to follow. Upon closer inspection, Daisy noticed wee cloven prints in fresh snow. Ah-ha! Clues as to the likely straw thief. Sure enough, there just inside the barn, was Daffy, the littlest of her father’s goats, sound asleep on a bed of straw!
G.O.A.T Kid by JulesPaige
Pesach is when Ari recalled the notable story of the goat bought for two coins. Now it was Chanukah and Ari was not impressed to have his sister’s toy goat trampling across his head on the way home, even it’s little black hooves were made of soft silk. The family took advantage of the unusual warm December weather to visit the local goat farm. Ari wasn’t used to the aroma of goats, or the taste of their milk. Goat wasn’t something his family ate, even if it was kosher. Spring dreaming…
notable, little goat
rhymed fable, his dreams float
An Unexpected Party Guest by Sue Spitulnik
Multiple cars arrived at the No Thanks to unload food for The Band of Brother’s holiday party. Tyrell and his cousins made sure the meal had a southern flair by donating pots of greens, pans of cornbread, and his mother’s pecan pies. With all the commotion no one noticed the furry little face poking out from the front of his jacket.
When things quieted down Tyrell took the littlest Christmas goat anyone had ever seen out of its hiding place, gave it some milk, then put him on the floor to explore. His antics kept people chuckling all evening.
How Christmas Got His Name by Charli Mills
The milk goats woke Sunny late on Christmas Eve. Their screams rang with real terror. Ma burst down the stairs by the time Sunny flung open her bedroom door, following. Ma’s shotgun rang out like bursts of fireworks. Four dogs fled, yipping.
“Blasted city-slickers. Don’t they realize when they let their canines out at night dogs form a pack and turn feral?” Ma swore. I crept behind her to see the littlest goat bleeding from his torn neck.
Next day, neighbors visited with apology cookies, and crooned regrets over Christmas, the little goat bandaged and blanketed beneath our tree.
The Little Christmas Goat by Donna Armistead
“Why do we make straw goats for Christmas decorations, Mormor?”
Plaiting straw, the old woman smiled. “Norse people did it to honor Thor, the thunder god, thanking him for a good harvest.
“It was a long trip around Midgard. Thor made his rounds in a wagon pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr. At night when he got hungry, he’d eat them, then bring them back to life the next day with his magic hammer.”
“Magic goats! But only two? We’re making three. What about this little one?”
“She came along for the ride when Thor delivered the Yule gifts.”
Gladys Tidings of Joy by Nancy Brady
The littlest goat, Gladys, was excited. She was going to be in a living nativity. She told Aloysius that she wanted to play an angel. “They’re a-a-awesome! They announce the birth to the shepherds.”
Aloysius was skeptical. “Are all the animals taking part?” he asked.
“The cows, sheep, and donkey will be near the manger, but I’m an angel,” Gladys said. “I’ve practiced jumping up at the right time. They’ll pick me for sure.”
Tryouts came, but Gladys was picked to play herself.
On Christmas Eve, Aloysius’s clover magic granted her a one-night wish. Gladys was an angel.
Cheesy, The Goat by Bill Engleson
Don’t like it.
Clumsy in the snow.
But the best-laid plans of mousey men, eh!
Out of milk and need to get to the store.
Walk two miles on icy roads, or drive.
Scrape the windows, inch along.
Clear in places, ice in others.
Slowly I go as befits a geezer.
And there she is.
Smack dab in the middle of the road.
Neighbour Fern’s pet Pygmy goat.
Brown spots that look slightly orange.
Color of Cheezies!
Scoop her up, take her home.
Settle for a Christmas gift…jug of goat’s milk.
Annabell(s) by Chel Owens
Annabell Wilkins toddled everywhere Mommy did; at least, she tried to.
“No, Annie,” Mom stopped her. “No mud.”
“No, Annie. Not the hay bales.”
“No, Annie! Yucky!”
Annabell Goatkins had a similar problem. Wherever she toddled, Mommy Goatkins nudged her back around.
“No, Annie!” Mom bleated, “No pail!”
“No, Annie. Not the cows!”
“No, Annie! Yucky!”
The unfortunate kids wandered the yard in a crazy zig-zag, landing behind the barn with a bump! They sat and stared at each other, big-eyed and curious.
“Annabell!” Both mothers called -but only when they heard, “No, Annie!” did Annabell(s) know to come.
The Greatest Goat by Pete Fanning
“Well, this is something, Johnny. I see you have Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, and some rather unique additions as well.”
“Thanks Sister Emily. Oh, see the Lego wise men?”
“Okay, um, yes. One has a light saber.”
“He’s a Jedi.”
“I see. I think. And who is this one?”
“That’s Muhammad Ali.”
“Of course. Remind me why again?”
“’I’m the greatest of all time.’”
“Oh, you’re doing an impression.”
“Watched the Will Smith movie on Netflix. Okay, I have a cow, a pig…”
“Yep, still not following. Why is Ali in the manger?”
