And when elk get real high, do they become mountain goats?

Letter from Clay Warren

May 1997 edition – June 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

And when they get real high, elk turn into mountain goats?


Ah sincerely appreciate Roger Williams’s remarks in Issue #39 regarding Colorado wildlife. However hit appear’s that ah left a few details unmentioned in my previous letter, for the sake of brevity of course.

I also heartfully applaud Mr. Williams’s suggestion to move Mile High Stadium to Leadville, with only one hesitation. Ah’m a member o’ the Two Mile High Club which formerly required the services of an aircraft, and bring’n all those Bronco’s fans to Leadville might seriously dilute the exclusivity of the Club. We might get around that by requiring wings in the rule book, but considerin’ yer average Bronco fan that might not be that much of a impediment, if you get my drift.

Anyhow, back to deer becoming elk. In the first place, it is only truly superior, A+ type deer which are capable of such metamorphosis, which explains them rejects wander’n around the Peoples Republic, and there is no actual Natural Law requirement that they even do so. And as ah believe ah pointed out earlier, hit takes a catalyst in the form of an old Dodge pickup for this reaction to occur, and Boulder don’t even allow such things on its’ streets. A BMW or a Volvo just don’t have the right Delta V to impart enough energy, without committin’ suicide in the process that is. But Man! Yer ’67 Dodge 200 Powerwagon, now there’s pure Newtonian physics in motion.

However, Mr. Williams did raise an interesting subject, which ah did not touch upon previous to now. That is: Do elk become mountain goats at 12,000 feet above mean sea level? The short answer of course is: No. Ah once’t seen eight o’em pull’n a sleigh well above 20,000 foot an’ while they was a might puckish lookin’, they didn’t appear goatwise at all to me. The same however, can not be said for the old guy ridin’ in the sled. Nonetheless, it is an interestin’ supposition, expecially considerin’ it’s not something normally inquired after by yere usual touristic type individual, which lacks that type o’ intellectual curiosity. Fortunately for dedicated readers of Colorado Central ah can report that hit has been the subject of some previous research, though.

Anyone who’s ever been to Douglas, Wyoming might rightfully wonder iffen they, mountain goats that is, ain’t the result of a king sized jackalope plumb near frozen to death, leavin’ only itty bitty stumps where a full head o’ horns usta be. Hit certainly crossed my mind the first time ah seen one o’ them mounted heads there in the Holiday Inn refreshment center.

But then hit occurred to me ah might’ve been under the influence of spiritous liquids, and reconsidered. Further research cleared up all mah doubts though, after a rigorous application of scientific observation and aspirin.

Just to put that old rumor to bed one last time, mountain goats are not feral domestic animals, neither. Anyone who’s ever seen one o’ them white wraiths scamper up a cliff face covered with moss and snow would realize there is no genetic comparison, much less a missing link.

The truth is, however, even more wonderful! Hit’s a transformation that occurs when Lepus californicus resides above 10,200 feet mean sea level. Now you just think about hit. When did you ever see a blacktail jackrabbit next to a mountain goat? Hit’s just like Clark Kent and Superman!! You just never get the two side by side, ever. Less’n o’ course it’s a case of double vision, and then ah’d suggest ya change brands. Besides, the comparison of their similar physical qualities are endless, except for their environments.

Finally, ah surely do apologize to Mr. Williams iffen ah insulted his school pride about football. Ah always thought that “The Game,” which ah did know was played between two Yankee teams, was about possession of a truly worth while object called “The Little Brown Jug.”

Ah know Harvard’s a great school an all, jist look’at all the MBA’s they’ve provided the rest of us, plus SOME of its earlier graduates help’t expand my horizons all the way to Viet Nam. But, ah jist gotta tell yuh Roger, they gave Teddy a degree there, and even Jerry Brown had to earn his. Besides, you’ll make a big deal about that game yuh play with sticks. Hell no, ah don’t mean hockey! Ah’m referrin’ to lacrosse, which has been quite accurately described, ta my way o’ thinkin’, as a contest akin to armed hackysack. Lord knows the Country’s got enough problems with violence as it is, without them eastern Liberals goin’ out and teachin’ it at colleges. Things is bad enough what with their judicial philosophy.

An’ on a final note, and takin’ into account that y’all ain’t from these parts, ah do hope you realized that the jackass is the one on the right in that photo in the April Central.

Yer’s till the mud dries out, Clay Warren Pseudonymous in Poncha