Lewis Woke Up As a Goat

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Lewis woke up a goat. goat

Not an innocent dupe or the fall guy to a doomed enterprise. Not a straw man fronting a sinister evil who consummated a scheme.

Lewis awoke as a real goat. Horns, overbite and stinking of urine.

Lewis wasn’t the most attractive squire when he was a man. He tried to tame a flyaway head of brown hair that attracted static no matter how much Sir Horatio’s Magic Hair Tonic he slopped on his scalp.  He opened his maw a little too wide to talk and when he did his teeth appeared jutted and upended as if a box of Chiclets gum spilled into a shirt pocket.

But he never smelled of urine. Mrs. Grink would never allow it.

“Mother!” he thought, scampering about on the straw. “She must be worried sick for not finding me in my bed!”

Every morning before Lewis left for the real estate office, Mrs. Grink would serve him peanut butter on raisin bread toast with a glass of Tang.

She didn’t let Lewis drink coffee. Nor was he allowed to chew tobacco or frequent Johnny's. She refused to let him eat eggs on account of losing Mr. Grink to high cholesterol. (Mr. Grink ran off with the buxom secretary from his cardiologist’s office.)

“What’s today?” bleated Lewis. “Tuesday? I’m going to miss the office meeting and caravan. I have a new listing--”

Lewis stopped. He looked above the wire gate of the stall and perused the barn. He squinted to read a sign over the entrance on the other side of the building.

Sorley’s.

Although he couldn’t see above his pen, Lewis heard other goats scratching at the dirt floor and bleating incessantly. He guessed twenty goats occupied identical stalls.

Lewis remembered. He drove out yesterday afternoon to pitch Old Man Sorley about listing the place.  Sorley’s wife died years ago. He had no heirs. The Sorley spread was coveted by every moneyman and cityslicker, offering fifty of the last buildable acres in Montrose County.

Lewis hoped to land the deal and prove to the other agents in the office he was more than a thirty-nine year old ham radio hobbyist living in his mother’s basement.  Everyone knew that Teddy the broker kept Lewis on because Lewis could squeeze up into the rafters and reset the attic fan during the humid summers when the circuit breaker tripped. 

Lewis wondered if he could still shimmy up Teddy's trap door as a goat.  Goats were known to be good climbers.

He heard a latch on the barn door and then the shuffling of feet. A shadow of a stooped figure made its way toward the goat pen.  Old Man Sorley dragged his right foot.

Sorley wasn’t more than five feet tall fully stretched. Frail and skinny, he wore a men’s size small that accentuated a physique similar to a teenage girl. Yet he possessed a Herculean strength.

One story told that Sorley lifted a lame mule out of a drainage ditch only to find the animal drowned the night before in a flash flood.

That stirred the coffee clutch down at Johnny’s Diner with Buckles Hefflahan joking, “How many Sorley’s does it take to save a mule? None. The dumb ass up and drowned while the other ass gave it mouth-to-mouth!”

Lewis remembered how he belly laughed at that one while sipping his black coffee. He always drank coffee down at Johnny’s.  Lewis was, after all, a Grink and Grink men struggled with independence. Grinks were known to be good followers.

“Think you were going to hijack my land?” asked Sorley as he leaned over the goat pen.

Lewis tried to speak but the only sound that came out of his hairy snoot was a throaty bleat, “Hraaaaaaa.”

Sorley possessed unusual features.  His dark-ringed eyes protruded at least a full two inches from each other, spread far apart from his triangular nose. If Sorley was an animal, he’d resemble a sloth. A demonic looking sloth.

“My family been tied to this dirt for a hundred years, Lewis Grink,” boasted the old man.

“Hraaaaaaa,” bleated Lewis.

“I got the spirit in my blood. I make old magic,” Sorley hissed.  “You think you the first suit to drive out here and try to get me to sign that paper.”

“Hraaaaaaa.”

Sorley smiled.  “Listen Lewis Grink. Listen to all the other fancy Nancy’s from Main Street who came out to try and grab my farm. I got me thirty two goats who used to be real estate brokers. There’s a drawer in the house filled with pens and flag lapel pins.”

Lewis stopped bleating. He wasn’t going to see his mother again. He wasn’t going to finish the Lego model of the Golden Gate Bridge. He wasn’t going to wear his Batman pajamas late at night to watch kung fu movies with English sub-titles.

He was going to die on Sorley’s farm a goat.

His eyes watered. Hot tears trickled down Lewis' hairy cheeks, tiny drops that fell softy into the dirty hay. The grin on Sorley’s face faded. The old man stifled a pang of sorrow for the little spotted goat that stood before him.

“Awww, don’t be doing that now Lewis Grink,” he said. “There’s worse things to being a goat.”

Yet Lewis continued to cry in silence.

The old man shuffled back and forth and grew anxious.

