Goats and monkeys!


Flu hit me Monday. I almost have no memory of the first two days, just some strange dreams and random, chaotic thoughts. Thursday my head cleared up a bit so that I could think about my next blog post making notes on a piece of paper ( I was too weak to open my laptop). The misery of my condition couldn’t produce anything cheerful, and somehow I started thinking about all the innocent creatures of this world who’ve got to suffer for nothing.  Goats came to mind.

My first image was  taken on a bright summer morning during Waterford Hot Air Ballooning Championship . I got a few good shots at the take off in the grounds of Waterford Castle, and was on my road to Passage East where I expected to take a ferry and cross to Co Wexford.  I was almost there when the events took a rather surreal turn and the scene changed to somewhat apocalyptic in a matter of seconds. The goats. They started falling out of the thick bushes,  off the almost vertical cliff – all sizes, shapes, genders and breeds. The sun was blinding me, but true to myself I was pressing the shutter. Two cars in front of me navigated out of the scene when more goats jumped from above, not less than a hundred of them, and I was stuck. I missed the ferry, but took a great set of pictures.

Goat is one of the first domesticated animals. When and where he ruined his reputation, is not clear, but he is associated with the satyr Pan, notoriously mischievous god who had a long beard, goat legs and horns.  Read this article, it is very informative and amusing.

Pan was so ugly that even his mother run away from him horrified and disgusted.  It is where the word ‘panic’ came from. I don’t know what to say,  but look at these pictures and prove to me that this goat is not a saint among his people.



Some goats have a better fate. The picture below was taken ten years ago, in Killorglin, Co Kerry.  Every August people gather to celebrate Puck Fair in Killorglin, and a goat is crowned to become a king of the land for three days ( you can watch a video  on this link). The earliest known reference to Puck Fair is a charter by King  James I, dated 1613, granting a legal status to the existing fair.  The farm hands had a clause in their contract to be free of work for those three days.

The festival is a great event, and I hope to attend it some day. If you travel Ireland around 10 – 12 August, make a note.

king puck

These skinny goats were spotted in Bunratty Castle, Co Limerick.

Bunratty Folk Park

Co Kerry has a weakness for goats – in town of Dingle, Goat Street is an extension of the Main Street.


In the Shakespearean tragedy, Iago works Othello into such a state of jealousy, that the poor man imagines things that have never happened. He exits the scene with the exclamation ‘Goats and monkeys!’ using the name of innocent creatures to express his disgust.

Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight
I do entreat that we may sup together.
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats and monkeys!
 Using Desdemona’s words, I can tell that, concerning goats, “… I have spoken for you all my best “,  and now I should speak for monkeys too, which would be only fair. Look at the picture – this face speaks volumes. Don’t judge monkeys!


The Hot Air Balloon  Festival ended with amazing take off from Waterford Airport, but I will remember it because of the Passage East goats.

hot air

I do hope I have been a good advocate for the creatures not favored by some. What if we change the tradition and make “Goats and monkeys” a funny exclamation, not a symbol of immorality? It is the 21st century, after all.

Happy Christmas to you all, peace, love, inspiration and joy!

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. Love this first shot ~ the goats themselves are in awe of the balloons, and the way you processed the photo has a great, surreal effect. And the goats, I love them…in part because earlier this year just as we entered the Year of the Goat I met one on a mountain, could have been satyr Pan himself ~ and when you mentioned Othello exclaming ‘Goats and monkeys!’ this will be by call for the next couple months as we exit the Year of the Goat and enter the Year of the Monkey – your post is absolutely perfect, both in photography and prose 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for so perfectly recognizing my hidden message, Randall 🙂 I put this photograph on hold for the end of the year. I took almost all the pictures through the windscreen, and the colors are as taken, but the lens flare and dirty glass ruined a lot of shots. This one is a composite. Still, it doesn’t show the moment when my car was actually surrounded with a sea of goats 🙂 The balloons were floating away; the goats were coming down like the creatures of hell; the drivers behind me were impatient; I was shooting everything in my sight, knowing I won’t have another chance like this.
      I remember your post about the goat – I have read it more than once. Your experience was like a personal revelation, illustrated with your outstanding photographs of the messenger :).
      Hope for a great year! 🙂

      1. What a scene this must have been ~ it is always in our out of the chaos that we often come up with the best ideas (or as a photographer, the best shot), as you did here. Onwards in 2016 🙂

  2. I like almost all animals and particularly think goats can be gentle if raised by gentle people. I have seen monkeys but dont really “know” them. I do know goat owners, farmers and families who raise them for milk and to make goat cheese. I believe we are supposed to be good caretakers so I won’t make fun of these creatures as you asked us not to, Inese. Hugs and happy wishes for your 2016.

  3. I do like the balloon pictures. I has nice mood to it and I love the pictures have many of them. I went to the occasion once but there were only few of them and most of them were just on the ground. They were very colorful though.

