Monday, December 04, 2006

Baa Baa Baa, Merry Christmas

Sweden thinks you won't get its goat:

Arsonists who enjoy burning down a festive Swedish straw goat may have met their match this year.

In the 40 years since the tradition started, the giant goat of Gavle has often gone up in flames within days.

But this year the 13-metre (43ft) high goat has a coat of flame-resistant chemicals, and the authorities are determined it will see in the New Year.

"No-one is going to get our goat this year," says a local spokeswoman with confidence.

....It is not the first time authorities have put their faith in a flame-proof coating - a substance tried before washed off in the rain.

This one is waterproof, says Gavle spokeswoman Anna Oestman, and while its paws could still be singed, a full scale torching would now be "impossible".

Goats have a special place in Swedish tradition, and it was a goat which in earlier centuries delivered festive gifts before Santa Claus took over that role.

No comments: