This is one breed of goat that won't be playing puck
Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30
I really enjoy a visit from overseas visitors. As well as catching up on personal news, it's interesting to talk to people you know that are living in other parts of the world about their daily issues and to hear their views on the various social, political and climactic concerns which have become increasingly global.
Last week, my American cousin Denise Reed and her family, husband Rex and children, Liam (9) and Clare (4) stayed with us for a couple of nights. My late mother Rita was a sister of Denise's dad Joe Magner, who has lived in the States since the 1970s.
Denise and Rex are lucky to live on a couple of acres in a built up part of Maryland where they keep various fowl and other small domesticated animals, primarily as pets and sometimes to exhibit, trade and eat.
Dinner table talk topics ranged from the GM versus organic debate to the farm safety camp run which Liam had just attended (sounds like a great idea).
But what really grabbed our attention was the mention of the latest addition to their animal roster, a pair of Tennessee Fainting goats.
At first, I thought they must be joking. How could these animals exist and why would anyone want them?
While most goats are known as smart, playful animals which spend their time climbing and eating a wide range of vegetation, these are known for a very different trait: stiffening up and appearing to faint when they get a shock.
I still found it hard to believe so there was nothing for it only to go online where there are various videos of somebody running up to a group of these goats with an open umbrella and they all keel over in unison.