From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Utah Goat Man: Could have been Pan

Pan (Mikhail Vrubel, 1900)
Pan is said to be the only Greek god besides Asclepius who actually died.  Nevertheless, he might not have been able to resist the heavenly delight of wreaking havoc in the Utah hills.

According to Fox News, a man had recently been "spotted in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah."  (A man?  Are they sure?)  The news report goes on to explain that this middle-aged male was simply testing out his goat suit for next year's archery hunt.  (A likely story…)

Another "likely" story is that it was Pan.  Not Peter Pan (although that too seems within the realm of "we report, you decide" possibility), but (according to Wikipedia) Pan the Ancient Greek "god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music…" (in other words, Utah) – that is, when he wasn't being every nymph's closest companion.

Since Pan already has "the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat," the aforementioned "goat suit" alibi would be quite believable to a group of unwitting (and perhaps nearsighted) journalists.  But what about motive?
Why would an erstwhile god resort to such out-of-the-way hijinks?  Why wouldn't he instead be cavorting
within what's left of the Coliseum (or it's modern-day counterpart, Hollywood)?

Pan has never been as cultured as Greek yogurt, that's why.  Regarded as somewhat of a bumpkin by the city folk of Athens and such, Pan was mostly worshipped in caves rather than temples.  He was also known to let his id hang out in all the wrong places.  This, too, has not endeared him to those who consider themselves civilized.

All this "proves" just one thing.  It definitely, most positively, could have been Pan on that Utah hillside.  So there you have it.  "Fair and balanced" all the way to the newsstands…


Copyright July 31, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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