“He’s the Christmas G.O.A.T., Sister Emily.”
The Wee Goat by C.E. Ayr
Mum, I can’t find Gertie!
Little Abigail runs around the yard searching for her favourite goat.
Gertie’s the closest thing she has to a pet, to a friend, but even on the smallest farm a tiny goat can find a place to hide.
Have you milked the cows, her mother calls.
Not yet, she cries, I’m still looking…
The cows can’t wait, her mother insists, you know the rules!
Abigail finishes her chores then goes inside.
Wash your hands, then come to the table, says her mother. And Merry Xmas, sweetheart!
That doesn’t look like a turkey, says Abigail.
Naïveté Nativity by Geoff Le Pard
When winter struck Little Tittweaking it did so like a demented blacksmith. The place was gripped by frozen dawns, impassable drifts and foggy deceits.
The one high spot for all, bar Dumpling Pendulous was the village nativity. Everyone enjoyed the carols, the mulled wine, camaraderie and mulled wine. Except Dumpling who always played an animal: donkey, camel, flock of sheep… This year she complained so the Reverend Dimpled Whitethigh offered her an alternative. ‘You can be the goat.’
‘How is that an improvement,’ she moaned.
The Reverend grinned. ‘You’re not just a goat, but the G.O.A.T.’
Nick, The Christmas Goat by Donna Matthews
“What the in hell are you doing out here in the goat pen?”
“Goat yoga, mom!”
“Saw it on tik-tok!”
It takes every bit of my willpower NOT to roll my eyes at this gullible daughter of mine.
“Get in here and help me with the Christmas cookies. We have to be at the party by 7.”
She gets up and starts toward the house with Nick, our newest kid.
“Now, what are you doing?”
“Nick’s coming to the party! Baby goats in ugly Christmas sweaters are trending, mom!”
Oy, what am I going to do with her??
Carols are Karens to Me by Doug Jacquier
When it comes to Christmas, I make the Grinch seem like a pantywaist. When I asked the supermarket manager to turn off the blaring Mariah Carey Christmas carols he declined, so I superglued all of the card readers in the self-serve checkouts. When my neighbour demanded to know why I was letting the street down by having no Christmas decorations, I offered to deck his balls with boughs of holly. But lest you think I’m entirely heartless, I am participating in Beard-ember for my favorite charity, the Ebenezer Scrooge Home for Destitute Misanthropes, by growing the littlest Christmas goatee.
Little Goat and Christmas by Duane L Herrmann
One little goat didn’t do Christmas. Little goat impatiently waited through all the brouhaha for Ayyam-i-Ha: the Days of Ha, party days, just before the month of fasting – to meditate and contemplate the past year in preparation for the New Year beginning on the Spring Equinox. Little goat patiently explained they weren’t unChristian, they were post-Christian. The Revelation they followed came after Christ, after Muhammad, in time for a new age of humankind – teaching that all humans were one race and there was only one God, no matter what name was used. Little goat said they were Baha’i.
Enid’s Road to Damascus by Anne Goodwin
With Alfred housebound, Enid had to fetch the Christmas tree herself. Unable to drive, she’d drag it home on a sledge. With two days before family descended, she hadn’t a spare moment. Yet she paused in the dark to admire the spangled sky. A star in the east seemed to beckon. Mesmerised, Enid followed its lead. When it stopped above a stable, she ventured inside.
She spent the whole holiday with the refugees, Joseph and Mary. Forgetting her children, she helped nurse their baby. Forgetting Christ, she learnt about Islam. Forgetting the turkey, she feasted on Syrian goat stew.
Aramis by Saifun Hassam
Alec loved to visit Grandpere during Christmas and explore the family apple farm and woods at the foothills of the LaRue Mountains. This year Grandpere’s ramshackle barn was home to a mare, two foals, and a nanny goat, Esmer, and her three kids, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.
Alec learned to walk the foals. On sunny days he wrote in his journal and read aloud. Alec dramatized anime stories, and the littlest goat, Aramis, was spellbound.
Grandpere chuckled at the scene. He was from Marseilles and settled in Washington. Alec loved to hear those fascinating stories. And so did Aramis!
Miracle Edition by Rebecca Glaessner
Only dried grasses stirred within the domed savannah. He’d always had to live alone. I waited by his favourite baobab.
Before spotting his lumbering form, I sensed his mind. His, and another’s. My stomach clenched – we were promised the holidays.
He welcomed me with eager, gentle strokes of his scarred trunk – no sorrow, your doctors healed someone.
Then I saw her. A tiny goat, atop his shoulders, her surgical scars still fresh, mind wide with wonder, reaching for us – home?
He nuzzled her with his trunk – home.
Soon, I’d have to leave again. This time, they’d have each other.
The Littlest Goat by Norah Colvin
“You’re too little.”
The all-too-familiar chorus stung but he determined to show them size didn’t matter; not the way they thought.
Before long, opportunity came knocking.