    I hope you are felling well now.

    1. Thank you! This event is an international competition. There are rules and everything. Last May it was a great success, and Waterford was chosen as a host city again, but because of the bad weather in August many flights had to be cancelled, and now I doubt that Waterford will get chosen again soon 😦

  4. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had the dreaded flu, Inese. I’ve had it once in my life and really don’t want it again, so I know how you must have felt. I’m surprised you managed to write a post at all, yet you’ve written this really interesting one. I’ve never really thought a great deal about goats before. I’ve always liked them, and never thought them to be ugly, but I’ve never delved into all the stories about them. I’ve seen pictures of Pan depicted as a goat, but never connected him with the word ‘panic’ – very interesting. And the next time I visit Ireland, I’d love to see the Puck Fair (I’ve noted the dates). From the links you added, it looks like a lot of fun. The story about the goat and Oliver Cromwell is interesting, too. Cromwell’s activities in Ireland are well documented!
    Thank you for very interesting post, Inese. Look after yourself and have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Millie, thank you so much for your kind words! Flu can be very dangerous, and staying in bed for a couple of days can save lives – my own experience, and I never neglect this part since.
      There are two festivals I want to attend – Puck Fair and Ted Fest. I always miss Ted Fest because it is booked out before I even think of going.
      Cromwellian conquest is well documented indeed, and some castles that surrendered to him are still there, like Cahir Castle that you might pass by on your way to the Puck Fair 🙂
      Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year!

      1. It’s Chrismas Day (evening) now and I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas so far. I imagine you’re feeling better recovered from the flu now – and I agree with what you say about the need to isolate yourself. It is so much more dangerous an illness than many people realise. I hope you get to Ted Fest next year! I’d be happy to get to either. 🙂

        1. Thank you Millie! Hope all our good dreams come true in 2016 🙂
          Christmas day is almost over, unless you observe the Twelvetide or the Octave 🙂 Hope it was a lovely day spent with your family and friends. Thank you for all the good wishes! Have a peaceful weekend and the rest of the year! xx

  5. Excellent post… I loved the photographs and was pleased to learnt about the relationship between Goats and satyrs according to Greek Mythology… I have read that Pan was associated to Apollo as per certain sources… If will have to write a post on Pan, and when I do, i will add a trackback to this post…
    Merry Christmas and all my best wishes to you. Aquileana 🎄

  6. Excellent post… I loved the photographs and was pleased to learnt about the relationship between Goast and satyrs accoridng to Greek Mythology… I have read that Pan was associated to Apollo as per certain sources… If will have to write a post on Pan, anmd when I

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I will read your post with a great pleasure. If you ask me, the evil power of goats is certainly overestimated. Happy Christmas! xx

        1. They ate a lot of my stuff when I was young 🙂 They would make a mesh of my dresses. Oh, you have no idea! It is just that the Christmas Spirit is high, and I feel like forgiving everyone, and defending the critters who have the worst reputation 🙂

            1. Well, they might swallow, eventually. It was my duty to watch the clothes line, but sometimes I got distracted. My Grandma used to put my tiny clothes on the Wild rose bush to dry – it is where the goats got them 🙂

  7. Well done for taking those photos, in spite of the flu. I love goats too. You took some lovely shots of them. There’s a Puck’s Castle in Shankill, county Dublin and it’s supposed to be haunted so I think it was called that from the Irish word for ghost – púca.

  8. Dear Inese. I saw this in my email last night and have been trying to get here ever since — I’m so sorry to be late, when you were sick. It’s so miserable and frightening to be so ill and weak. I hope you are feeling much better (though it sounds like it might take more than a couple of days).
    I’m impressed that you did such a good post knowing how badly you felt.
    I’ve always liked goats, so curious and they have such gentle faces.
    In the rural southeast some people keep them (and even loan them to friends) because they can so nimbly nibble the grass away from fences. As you say, some are treated better than others. I hate to hear of any animal being mistreated.
    Sending you sunshine super hugs and happy, healing thoughts. ❤ 🙂

    1. Teagan, thank you so much for your kind words! I am still fighting bad cough, and feeling weak, but the worst is over.
      I have seen these amazing videos when people hire goats to clean up their back yards. No better choice indeed. They love nibbling, and I remember the state of my dress when my Grandma’s goat stole it from the line 🙂 I wasn’t mad, just amazed 🙂
      King Puck is the most favored goat for sure, but I love all his clever and funny relatives wherever they live in the world.
      Have a beautiful holiday season, with some magic and nice surprises. Sending you many hugs!!!

  9. Please to see you’re better. I always think of goats (probably both) as able to get anywhere and reach anywhere. I like them both. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Olga! It is only my second day on my feet, but I am feeling better.
      Aren’t they wise and brave animals?

      Have a wonderful holiday season! xx

  10. Oh my darling, get well. there is nothing worse, especially at this time of year too. I did love this post. When you feel better I will tell you why I am known on Tilos as the woman who dances with goats….

