I read today that some goats have a genetic disorder that causes them to faint and fall over when startled. I've never seen that happen, but my first thought was, it's karmic debt for all the smarmy, socially unacceptable things they do the rest of the time.
But it did bring back fond [ahem, clears throat] animal memories of growing up in Kentucky, which I can hopefully pass on to my son, one at a time. My oldest brother already explained to him how to hypnotize a chicken. It's a bit different from Wikipedia's instructions, but here goes:
You pick up the chicken (this separates the wheat from the chaff right off the bat...). Then you tuck its head close to its body and hold it there (again, not all are blessed with this talent, it may take practice). Then you hold out the chicken and kind of rotate it in a circle, horizontally. You can then set down the chickens in various parts of your living room and continue your party, with live (but very well behaved) chickens as the decor. Call it a "chicken" party if you like.
Which reminds me of another well crafted, but at this point, slightly embarassing, adventure we used to have with bats. We would gather in a small clearing (no I did not grow up in the mountains, I'm talking about a park here), and throw a light-colored frisbee high into the air. A bunch of bats would follow it to the ground, where a (usually) boy-child would thump it with a broom. That's the embarassing part that we haven't passed on to my son (and incidentally, yes, there are bats here in Albuquerque). I never knew a bat that died or seemed hurt, they just got stunned, and then with a flashlight we could get a really good look at them before they fluttered off into the dark again. Call it scientific inquiry, OK? I would never do that today. These days, Junior substitutes a rolled up ball of athletic socks for the frisbee. And there's no broom. That I know of.
One time, my friend was wearing a white hoodie and when the bats came down and we all ran back into the trees, they followed her (screaming)! LOL! Same girl, same hoodie -- we went out to a friend's house and she decided to ride the girl's horse. At night. Never having ridden a horse before. Well she got on and the horse took off. In the dark, you could hear the clippity clop, and see her white hoodie bobbing up and down, getting smaller and smaller. I think you could also hear her screaming but I'm not sure, we were probably laughing too loudly. All of a sudden, the white hoodie stopped bobbing and just stayed still in the air. Huh? But we could still hear the clippity clop, clippity clop. Suddently the white hoodie fell to the ground. She'd gotten hung up on a tree branch!!! She was not one of my luckier friends, in general.