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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Parkin

The Pact


One of the goaty references in my goaty piece…

I put a piece of writing into the View from the Pen event at Windmill Hill City Farm – which (alas) wasn’t selected for performance.

But that’s very much part of the process (and far more go in than ever get selected!) – so I thought I’d post it up here now, as I wrote it during NaPoWriMo but kept it offline until I heard back.

It was written – as I’m sure some really great pieces were – with the goats in mind…There are so many cultural associations for these animals – which I adore – and I’d been to see The Witch a couple of months before (see above), which might have fed into this…

The Pact

[As goats do, the actor is stood with two arms/’front legs’ up on the log, chewing, as goats do…He seems wise, if slightly menacing…]

To say I’m an omnivore – well, that’s underselling the breadth of my pallet. I’ll try anything once – or, most likely, more. I’ve nibbled on jackets and maps and nappies. I’ve chewed on chocolate and charm bracelets and Cheese Strings.

But really – and this why we’re here – I’m your go-to goat for anything you truly need eating. The preferred supplier for the disappearing of difficulties. If you want something gone, something incriminating – then I’m your man (if you will).

Look: often I just chance upon things I fancy trying – a baby’s blanket, an interesting earring – but all I’m saying is…If you were to turn up here with some suspicious paperwork, and the shredder just didn’t seem enough…Well if you were to scratch my back, just at that good spot, then – well, I’ll scratch yours. Figuratively speaking. Poof! No proof. Page vanished. Document not found.

I’m sure you’re used to one of those boring Powerpoint slideshows, but let’s face it: no-one needs another serving of those, and they just don’t work with hooves. So I’m avoiding the papertrail, telling what I’m selling: cheques mashed, letters ghosted, final notices frappéd.

You’ll have to imagine my logo up there [gestures with horns to wall of pen/shed]. I’m not a designer, but it might involve a goaty smile, maybe some horns, some A4-oblong irises – all in a…comforting font. You can imagine a brand-name if you like. I quite like Caprice. Or maybe Docu-goat. But let’s not write it down; we’ll just keep it between us.

You’ll find nobody as thorough, or as discrete. Through these slats, I meet councillors and coaches, journos and jobsworths, lawyers and losers, ministers and madams.

The most they’ll find after is the odd second-hand scrap in the paddock, perhaps a fragment of letterhead – on the most stubborn official documents. Paper is so telling. I really can taste the difference. It’s as many and varied as the words that muddy its flavour. Muddy the truth.

The ones I really savour are from law firms, good ones, and the kinds of accountants who don’t send many letters, stamped exotically, from somewhere [whispered] offshore. The richness of weave really is noticeable. Chewably so.

Often, my clients come with a family – that’s the cover – and while the others are keeping the mother and pushchairs bothered, masticating objects they want to keep, he’ll just push through the envelope and I’ll get to work before anyone notices a thing. Ping!

And I’m not saying it’s only men – far be it for me to be Nanny-ist or Billygoat-bigoted: just as many of your females avail themselves of my fourfold-digestion-and-deletion services. No redaction required. Not once that particular letter, that persistent piece of evidence, that pesky cheque you haven’t cashed yet – not once they’re filed under my paunch.

Amazing, really, in this Digital Age, how much can rest on a single page. So come on then: what brings you here? Pop it through the gate. No-one’s looking. We’ve all got something we’d rather wasn’t in writing…

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