We’re at the gate, and I’m tucked in the isle, half-standing, waiting to get off the plane.  The conversation behind me was between a flight attendant and a middle aged couple talking about their young daughter who was there with them.  Trapped in the isle, I was overhearing them talk about their daughter’s interest in horses, barrell racing and roping goats. 

Turns out, the way they break kids into roping calves is to have them rope goats first.  Lasso them, hog time them and bring them down.  That type of thing.

The girl said that at first it was hard to get herself to do it but it got easier over time.  The dad said that in the evening, when all rodeo is over, they have a barbeque and roast and eat the goats.  To him, that seemed to make the ‘competition’ between child and the goat, all the better.  I’m just guessing that it added to the ritual and appeased the need for unconscious domination, or something.  The children were encouraged to rope the goats and then eat them later.

I didn’t say anything, couldn’t think of anything to say and I wasn’t invited into the conversation anyway. 

What I was thinking was that it seemed paradoxical that that the girl ‘loved’ her horse and would treat it with special care, but she could hogtie, and ‘mess’ with a goat and that was okay.  And if she ate it later, then that made it even more okay. 

I’m thinking this might be an example of unconscious behavior. 

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