Goats make highly entertaining and active familiars, though they perhaps need a little more discipline than you would first think. They’re vocal, funny, carefree, borderline reckless and have almost no sense of danger. Left unchecked they will sample any ingredient foraged, any food found, any potion left unbottled, and so on.

Barney in particular can be quite oblivious to the potential dangers and has had a few close calls, notably with mushrooms. He knows he shouldn’t eat them, he knows they could harm him, but his mouth takes over and things get chomped. The offending fungi cannot even be placed on high shelves for Barney will just climb up to them and devour them unthinkingly. The only solution is out of sight, out of mind – Barney knows not to enter the store cupboard and obeys this rule very firmly. He refuses to even know where the key is, or to know exactly what’s inside. The problem has been locked in a cupboard and is no longer his, and he can carry on his days with his usual cheer.

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