James Stephen Hogg and His Goats

My dear little Friend,

Out of the thousands of calls on me for contributions, presents and assistance, I find none so unique, terse and boy-like as yours; which simply asks me to send you a goat. I wish I had one here now to express to you, but I have none. Down on my plantation, several hundred miles from this place, I have some goats and I will describe them to you. There are big goats, and little goats, he goats and she goats, white goats, black goats, red goats, blue goats, grey goats, yellow goats, speckled goats, long-horned goats, short-horned goats, one-horned goats and mooly goats, Angora goats, Spanish goats, fine goats, common goats, all kinds, classes and colors of goats, and each and every one of them is a boot-eating, tree-skinning, briar-cleaning, snake-stamping, bucking goat, used for the purpose of clearing up the woods, brambles and thickets around the premises. Now, the first time you hear that I am in Houston, I want you and your brother to call on me at the Rice hotel, so that you can explain to me whether or not one of these malicious goats which you call for would get your father in trouble with his neighbor. I warrant you are a nice boy, and I hope to make your acquaintance.


With sincere regards, I am, Your Friend, J.S. Hogg