In January 2009, two racketeers armed with machetes were trying to rob a car in Nigeria. They were noticed by police officers who were on patrol at the time. The hooligans successfully escaped like thirty per cent of all suspects do, but what is surprising is that one of them turned into a black and white goat. It is even more surprising that the officers arrested the goat, wholeheartedly believing that the animal was one of the two racketeers.
When the world was recovering from the housing market crash, policemen in Nigeria clearly knew the true cause of everything that was going wrong — witchcraft. That night the policemen must have gone back home and bragged about the shape-shifting creature only they were brave enough to catch. They probably left out the details of them shivering at the prospect of getting it into the car. Meanwhile, the ‘shape-shifting creature’ — presently a goat — was behind bars in a police station.
Having to share the cell with a goat must have been weird for — well, humans. A place filled with murderers, arsonists, robbers; life in prison is hard enough as it is. You have to be the alpha or an accomplice of the alpha, otherwise, you’re dead meat. Then, one day, a goat is placed in a cell. Everyone is certain it’s a witch. Suddenly, the alpha isn’t the one to be afraid of, no; it is the goat. Even the alpha is afraid of it. Arguments arise, where people fight about the ingredients you need to master transfiguration. Someone screams that it is one drop of pegasus blood and two strands of a mermaid’s hair while someone else says that you actually need a dozen drops of werewolf blood (obviously) and a pinch of turmeric. Rumours start to circulate, that a person saw the goat transform into a human around midnight and then back into a goat at dawn. Someone else says that they saw the goat speak. This leaves everyone up at night, pondering what the goat is up to. But all it does is lie on its bed of straw, sleeping peacefully. Inside your heads, you know that it enjoys this chaos.
No matter how many news articles I look through, there is no news about whether the goat was released, which makes me imagine what could have happened to the poor creature. People had gathered outside the police station to catch just one glimpse of the celebrity-goat. If it were to be released, they would’ve had to do it without letting the crowd know. So I imagine a police officer carrying the goat at a time when everyone’s asleep and taking it to a vacant alley, and just placing it there. They must have checked the perimeter to see if anyone was around, before heading back to the police station. The goat probably just stood there, unable to comprehend what had happened in the last few days, after all, it was a goat. Real-life is obviously not a fantasy or sci-fi film where witches exist — or is it?
~ Written by Kaavya Azad for MTTN
~ Edited by Chintan Gandhi