The others were too stupid to check before opening the door, too slow to escape the intruder and too big to hide. The littlest one watched from the grandfather clock as the wolf devoured them one by one.
When Mother returned from Christmas shopping, the littlest goat told all. Together, they found the greedy wolf and rescued his brothers.
The littlest goat showed that being clever, quick and brave beat size any day.
Have You Seen The Christmas Goat? by Hugh W. Roberts
Many have admired the Littlest Christmas Goat. It shines as bright as the Northern Star on a dark, freezing December night.
Its sparkling eyes and inviting, warm interior help thaw out cold fingers and chilled bones. The surrounding Christmas illuminations fill the air with festivities, laughter and happy memories of Christmases’ past.
Legend says – ‘see the Littlest Christmas Goat on Christmas Eve, and all your Christmas wishes come true.’
True? Yes, but only the elf-like landlady of the Littest Christmas Goat alehouse knows the honest answer. In her world, all Christmas wishes come with a price. Your life.
God’s Goat by MRMacrum
Mary was not happy. Forty parasangs over two days on the back of an ass was the last straw. She glared at Joe as he placed fresh hay in a manger for the kid. A small goat watched and immediately hopped in the manger and pooped.
“Mary, the little asshole shit in Jesus’ bed.”
Busy unpacking the donkey, Mary did not hear Joe.
“What Joe? “
Louder now, “The goat shit in the manger.……… If the big guy gets wind of this I wouldn’t want to be in that goat’s hooves.”
The goat looked up at Mary and bleated.
The Littlest Christmas Goat Trilogy by Liz Husebye Hartmann
1. A Christmas Surprise
“Mom! I can’t find him anywhere!” Janie stumped down the attic stairs, empty-handed.
“That’s ok, I got us something new.”
“Elf on a Shelf is a Christmas tradition!”
“We have to change with the times. It’s been a rough couple of years.” Mom pulled the new tradition out of its paper bag. “Isn’t he cute?”
Janie looked doubtfully at the curving horns, tiny fangs and sharp cloven hooves. She read the tag. “He sees you when you’re sleeping.”
“Go hide him, Janie!” her Mom tossed the tiny goat her way.
“Ouch!” Something sliced Janie’s hand.
The goat’s eyes glittered.
2. A Giant’s Loneliness, Solved
Hugo’s guest was due to arrive any time now. He gave the stewpot a stir. The cranberries and Heffinger Dark Ale was cooling in the waterfall. Food and company were just what he needed to brighten this dark Christmas.
In the hollow below, the villagers hunkered down, fighting bad dreams.
The campfire blazed as Hugo tossed on another tree trunk. When flames shrunk to sparks, he was there, on the other side of the flames.
“Come sit, Friend!” Hugo called happily. “Have some Heffinger ale?”
“Yes, and stew, please!” Krampus settled by the fire. “It’s been a busy year.”
3. Holiday Potluck
“Trip-trap, who’s that tapping across my bridge?”
“Just me, Torsten. Let me by.”
“What’d you bring me, Halloween Goat?”
“Salt Pretzels, Butterbeer,
All the things that you hold dear.”
“Trippety-tap, tappety-trip, who’s that tapping across my bridge?”
“Thanksgiving Goat, in my sparkly tap shoes.”
“What’d you bring me?”
‘Pumpkin Pie, Whipping Cream,
All your favorites, as you’d dream.”
“Cool! When’s the littlest coming?”
“Clickety-clack, Clackety-click, whozat coming over the crick?”
“Peewee, the Christmas Goat.”
“I’ve brought us all dinner: potatoes and meat.
My cart is full-loaded, now help with this treat!”
And to all? A Good Night!
Flashin’ Through the Snow by D. Avery
“Dang! Frankie’s gotta make deliveries in this blizzard.”
“Why Pal? Jist wait out the storm.”
“Cain’t, Kid. This flash’s one a them Christmas tropes.”
“Oh. So common sense don’t prevail. Burt’s all saddled?”
“Harnessed. Snow’s pilin’ up. Frankie’s takin’ a sleigh.”
“Curly’ll be a sled hog along with Mause ta point the way. An’ we’ll harness them goats from the Saloon, ‘specially the littlest one.”
“Ya got a littlest goat kid, Kid?”
“S’pose Rudy’s nose lights up.”
“No, we got Ernie fer that. But lil’ Rudy will bleat a warnin’, keep all the other sleighs at bay.”
An’ so Frankie got her team harnessed an’ hitched
took off inta the storm an’ not a one a them bitched
On Curly, on Mause, an’ Pepe blazing the trail
All pullin’ t’gether with holiday mail
An’ Ernie is heppin’, he’s brought along nips
But remindin’ ol’ Frankie to just take wee sips
An’ fin’ly Kid’s goats is doin’ good fer a change
Pullin’ with Burt across snowbound range
In a blizzard so blindin’ all the Christmas tropes could crash
But the little goat with big voice saves the day in a flash
“What d’ya think Kid?”