“Now you stop crying Lewis Grink. I oughtn’t feel bad for turning you into a goat. You’re just about the worst real estate agent that ever come up here anyway. My sister used to babysit for your Papa. She told me the Grinks were just about the most foolish dunwoodies in these parts. You’ll live longer as a goat. It’s safer.”

And still Lewis cried.

Sorley dragged his right foot to the left and back again. He uttered strange words to himself like “scragdangit” and “beesmidget.” He chewed on his thumb and kneaded his knobby fingers.

Lewis cried.

“Aright, aright,” howled the old man, “I’ll turn yer back. But promise me Lewis Grink that you’re going to quit this real estate nonsense and move out of your Mama’s house. And don’t ever let me find you drinking coffee and assembling with those fools down at Johnny’s!”

Just then a tremendous bell went off in his head and Lewis slumped to the dirt floor unconscious.

He awoke in his bed.  Mrs. Grink prodded him.

“Lewis, sweetie, get up. You’re going to be late for work.”

Lewis looked up at his mother, a simple woman with dimpled cheeks and a head shaped like a dented cantalopue. He felt his face. Smooth and clean shaven. He wasn’t a goat.

“I’m not going to sell real estate anymore, Mama. I want to work in a toy store.”

Mrs. Grink smiled wide, her pale blue eyes lit with excitement.

“I think that’s a lovely idea, son,” she said as she pulled the sheets down and helped Lewis get out of bed.

A stench rose up from the covers and Mrs. Grink pinched her nose.

“Goodness, Lewis! What did you do! Did you pee the bed?”


~ ~ ~

Andrew J. Lenza (c), Copyright 2011.

Comments (16)

Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

A different kind of story.

Mar 27, 2011 11:16 PM
Judy Jennings
Top Agent Plus - Middleboro, MA
Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources.

Andrew - You are a fantastic story teller. How on earth do you come up with this stuff?

Mar 28, 2011 12:20 AM
Andrew J. Lenza
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Holmdel, NJ

Clint, we do "different" often around here.

Judy, actually the theme of a person transformed into an animal is timeless. The prince who becomes a frog. Kafka's "Metamorphosis" where Gregor turns into a cockaroach. I used my photo of the goats as a writing prompt, thought a little bit about the protagonist and the antagonist and aimed for whimsical. Thank you for reading.

Mar 28, 2011 01:58 AM
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC

Andrew,

I know a Realtor who is indeed a goat!  Chinny-chin-chin and all!  I'm working on getting that pic to you.

Dick Beals

Mar 28, 2011 02:48 AM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

 She refused to let him eat eggs on account of losing Mr. Grink to high cholesterol. (Mr. Grink ran off with the buxom secretary from his cardiologist’s office.)

Andrew, you are so funny!  This was great!  I'm glad the old man changed him back.  I've gotten out of more than a few scrapes with very genuine Italian woman tears.  I'm glad it worked for Lewis.

Mar 28, 2011 02:52 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

"a simple woman with dimpled cheeks and a head shaped like a dented cantalopue"----simply awesome!:)

Mar 28, 2011 02:59 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Haven't even started yet, and the Kafka siren was already at full category 5 tornado warning when I saw the title. I think I'm going to enjoy this. Back shortly.

Mar 28, 2011 04:29 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

The Silence of the Grinks 

This was great, Andrew.

Mar 28, 2011 04:40 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

You already mentioned the prince/frog and Metamorphosis (great story, btw), but my simple mind keps thinking of Jeff Goldblum turning into the fly. As for your blog, most real estate agents seem to be sheep, not goats. But sheep aren't as sexy.

Mar 28, 2011 12:22 PM
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The real estate agent as a goat. It some how seems fitting. :)

Mar 28, 2011 12:48 PM
Andrew J. Lenza
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Holmdel, NJ

@ Dick, I'm afraid to open the attachment.

@ Susan, you're too funny. Bonding with fictional characters.

@ Charles, my writer's group gave me invaluable advice. I don't describe the characters' physical traits enough.

@ Paul, a good goat will do that.

@ Eric, "But sheep aren't as sexy" -- LMAO at your words. Let's let that one percolate, simmer in its own juices. Hilarious!

@ James, ever try to milk a real estate agent?

Mar 28, 2011 03:43 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Andrew, I've been bonding with fictional characters since Nancy Drew!

Mar 28, 2011 03:51 PM
Andrew J. Lenza
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Holmdel, NJ

Patience, Susan. I'm cooking up your story. Got all the ingredients for Muse Sangigglia on a back burner. Like making sauce.

Mar 28, 2011 05:20 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

So what did Lewis wake up as this morning? I'm gonna go with cornish game hen.

Mar 30, 2011 06:44 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

I've been away and missed this and BTW, I am with Mr. Grink  ;-)

Apr 09, 2011 03:41 AM
Andrew J. Lenza
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Holmdel, NJ

@ Paul, "unemployed"

@ Russell, I want you to know that the Lewis of the story is not associated in any way to yourself. Just noticed the names. Welcome back. You were missed.

Apr 09, 2011 11:54 AM