ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A primary producer from our town’s fertile north left quite the impression on a French Quarter radiologist last Saturday night as the two enjoyed a bite to eat then a walk and talk.

Drawing on his best material, cattle farmer Fergus Sterling told The Advocate that he often gets a good reaction telling the story of the time he and his older brother Roy peeled a feral goat off up the yards and took it with them to town when they were students.

So he decided to spin the story for Catherine Gilbert, who’s new to town from our state’s self-important southeast corner.

“Yeah she had a lot of questions, I reckon because I didn’t go into too much detail,” said Fergus.

The 35-year-old bachelor began to tell the tale to our reporter as he leaned against Editor Clancy Overell’s beige Subaru Forrestor, the studs on the back of his jeans leaving a big mess in the Duco.

“So back when the times were a bit harder, Roy and I used to go chase goats out of the state forest and take them to market. Back when we were students. We were broke as back then. So yeah, anyway we found about three, maybe for decks so we got a truck in for the next day. Roy said we should take one back to the city with us. He was studying agricultural science and I was just a student at the university of life. So we tie up this goat and throw it in the boot of our Magna and take it with us when we leave,”

“We had a mate who lived five minutes away who wanted a goat to chew his garden so we fenced him in and we come back a week later and the garden is all trim and the goat’s fat as hell,”

“Mind you, Catherine was loving this story at this point. So anyway, we catch the goat and take it back to our place. Tell you what, he’d had a gutful of grass so he was strong as ten men. You don’t need to go to the gym if you’re wrestling a goat up four flights of stairs every day, I’ll tell you that for free. So we get the thing in the bath and Roy piths it with a cleaver, which is when I had to explain what pithing a beast involves. It’s not like we could shoot it. We were in the French Quarter. Blood everywhere, this goat’s going bananas. Up the walls, on me, on Roy. Few seconds pass. We get the job done, then we hang him upside down off the shower spout and bleed him,”

“Catherine was still nodding and smiling at this point, which makes me think she’s on the same page as me, you know. But yeah. We skinned and gutted him. Used a little tomahawk and the chopping board to bang the head and feet off. We rolled the guts and tied it up with the four legs, like a little bindle,”

“Waited until dark and we popped the skin, head, and offal in the green bin of the flat over the road. In a garbage bag, of course, we aren’t savages. Catherine thought it was the funniest thing, except the part where I said you need to tie a knot at the end of the colon after you cut it from the arsehole so all the shit doesn’t leak out and spoil the meat. But yeah, nah. We had meat for months. Kept it in the freeze. We had stews and curries for every meal like we were depressed Poms,”

“Anyway, she’s coming out to my place this weekend. We’re going for a drive to wash the troughs.”

More to come.


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