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Getting Sweden’s Goat, Again

The Gävle Goat

The Gävle Goat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, I learned that the town of Gävle in Sweden has a tradition of building a Christmas goat out of straw. I learned that at the same time that I learned that the goat burned down last year.

Inspired by the sight of last year’s Christmas Goat in flames, I wrote a post proclaiming that when writing this blog made me rich I would commission straw goats all across North America. My goats would be constructed and burned for charity. These charity goat events would be called Get My Goat. I stand by that proclamation, though the blog has not made me rich yet.

I’m happy to inform you that for the twenty-seventh time since 1966, the Gävle Goat burned down this year. The 2013 Goat went up in flames on December 21.

The Gävle Goat inspires me. I love the blind faith that it took to build the first straw goat (it burned). The fact that they keep building it, year after year, says a lot about the human spirit. We will persevere. We are resilient. We rise, phoenix like, from the ashes…if there were a phoenix that was a straw goat.

And though I am generally opposed to both vandalism and arson, I’m inspired by those who find a way to burn The Goat. They succeed time and again. The builders try to deter them with fences, guards, camera surveillance and by fire proofing The Gävle Goat. This year’s goat burned despite the most elaborate counter measures yet. Vandalism and arson are bad, but you’ve got to respect the determination of those who get Sweden’s goat.

I’ve found the joy in my life through blind faith and determination. I’m grateful for those who care for me and the occasions with them that delight me. Most of all, I’m fortunate because I have the chance to return their love.

Don’t be deterred. Believe in happiness.

Merry Christmas to all.

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8 Comments on “Getting Sweden’s Goat, Again”

  1. lbwoodgate says:

    Next year they can put a certain strain of poison ivy in that wooded area that concealed our flame thrower and have all hospitals alert the police when he or she checks in to their ERs.

    But hey! What’s the old saying? If you build it they will come? No wait, it’s if you build your house of straw … yada, yada, yada.

  2. My new favorite thing! Giant straw goats. The one in the pic looks like my goat Heath! Merry Christmas!!

  3. I love the endurance of the pranksters. Besides, I’m sure it is much more amazing and awesome to look at when it’s up in flames. And, warmer. Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Oma.

  4. knace says:

    I’ve always thought of Swedes as a gentle, quirky, thoughtful people who have given the world ABBA, Ikea and my beloved Volvo station wagon. And then I read your post and thought I should not be fooled. It is obvious the blood of their livestock torching Viking ancestors still flows through their veins. And maybe my veins too because I thought it was pretty cool. =)
    Merry Christmas right back at you, Oma.

  5. Debbie says:

    The vandal/burners are a determined lot, but so are those who constructed the straw goat. After all, they keep building the thing and devising new ways of trying to keep it safe. Guess there wouldn’t be any point to betting whether it’s going to burn or not, huh? Merry Christmas to you and yours, Oma!

  6. So, the score is now 20-27. Straw goat behind. Anyone who can design and manufacture Saab and Volvo cars, both masterpieces and durable for ever and ever, will soon catch up. Then, the straw goat defense will be locked in and they will leave the arsonists behind.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe The Goat Is Suppose To Burn, Hence The Straw? Just Not At The Arson Time Of Choosing.

  8. For some reason, I thought the burning of the goat was part of the ritual. Really, I thought they built it and burned it at a significant time every year. Maybe New Year’s Eve. Out with the old goat and all that.


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