“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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Goat

July 11, 2020

Captain Cook may have racked up enough nautical miles to reach the moon and back during his adventures but perhaps it was the ship’s goat who is contender for the title of the greatest explorer of all time?

This intrepid nanny accompanied James Cook and naturalist Joseph Banks on their epic 1768 voyage aboard the HMS Endeavor in search of Terra Australis, the fabled continent of the South Seas.
106919554_977094539407101_4622811357132828346_n.jpg The goat provided a regular supply of fresh milk for the captain and officers on the long trip and no doubt some entertaining company too.

But this wasn’t actually the goat’s first time circumnavigated the globe. Two years earlier she earned her sea legs on HMS Dolphin under the command of Captain Samuel Wallis and on one occasion even saved the crew from an attack by Tahiti natives by butting their leader in the buttocks when he leapt aboard the ship, forcing him overboard.

Returning to Britain in 1771 after her last voyage, the goat was given a hero’s welcome and given the freedom of the grounds of the Greenwich Hospital, the home for ex-servicemen of the Royal Navy.

Her celebrity status compelled London’s most esteemed literary master, Samuel Johnson, to gift Joseph Banks with an ode to the famous goat, which Banks is said to have had inscribed onto a silver collar for the nanny’s retirement;


‘In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove,
This Goat, who twice the world had traversed round,
Deserving both her master’s care and love,
Ease and perpetual pasture now has found.’


She even received an obituary in a London newspaper when she passed away in 1772, and in our own fitting tribute to this well-travelled goat we will be making a special Sunday Brunch cocktail with goat’s cheese tomorrow.