Northwest NEWS

September 14, 1998


Duvall historian/goat made a splendid pair

   by Oscar Roloff
   Seventeen years ago Ralph Taylor of Duvall left me a short article to use if I so desired. A long-time mayor, town official and writer, Ralph had moved to Bremerton to await his demise. He'd been quite sick. I used to visit Ralph and his wife Selma in their hillside home in Duvall. A splendid pair.
   When the letter arrived, he said he'd never had time to write up the story. Of course, he's now crossed over and won't be able to see my efforts for him bear fruit.
   Since 1913 I (Ralph Taylor) have crossed Novelty Hill many times. I recall about 1916 we had a Snoqualmie Valley Fair in Duvall. I wanted to participate, but I needed a goat to be in the pet parade.
   Already having a cart, I made a harness and asked a cousin to drive me by horse and wagon to the Perrigo farm at Happy Valley near Redmond.
   Word had seeped to me that they had billy goat for sale for three bucks.
   For me that was a life-time of savings, but I bought the old goat anyhow. What a terrible mistake; it led to a trip that was extremely treacherous. Tying the goat behind the buggy we left.
   Again and again the goat tried to break free when he saw a huckleberry bush. Soon the goat frightened the horse. So I moved the goat to the front seat of the buggy and picked some huckleberry plants for the goat to the gnaw on.
   One time when he couldn't find berries to chew on, the goat began eating the upholstery. I think he expected to find his ancestors there as the buggy seats were then made of mohair.
   Upon arriving in Duvall, people stared. One said it looked like a bridal party, as the goat sat beside me. I was holding a large huckleberry bush, feeding the darn goat as he bleated away in utter happiness. During the fair the goat began chawing away on a winning pumpkin.
   A man bought the goat to help clear bush along the river, but soon hoped the goat would fall in and drown. No luck. The upset fellow gave the goat back to me.
   Then a local hunter wanted a goat to serve as a coyote bait. That was the last time I saw that four-footed billy goat. That was the last time I ever entered a pet parade. The lesson here is to never trust a billy goat.