Sweet Thursday; Sometimes A Goat Is Just A Goat
Recently I’ve come across a fascinating character in history, Alexander Selkirk. He is Robinson Crusoe. Selkirk was the person Daniel Defoe based his book upon. Selkirk was marooned on Juan Fernandez Island off the coast of Chile.
There are some slight variations where Defoe took literary license; too many to go into, however it would be good to mention a few.
1. Selkirk was marooned on an island four years and four months (1704 - 1709). Crusoe was there for 13 years.
2. Selkirk met nobody. Crusoe had a man named Friday.
3. Selkirk was forced to stay on the island by his captain. Crusoe was there because of shipwreck.
4. Selkirk was chased by Spanish visitors to the island. Crusoe was visited by cannibal savages.
Alexander Selkirk was a genius at survival.
The island he was exiled to was filled with rats, cats, and goats. When the rats began to gnaw at him, he domesticated the cats to take care of the rat problem. He chased down the goats, used them for food, and the hides for clothing.
He forged knives from metal rings of a wooden barrel. He made thread from the sinews of the goats. He made shelter from materials on the island.
He would also maim the legs of kid goats shortly after birth. In this way they were easier to catch when they matured and ready to harvest. Selkirk really thought ahead.
A documentary film a few years ago mentioned he notched the ears of goats he captured and let loose. Why he did this seems to be a mystery. However, my guess is that he was keeping his mind active by keeping score of some sort. The documentary suggested something else; something more bizarre. The person interviewed for the documentary suggested he notched goats he had sex with.
The woman who said that mentioned it as if it was quite natural and the only possible conclusion that any normal person could arrive. Am I missing something? Perhaps not, she is the one not normal.
Interestingly, she is the only one to utter such an event. There is nothing to suggest that in any of the writings about Selkirk. She invented it.
The woman in the documentary is a product of our times. It is a time that thinks the world revolves around sex and the only motivation one has for doing anything is sex. She read too much of Sigmund Fraud.
Certainly some men and women are thus driven. However, holocaust survivor and psychologist Victor Frankl knew something about survival. He stated people did not survive concentration camps and Nazi brutality for the hope of sex, it was to find meaning for there existence.
Selkirk’s days were filled with survival and he spent any spare time scanning the horizon for a ship to rescue him. He likely contemplated his existence and meaning to his life. That’s what normal people do.
Later, after being rescued and returned to England, he led the life of a celebrity. Although now rich, he stated being happiest when stranded alone on that island with not so much as a farthing. And I think it had nothing to do with goats.