      1. Inese, listen yir photographs are magic but that is not the point right now. The point is your food not tasting like cardboard, your hands not shaking when you open the ipad…But for you I will tell the story. So we are staying on Tilos in this fancy, by Greek standards but paid for by one or two EU grants to the owner, let us get that straight cos he was a bit of a crook, apartment . And not only are we besieged by prancing goats cos it is the middle of nowhere so I put plastic loungers up to stop them ( God knows why when these are mountain goats) but Mr Shey manages to flush the loo plug down the loo. Mr Shey who also assures me I do things like that all the time. Anyway, after I have sort of done the excuse me I have done many things in my life but I have never yet flushed the toilet plug down the toilet, he goes off down the hill to report it. In the meantime the handyman arrives to take away the loungers cos they are broken and cracked and I tried to say to him why they were stacked up and all. Cos things had been fraught I forgot my Greek phrases and words for things like goat. And he spoke no English so I ended up doing this little clop clop dance on the floor tiles, with my fingers for horns on my head and my nice clip clop sandals on my feet so he got this. And he must have cos he called them goatoses. And worse, i said yes. But then after he had gone down the hill and got Mr Shey’s filed report he came back up again and in perfect English while looking at me said, ‘The part will be coming from Rhodes tomorrow…’ At which I wanted to die. And that night it was round every tavern on the island that I was dances with goats and all the waiters etc were doing the clop clop dance.. And even the next year the holiday reps and all were still speaking about the woman who dances with goats… Obvi no much else to do/

        1. Ok, you just gave me a coughing fit cos I cannot laugh yet! :))) Priceless story! I just picture you clip-cloping with your fingers making horns! And his poker face. They probably still remember you, like some part of local folklore. You know, the moments like that make our life worth living 🙂

      2. Probably they still do remember .It was such a small island, only about 300 folks living there all told between two small ‘towns..’ And you are so right, these are the moments to cherish in life. Rather be known as that than nothing xxxx Get well darling. Horrible horrible thing to have

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I was following the balloons and was supposed to take a ferry, but missed it, and missed the landing of the balloons. Wasn’t too upset having tons of goat pictures 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I am feeling better, but have difficulties falling asleep because of the cough 😦 Flu is very dangerous, I have learned that in a hard way 😦
      Wish you a lovely holiday season!

  11. Goats are adorable but can be pushy! I love goat cheese. Feel better soon, dear Inese. I’ve brought you flowers to brighten your day 🙂 And look! — a goat and monkey tagged along, as well. 🌷 🌼 🌸 🌻 🌹 🐐 🐒

      1. My son has been ill with the flu this past week (his third bout in as many months), so reading your post, I thought of how ill he’s been and I do really feel for you. Take care. I hope the cough goes quickly; that really is the enemy of sleep.

          1. Thanks Ines. He’s bounced back in the way of the young. You’re right about human weaklings; and I worry that we don’t exactly help ourselves in a society full of fast food, inactivity and environmental toxins. And on that cheery note … Happy Christmas.

  12. Extensive lab studies have been made on rats proving they have empathy and will rescue other rats who are confined. They are also smart. Animals have abilities we don’t want to know about because it would change the way we treat them!
    I hope you feel better my friend and Happy Holidays!

  13. Hoping you are feeling better, Inese. Thanks for your thoughts, I agree that we should appreciate the animals and don’t “dress” them with superstitions. The same happens sometimes in my country with cats. I think I have never seen goats in Peru, to me they are so exotic…

      1. Goats aren’t in the Peruvian ecosystem, we have in the mountains llamas, pumas, condors, and other animals but not goats. It’s strange but seems like Spaniards didn’t bring them.

          1. Yes, we have sheep, they survive better our high altitudes (4000 meters above sea level) and are yummy, there are cows too and we have our native deer that we call Taruka (pronounced Tah-ruh-Kah) ^_^

  14. Nubian goats are my fav. I do like other farm animals but goats capture my attention. I do have a penchant for miniature goats they are so cute and you can take them home in your pocket. I have seen hot air balloon contest and just for plain fun rise to the heavens. So colorful. Thanks for this interesting post.

  15. When I saw the title and that you had the flu, I thought you had fever induced hallucinations about goats and monkeys. I recall seeing some goats (and many sheep) when we visited Ireland. Love the images. Cheers!

      1. I had a fever a few years back and was having strange dreams about bells…It was only a few days later that I realized I’d only been hearing the neighbor’s wind chimes. lol

  16. A very entertaining post! I’m amazed you were able to pull it together! Bravo – take care and have a healthy, happy holiday season!

  17. Goats are actually very playful and affectionate. I do farm chores for a neighbor when they go on vacation. The goats are a pleasure. It’s the geese that I could do without! Fun post. I hope you start feeling better soon and are on your feet for the holiday 🙂

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