Twice a day I walk a three-mile course on a country road that banks the colony where I am staying. A writer there has a method for letting go of anger. Usually people like that are on fire, but not Joe. Most days I feel okay if I don’t blow up a building or cause specific pain.Along the blacktop grow bushes and trees. A patch of magenta pea blossoms, a rose of sharon volunteer. I am in rural Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the air is still and it seldom rains. Sleepy houses are set back from the road, and people sometimes sit out on front lawns and wave. I wave back. I wear black and carry an umbrella. Dogs sniff around. Some people here are afraid of the dogs, but I find nothing to fear.A church sits propped on a hill, and a little further along a herd of goats with pretty faces gambol or stare out. Cows graze in a farmer’s field and beyond is a pond, and when you take in the scene as the road sweeps up, you see rolling hills in the background and puffy clouds above, and the vista suggests a bit of English countryside. It’s a little like a Constable, and it makes me happy.One day I pass a goat who baas. It sounds like he is saying I am goat. I baa back. He baas again, only this time the note rises up at the end, and it sounds like he is saying don’t leave me. I answer this baa, too. I’m walking fast, but I turn and see that the goat’s head is stuck in a wire mesh fence, and he’s locked in by his horns. I walk through tall grass and brambles. He’s standing with his head turned to the side.No car passes now, but often as I walk a car or truck will stop and the driver will ask if I am all right. Sometimes the driver is a man, sometimes a woman. I am walking alone. That’s all it takes for the questions.I hold the goat’s beautiful head, and he stops crying. His face is white with black markings, and two horns sweep back from its forehead. The horns are extensions of bone, and they feel strong and hard, and I don’t think I have ever touched a goat’s horns, and I realize I have wanted to be close to these animals since I saw them, and I wonder what it would feel like to have horns growing out of my head, and then I remember that’s what some people think Jews already have. The goat’s fur is soft and a little bristly, like the coat of a Jack Russell terrier. The wire fence confines him on four sides, and I can’t understand how he could have pushed his head through. What was he looking for? Maybe just a place without a fence. I pull the wires away, but the geometry does not allow escape.The road is not well lit after dusk. I carry a flashlight, and when I see headlights or hear tires whirring, I step off to the side. Sometimes, people stop their cars, lean out the window, and say, “Be careful.” People stop and say, “You shouldn’t walk on the road at night.” Their heads are bent at the angle they use to speak to children or others they think will have difficulty understanding, or people on whom they want to impress their words.Joe says there is a text in the I Ching called “releasing the goat.” It means your stubbornness. The goat allows me to adjust his head. I reach through the fence and try to move his body closer, but his feet are planted. His eyes are black, the lids soft. I feel love for him. It’s easy to love a goat stuck in a fence. I work on the wires until there’s a little more room to maneuver.According to Joe, the phrase “to get your goat” derives from the practice of placing a goat in the stall of a skittish race horse to calm it down. Competitors wishing to spook the horse would steal the goat, thus “get your goat.” Not one of the people who stop their cars would pull up beside a man on the road. Not a young man, not an old man, not a man of middle age. They would not instruct him to be afraid. They would not want to think of him that way. Just when you think you are minding your own business on a country road, an understanding is forced on you that feels like your head in a fence.Joe says the way to detach from anger is to recognize it as a moment and move on. He wears a white goatee and his kind eyes look out from rimless specs. In some traditions, the goat is a sexy satyr whose horns the devil has borrowed, in others he’s surefooted and represents escape from guilty feelings. I grasp one of the goat’s horns and maneuver it out of the cage. To release the other, I have to press the animal’s neck against the bottom wire, but he does not object. I want my memory of the road to be about the goat, but the drivers are swimming in the love, and I can’t pluck them out like peas from fried rice. At last the goat is free. He looks at me for a moment or maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he has already kicked away the fence as he runs up the hill to join the other goats. I sniff my hands, and they smell sweet and sour, and I do not know if this is the scent of pleasure or pain.