Gas Up With Goat Goat
White’s gas station at the foot of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge in Manns Harbor may look like your run-of-the-mill pit stop. It has all the makings: gas, snacks, drinks, and even some souvenirs and lunch items. But there’s one thing White’s has that other shops definitely don’t, and that is Goat Goat.
She’s the not-so-farm-like goat who has settled in over the past year and now claims White’s and the surrounding property as her turf. It also appears that Goat Goat has made quite a name for herself along the way. Some rumors suggest that Goat Goat is running for mayor, and campaign signs and T-shirts have even popped up around town encouraging her candidacy.
After all, she has all the qualities that make a good politician.
And she’s used to getting what she wants.
She’s also quite nosy and will not hesitate to stick her nose (and horns and hooves) into other people’s business — whether it is their car while they are gassing up or their grocery bag.
White’s store manager, Wanda White, says that along with the previous character traits, Goat Goat is also very friendly and social, all the while remaining independent. When asked who owns her, White replies, “I think she just belongs to herself.”
Along with knowing what she does want, Goat Goat also knows what she doesn’t, and two of the things she just won’t tolerate are rain and having her horns pulled on. If it’s raining, she will demand store time or hunker down on a neighboring porch until it passes.
Goat Goat first started hanging around White’s during the spring of 2014 when she would follow her canine pal, Gunner, across the highway and onto White’s property. It didn’t take her long to discover that the gas station was the perfect spot for lots of attention, love, and most importantly, food.
It was a perfect home. That is, until she got in trouble with the law and was snatched up by the Outer Banks SPCA after complaints were filed against her. But it didn’t take long before she received a medical clearance from a local vet’s office and was returned to White’s. She’s been there ever since, and the customers, just eat her up.
And speaking of eating, she gobbles up just about anything customers and residents are willing to give her. She’s especially fond of Funyuns and caramel chews. She has learned to sneak into the store on the sly, following closely behind customers and using her horns to keep the door open as she scoots in. She knows the busiest times of day at the store when chances are high she’ll make it inside the door. Once in, it’s hard to lure her out.
“We usually get her out with food, like a big bag of Doritos. She is a mess,” says White. “All she wants to do is eat. Her life is food.”
That’s pretty easy to gather from the size of her, but White says she is getting more exercise lately. Her former owner, who has moved and signed off on the rights of Goat Goat, kept her tethered on a line much of the time.
Goat Goat has not only become somewhat of a local icon, she has also made her way into the hearts of tourists as well – that is once they get over the surprise that a goat is walking around a convenience store, snooping in their car, or trying to score a bag of chips. White says most of the customers just take photos of her and there are many times that parents wake up the kids in the back seat to show them Goat Goat. White’s periodically sells T-shirts that read “Gas Up with Goat Goat.”
“For us, she’s just part of the norm,” White says. “If we don’t see her, we are all looking for her. The locals are so used to her, they’re oblivious when they see her in the store … but I have to admit she’s a little intimidating.”
After spending a little time with Goat Goat, people quickly find she’s all heart – and quite capable of taking care of herself. ♦