Looking to inspire students at Discovery Bay Elementary School last fall, principal Storey offered up a dare: read 1 million pages by April and she’ll kiss a goat.
“We have a lot of readers here and I was looking for something to challenge them in a fun way,” said Storey. “I thought the goal was doable and once the purple slips (marking the pages read) starting coming in, I thought ‘I’m going to kiss a goat.’”
And that’s just what she did. Taking center stage in the school’s multi-purpose room with the assembled student body, Storey puckered up and got her Kodak moment. As cameras flashed and laughter erupted, Storey gamely held up her end of the bargain.
“I was so nervous,” said Storey. “He was much bigger than I thought he would be and had pretty big horns. But he was a sweetheart and he smelled great and was so patient while he waited for the kiss and pictures. His lips were actually very soft.”
The kissable moment was made possible by Discovery Bay Elementary fifth-grader Roman Pedro and his family, whose Byron property is home to a variety of creatures including a pig named Bacon, who was Storey’s original suggestion.
“I had thought kissing a pig would be fun,” said Storey. “But when I approached Kim (Roman’s mom) about bringing Bacon, she said there was no way she could get Bacon to do anything like that.”
“It’s true,” laughed Pedro. “I said, ‘Oh no, that pig has a mind of her own and she won’t do that.’ But how about a goat?”
So Goat-Goat (“His given name is Liam but he doesn’t look like a Liam so we just call him goat-goat”) answered the call and happily jumped into the family truck – riding shotgun – arriving at the school ready for his closeup.
“He just rode in the cab like a dog with his head out the window,” said Pedro. “We definitely got a lot of looks. He was very into it; he loves attention.”
Roman – who read 15 books toward the school’s total of more than 1 million pages –was skeptical that his principal would follow through on the fairytale moment. “I didn’t think she would kiss him,” said Roman. “I thought she would chicken out, so it was fun that she did it.”
And as for next year’s challenge?
“Well, I’m still working on that one,” laughed Storey. “But there will definitely be something. I’m really proud of the students – they did a great job.”