An Ode To Blackjack

For those of you who haven’t heard the tale, the goat in my Gravatar is Blackjack. The folks who live behind us raise goats, and we gave them permission to graze him on our far back yard. I got to know and really like the old goat (pun intended), and he grew to like me more than his owner! Blackjack became a running joke on several of the blogs I follow, a Zen master of great wisdom, and ferocious defender of goats everywhere. When he disappeared late last year, I got the mistaken idea he had been put out to stud. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I learned that Blackjack had died. So, as a thank you to all who have shown me such patience, and to future comers, I give you – An Ode To Blackjack.

Ode To Blackjack

How unlike, you and I.
Me, a big-city boy,
You, a small-town gent.
Worlds apart, and yet
Somehow we knew.

You knew, when we met,
That your trademark stubborness
Wouldn’t work on me,
Just as I knew my slick-talk
Wouldn’t work on you.

So we got to know each other.
I gave you sympathy, you gave me an ear.
We traded trivialities
And the secrets of the universe.

We grew to be friends,
Closer than we thought possible.
You watched for my visits,
And I brought you on my blog visits.

Then winter came, and you left.
I thought you had gone
To your well-earned retirement,
To sun with young lovelies and play.

But come late spring,
I learned the truth.
You had left this earth,
And I was left without

My buddy,
My confidant,
My mentor,
The Goat who always
Got me.

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36 Responses to An Ode To Blackjack

  1. Brain Rants sent me.. so glad he did! This is wonderful. So sorry about Blackjack.. we find friends in the darnedest places and animals.

    • Thank you VERY much, Darlene! I’m gonna write some MUCH lighter stuff in the future, but I wanted not only to pay respects to my buddy, but also to let people who hadn’t heard his story, know why I had a goat in my Gravatar. (By the by, Blackjack is on the left, with the black fur. I try to let everybody know that, ’cause it’s too easy to get confused as to what’s who – or who’s what – or whatever. :D ) Welcome!

  2. Colton says:

    Well consider me dumbfounded. It actually happened.

  3. k8edid says:

    I love this Ode to BlackJack…animals can really fill spaces in our souls that humans just can’t. Good luck with your blog – I’ll be following!!!

    • Yeah, Blackjack and I just kinda found each other. It was weird, but neat, having a goat in my yard, having grown up in Chicago. Well, there was the one time we babysat a very young lamb. The neighborhood talked about it for years afterward! Then again, “normal behaviour” and I have never been close friends – as you’ll discover in coming posts. Thanks for dropping by, and welcome!

  4. Sorry to hear about Blackjack…I know he was your bud. And at the same time, I am borderline deeply disturbed by your love of this goat…:)

    • Hey, I’m a big softie when it comes to animals. I confuse the HECK outta Amish folk when I walk up and start talking to their horses! White mice, dogs, cats, heck we’ve even babysat a sheep! Guess I should’ve been a vet – except I hate to see animals suffer. Maybe tales of former animals will be a near-future post – just for you! ;)

  5. benzeknees says:

    If it weren’t for Brain Rants I would have never guessed you didn’t have your own blog – I see your comments everywhere I go because you follow so many of the same blogs I do. I’m looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Welcome, and thanks very much! It’s always nice to know there are others with similar tastes as mine. I’ve got a couple different ideas for posts in the near future, so hang in there while I get this puppy up to speed. Glad to have you aboard! :)

  6. dragonfae says:

    So sorry to hear about Black Jack. :( But I’m glad you’re now blogging … this is a lovely piece John. *hugs*

    • Thanks, Dragonfae. I was going to start with some flippant piece, but a friend pointed out that not everybody might know the tale of Blackjack, and that a tribute post would be both a good introduction to the world, and a nice memorial to that old goat. (The one with hair, not the one with the hat – just so everybody knows. ;) ) And I am positively STUNNED at the number of people who have shown up – both old friends, and new folks, too! I figured I would stumble along in anonymity for a couple months. Should’ve known that the folks I’ve been annoying for all this time would get payback! :D

  7. aFrankAngle says:

    Losing pets and other animals close to us is never easy. I recall when you told me that he died, and this ode is something special. Well done.

    • Thanks, Frank. And a second, HUGE thank you, for being so supportive in my attempt at launching this beast. You are one of the first bloggers I ever read, and you have never, NEVER failed to keep me entertained and enlightened. I only hope that I can do a fraction of the great writing you’ve done. And an equally large congratulations, on hitting that truly daunting mark of 1,000 posts. You. Are. AWESOME. I like to kid a lot, and crack wise, but I mean every word in this reply. Thank you again, and Godspeed on reaching 2,000! :)

  8. julesagray says:

    who are you again? Oh and, the next time I venture to Ohio, we’ll share a box of wine.

    • It’s easy if you use this mnemonic: I am here but have no hair, Blackjack has hair but is no longer here. Or just as easy – Blackjack is the CUTE one. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll take a pass on the wine, as I can’t drink with the meds I take, but if you promise to swing by me before we assault Frank,then it’s a date. Welcome to my insanity! :D

  9. nonnie9999 says:

    oh no!!! not blackjack!! so sorry, john. blackjack was the bestest goat ever! may he rest in peace.

    so nice to see that you now have a place of your own, john. it’s about time.

    • Nonnie! Glad to see you over here! Yeah, I miss that old goat, even with the dog and houseful of cats. Maybe I’ll convince my wife to get me that midget donkey I keep asking for! (Just no cracks about two … er … “backsides” in the same house! ;) )
      A very big welcome to you!

  10. Great tribute to your old friend Black Jack…loved it! :)
    I’m so thrilled you are finally blogging. It’s about time!

  11. Thank you, and welcome! I was given the choice of starting the blog, or listening to other people (like ‘Rants) gripe all the time.. Still not sure I made the right decision, but what the heck – if it wasn’t for bad choices, I’d have no blogging material! :D

  12. I haven’t experienced much success slick-talking goats either. Glad you’re blogging. I didn’t know if you had a blog or not because there hadn’t been a link in your avatar.

    • Wow – an honest-to-goodness legend! Hail and well met, good sir. My blog is only about a week old, so I’ve been “cheating” by building a following using others’ blogs first, so for quite a while, I’ve been blog-less – but with much encouragement, I have now rectified that situation.
      Yes, Blackjack was quite the wise old soul. Pity he’s gone, but he left me with some great stories, which I will share over time. So, until then, thanks for coming over, and welcome!

  13. El Guapo says:

    Beautifully written, and glad you have good memories of blackjack.

  14. Pingback: Even Better Than The End Of The World – The Beginning Of A Year | Guapola

  15. rarasaur says:

    :) I think this is a charming ode to Blackjack, and I’m so glad you took the time to write it. :D

    • Thanks! He became a constant companion on my pre-blogging commentary tour, so I felt it only appropriate he be my first post. Yeah, he was a goat, and he was somebody else’s goat, but dang it, I miss him! :)

  16. Pingback: Guest Post: John Erickson Learns a Lesson | rarasaur

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