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The Great Goat-napping

March 16, 2012


By Joseph Kassabian

Back when we were living at Camp Grizzly there was a senior NCO who everyone absolutely hated. I’ll call him Staff Sergeant ‘Old Yeller’. Anywhere soldiers are deployed, even though we are told not to due to dieses and risk of attack, we adapt local animals as our own. Old Yeller didn’t like this.

One day, swearing he was acting on our commander’s orders he rounded up all the dogs, took them to the rear of our small camp, and shot them. For no good reason, none of the dogs had ever attacked anyone and were all decently healthy looking. They even went on patrol with us and kept locals away. We were pissed.

Unfortunately there was really nothing we could do, he was a Staff Sergeant and of the group of pissed off soldiers the highest ranking one was me, a Corporal. The most we could do is ‘Declare war on the TOC’ (tactical operations center) where he worked.

Being the ‘battle NCO’ during the day time meant he lurked around and screamed at people for uniform violations, smoking in the wrong place, or whatever tickled him the wrong way at the time.

So Shot, Bugzy, and I just went around littering, smoking right outside of his office, and just be general annoyances for him. After a while that lost its fun and we stopped. One day Old Yeller decided it would be a good idea to go out and get some goats. We immediately started plotting their deaths.

His plan was to buy two goats and start fattening them up for slaughter. He wanted to eat them for Thanksgiving. I should point out that he paid for these out of his own pocket at about one hundred dollars apiece. Of course he wasn’t going to feed and take care of these stupid goats, he ordered soldiers to do it.

After a few weeks of caring for that idiot’s goats soldiers were already plotting their cold blooded murder. A soldier named ‘Special K’, a scout, stalked out to the field where Old Yeller had tied up his goats with a machete. Fully intent on slaughtering the under fed goats, but was seen by one of the guard towers and had to retreat.

Old Yeller knew he was hated and the goats would be a target. He kept a close eye on them. Bugzy and Shot started coming up with a plan. We had an operation coming up where we would move out to an Afghan Police check point for a few days, Shot and Bugzy decided they would bring along some ‘food’.

Bugzy is someone who continually makes you ask the question ‘What the fuck are you doing in the military?’ Overly intelligent and artistic he could have been a very successful graphic designer of some sort. His sarcasm is razor sharp and he tends to make the people around him feel stupid. While I wasn’t there for the plan to steal the goat, I can tell you it was probably Bugzy’s idea.

I wasn’t there for the launching of ‘Operation Goat-nap’, but I can tell you what happened. Bugzy and Shot snuck into the rear of the base which was walled off to keep the goats in. They moved the wall to make the exit with an angry goat in their arms a little bit easier.

A few things they didn’t count on were:

-The goat was pissed and fought them.

-Goats are stronger then you would think.

-They are also a whole lot faster than you would think.

After almost a half hour of attempting to wrangle a goat Shot grabbed it around the neck and picked it up. They unfortunately forgot about the other goat, which escaped and started running around Camp Grizzly. They cut their losses and ran toward the truck with their ill gotten goat.

Slim saw them run by with a very unhappy goat in their care and started running after them wondering what the fuck was going on. Slim, being himself, immediately saw how hilarious this was going to be and got in on the plan.

They stowed the goat in the back seat of Grandpa’s truck. The concealed it with a piece of camouflage netting they found nearby and of course did not tell Grandpa about the living animal in his back seat.

Meanwhile in the gym Big Mac and I were lifting weights and saw a goat run by with about four soldiers and an Afghan Policeman at its heels trying to capture it. We looked at each other shrugged our shoulders and kept lifting.

The trucks were all loaded up for a few days living out with the Afghans, and we drove out of the gate towards the check point. We didn’t make it very far until Grandpa realized something was up. He sniffed at the recycled air inside of his truck.

“Why does it smell like a goddamn farm in here?” He asked, Shot and Bugzy could barely contain their laughter. Shot stared straight ahead over the steering wheel trying not to betray the joke.

“baaaaa” came a muffled noise from underneath the pile of netting.

“What the fuck was that?” Grandpa obviously wouldn’t think we would have stashed a goat in his truck. At this Shot and Bugzy lost it, bursting with laughter and Shot could barely keep his truck on the road. Grandpa keyed his radio and screamed over the net “Where the fuck is it?”

At this point everyone in the convoy knew about the goat except Grandpa, and hearing him scream over the radio made everyone lose it. Slim was laughing so hard he made his driver pull the truck over. The whole convoy pulled over, the soldiers all laughing so hard they were crying.

Finally, the convoy pulled in to the check point and the still laughing soldiers got out and started moving in. The Afghans even found the goat-toting soldiers funny and started petting and feeding the still very angry goat. Bugzy decided to name the goat, cutting out a little piece of cardboard and writing ‘Radio’ in big block letters with a crooked smiley face underneath it. He attached a piece of string to it and hung it around the goat’s neck. He decided when calling the goat’s name you didn’t just say ‘Radio’, you yelled it out in the most mentally handicapped voice possible, like the Cuba Gooding Jr’ character.

Living in the cramped Afghan Police compound with a goat was admittedly odd. Even the Afghans who share their Toyota Corolla’s with sheep thought it wasn’t right. So the police started asking what we were going to do with it.

“Let’s eat the fucking thing” Pero laughed, threatening the goat with a huge tan knife he had on him. The goat didn’t seem to care.

“Fuck yeah” Slim cheered. Pero said he was going to kill it himself, not one to shy away from the dirty work. He is probably the hardest working Corporal in the US Army, always getting his hands dirty. He is another person people would think would never join the Army, making over a hundred thousand dollars a year as a contractor before he joined. He joined solely out of Patriotism and the want of adventure. He still never even looks at how much money he makes a month.

The Afghan Police had their own ideas though. They snatched the goat up by its legs and started dragging it off towards the rear of the Police station. Of course we quickly followed to watch what was going to happen. Pero gave the Afghan his tan knife.

A few soldiers pulled out their video cameras and started recording. The Afghan started slaughtering the goat in a fashion that would make most westerners sick. Sawing at the poor thing’s neck with the knife Pero gave him, it looked like the Afghan was trying to reenact his favorite Jihadist execution video.

The goat didn’t fight or make a noise. I guess even the goat knew his odds of a quick; clean death were relatively low being a farm animal in a third world country and just went with it. Blood pooled around the Afghan’s and soldier’s feet, the butcher quickly strung the still dying animal up by its feet to let the blood drain out of it. All the while Bugzy sat back screaming in his best Cuba Gooding voice


The Afghan then cut small slits by the thighs and did something I never saw coming. He put his lips to the skin and started blowing into the slits. The skin visibly ballooned up like some kind of nasty skin bag. I have no idea what purpose it served, but if it was to make everyone in attendance ill, he succeeded.

We all got bored with the slaughter and walked away. The Afghans kept working away with the goat; cooking it up with rice, potatoes, onions, and whatever else they could get their hands on. When the dish was complete it looked like something out of a delicious dysentery nightmare. We all knew eating this would tear our stomachs up, but we didn’t care.

The moral of this story is that stolen goat is fucking delicious. No, that wasn’t it. The moral is don’t overstep your bounds when dealing with the desperate. If you beat a dog long enough, if will bite back. Sometimes with actually teeth, sometimes with metaphorical teeth in the form of stealing, killing, and eating your pet.