I should share my love of my kids with the world, just to introduce the rest of the family. I have three of them. All furry and adorable. My Nigerian Dwarf Goat babies. Baphomet, the one without horns, is their daddy, and my bottle-fed baby that I was given when the breeder didn’t have the time to force-feed him. I was on a trip to pick up a friend’s animals, and there he was, this tiny two week old baby screaming in the breeder’s arms when we drive up. She said “here, you can go ahead and try to feed him.” and that’s all she wrote. He wouldn’t take a bottle and it takes a lot of time and patience to hold a bottle in a baby’s mouth, so she offered him to me. The other choice was letting him die.
See how tiny he was? Funny thing now is that he is one of our largest goats. Go figure. hehe. Check out how cute he was when he finally started suckling on his own from the bottle:
The twins with their horns are Krampus and Rasputin.
And of course, I must share the story of the twin’s second names. Tanngrisnir (Teeth-barer) and Tanngnjóstr (teeth grinder). These are the names of Thor’s goats. And fitting, because Krampus is a screamer and Rasputin is more of the cud-chewer/follower. When I chose to adopt a Norse Persona for myself in the SCA, I gave them new names too. I love how goats are so important in Norse theology. The story is that not only would Thor use his two fierce goats to pull his chariot, when he stopped for the night he would kill, cook, and eat his goats for grand feasts, but he wouldn’t break the bones, and the next day the goats would resurrect and live again to pull his chariot. (Some great images here of Thor and his goats, check this out: http://nordic-aputsiaq.blogspot.com/2013/05/and-thor-had-two-goats.html)
Baphomet will always be my baby boy, no other name needed… but I always hoped I’d have a doe someday so I could name her Heiðrun, after Odin’s goat who produced mead rather than milk… but hey, there is always the future!
My observation so far though, in all of this, is that there is a SERIOUS lack of goats in Norse artwork. In an article titled “Viking and Medieval Amulets in Scandinavia,” Signe Horn Fuglesang discusses the fact that theological animal imagery is apparently lacking from the archaeological record in a big way when it comes to clothing and adornments. Amulets in general are not quite clear, or could be interpreted as non-ritualistic imagery, but what is apparent to me is that the beautiful artwork you see with all those gorgeous celtic knots? Almost zero goats. You’d think both goats and cats would have more imagery (like Odin’s ravens and the many versions of dragons, dogs, and stags) since they are the steeds of two prominent gods in the Norse Pantheon, but they aren’t. (Freyja’s steeds are two cats) I’ve found a couple images of goat pieces created in metal, including a single brooch from a Danish dig in Zealand… check out the link of the goat imagery I linked earlier, but why the lack?
If I could, I’d learn old Norse, go back in time, and then learn all I could about these amazing people so many call “Barbarians.” I would love to see them (alive!), observe them, even live with them.
I guess until we invent a time machine then I will just have to be content to give my goats scritches and grain, make them chubby and happy, and read through all the archaeological information I can get my hands on. (THANK YOU GOOGLE TRANSLATE!!!)
Bibliography info: Fuglesang, S. H, 1989. Viking and medieval amulets in Scandinavia. Fornvännen