It was a beautiful sunny South Texas Sunday afternoon and there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the little one horse town where Trooper Bob was stationed.
He had made most of his usual rounds. He had checked out the Mid-way Drive In theater and had driven out past the Primitive Baptist Church to make sure the pot luck hadn’t broken into a free for all what with Mrs. Washum claiming her tuna casserole far superior to Mrs. Spellman’s. He stopped and got a soft serve at the Dairy Barn and was having a hard time eating it faster than it melted.
It looked like a calm afternoon around town so Trooper Bob decided to patrol some of the farm to market roads. A “FM” road is exactly what it sounds like. It is a secondary road maintained by the state which takes goods and services from ranch/farm to town and vice versa. They are often quiet out of the way two lanes highways with little traffic. (I know there are exceptions like FM1960 in Houston which might as well be labeled the super FM road). Trooper Bob chose a commonly deserted FM road for his afternoon drive for the peace and quiet.
He drove for several miles and saw cows grazing and tractors out in the fields. He saw buzzards and lizards and all manner of small varmints. He spotted in the distance a car headed his way. He set his speed and watched the vehicle’s approach making sure speed limit laws were being upheld. The car came closer and Trooper Bob could see what he thought was a dog with large ears hanging out the back window of the Chevrolet. The cars finally came to that point where you are close enough to wave to your approaching neighbor (because that is what you do in the country, wave at every car) when Trooper Bob noticed something was wrong.
Trooper Bob shook his head once then flipped the switch for the cherry red light and turned his car around in one smooth motion. Since the Chevrolet wasn’t going very fast he was able to over take him in just seconds. Trooper Bob had to look again as he passed the Chevrolet. He pulled in front motioning for the driver to follow him to the edge of the bar ditch. (In Texas a bar ditch is that ditch that runs along one or both sides the road for run off water). He got out of his car adjusted his Sam Brown Belt put on his hat and walked back to the Chevy. He was anxious to get a closer look at the passenger in the back seat of the car.
He was met by the owner of the vehicle a small Hispanic man with a big smile and his papers at the ready. Trooper Bob returned the Hispanic man’s greeting and then ducked his head to look at the passenger. Just as Trooper Bob thought there was a big old Billy goat in the back seat. The goat took up the whole back of the old Chevy and was content to just hang its head out the window while chewing on the nearly nonexistent upholstery.
Trooper Bob asked “Mr. Garcia are you aware you have a goat in your car and he is eating your upholstery?” Mr. Garcia smiled and said “Si` Senor. He is my goat. He lives in a very small pen. He doesn’t get to get out very much so I take my goat for a ride every Sunday afternoon. He likes to ride in the car and see all the pretty scenery.” Trooper Bob bit back a smile and said “Well, Mr. Garcia, there aren’t any laws against taking your goat for a ride just so long as you do it safely.” The man looked at Trooper Bob and said “Oh Senor, I always tie him in real good so he won’t fall out.”
What more was there for Trooper Bob to say? What more was there to do? But give the goat the rest of his ice cream cone and head on down the road to keep the peace and make sure all goats were securely tied up in back seats.