By Linda Lovely
The internet is a wonderful tool for authors who want to do research and get it “right” when it’s impossible for them to view in-person the scene or activity they want to describe in a book. That’s the reason I spent maybe an hour the other morning watching YouTube videos of billy goats in rut. Quite the morning wake up.
The research is for the second book in my new Brie Hooker Mystery series, which is set on a fictional goat cheese farm, Udderly Kidding Dairy, located near Clemson, South Carolina. I must say the antics of billy goats trying to impress the ladies are funny. Probably a lot funnier since YouTube allows me to watch without smelling the hairy dudes! According to everything I’ve read, billy goats only smell—okay stink—when they’re in rut.
Since February is the month for Romance, I thought I’d share one of the billy goat videos I watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRPKgBo0vqo Whatever made the first billy goat think that wagging his long tongue in the air and blubbering like a fool would prove irresistible to a doe?
Watching the billy goats’ behavior in the videos made me wonder how many other animal courtship/ mating rituals are as bizarre. Again, thanks to minimal internet research, I found some animal mating activities that make the billy goat’s behavior seem tame. Exploding testicles, oh my! Here’s another link if you want to see 30 of the strangest animal mating habits: http://www.neatorama.com/2007/04/30/30-strangest-animal-mating-habits/
How did these behaviors ever start/evolve? Perhaps because we’re human, we don’t think our courtship behaviors are strange at all. Nonetheless, here are a few of the unusual ways humans try to communicate their interest in the opposite sex. http://mentalfloss.com/article/28950/9-strange-courtship-rituals-around-world
Fortunately, my husband only needed a wicked smile and a good sense of humor to attract my attention. Okay, the fact that he had thick black hair, an athlete’s build, and drove a 240Z didn’t hurt. Hey, I was young. He still has the wicked smile, good sense of humor, and athlete’s build, and his Ford truck has air conditioning. We won't mention the hair.