Inspired by arson in Gavle, Sweden, St. Louis Pagans gather each year to herald Spring by burning a straw goat. Actually, it's more accurate to say a goat-like form with some straw on it or in it. This was the fourth year of this new tradition.
This year's goat was the creation of the Woodman, and we teased him pretty hard about it. He can take it. It suffered a hump in its back that made it look a bit like a camel. The first goat was an unstable pile of straw somehow shaped into the general form of a goat. Year two, was a plywood-cutout on a sawbuck, but it was so damp that year that even a blowtorch and a whole bottle of torch fuel failed to ignite the effigy, so year three was the same goat. It burned that year. The Queen of Jefferson County Trailer Trash had no problem igniting the Woodman's work, and the small gathering watched as the straw quickly burned away.
In the past, we've had a Goat Queen, but the ritual aspect of the tradition has been in decline. Instead of a high priestess of the goat this year, we designated Wifey as the Goat Queen, and dedicated its destruction to her recovery. She's been in the hospital for several weeks; as Spring Blooms, so may her health.
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