As a songwriter, EG Kight knows that some lyrics just write themselves. As a book author, the same can be true. So when she thought about writing a book for children about her goats, she had two things in her favor.
"It's a book for kids about kids. Big kids, small kids and four-legged kids," she said with a laugh from her farm in Dublin, Georgia.
It also helps that her dozen goats are full of love, fun and mischief with expressive faces and personalities.
"They do have wonderful personalities, and they are soooo expressive," she said. "This was fun to do."
Kight said she started thinking about the pieces that would become "Things I've Learned From a Goat" (BookBaby, 58 pages, paperback, $20) about three years ago. As the title suggests, it's a book of life lessons intended for kids, but they hold true for people of all ages, she said. The lessons include sayings like "Don't be afraid to try new things," "Be yourself" and "Be a good listener."
"I get a lot of feedback from people who have bought them for their children or grandchildren who use it to teach reading and for learning colors, but a gentlemen here in Dublin bought several for his grandchildren and came back to buy more for adults he knows. He said we all learned these lessons growing up, but we need to be reminded when we grow up."
The book is filled with photographs Kight has taken over the years of her goats, accompanied by a life lesson. The expressions on the goats' faces often led her to the lesson, she said.
Shelby Arp, a third-grade teacher who gave the book 5 out of 5 stars in an Amazon.com review, said she and her students "LOVED" the book. "I think this book is wonderful because it teaches life lessons with beautifully taken pictures of the author's goats. The only way to describe this book is wholesome, fun and rewarding. I will definitely be reading it to my students every year!"
Kight has been taking pictures of her goats for years. In fact, she sells her photographs online and at shops such as Vinterest Southside in Chattanooga. Vinterest owner Katherine Schurer said the pieces sell well because they appeal to people for differing reasons.
"What I love about her photographs is the goats, but also they are a trademark story of the South," she said. "She tells a story on the back, and they are very inspirational."
"People who take the time to look at her photographs rarely don't buy at least one."
Kight, known as "The Georgia Songbird," has performed with everybody from Merle Haggard to B.B. King. She has been performing regularly in Chattanooga for almost 30 years. She has lived on a farm and been an animal lover her whole life. She said the goats came into her life about 12 years ago when her great-uncle Pat Clements suggested they should be added to the family's livestock as a way to make money.
"That didn't go too well 'cause I couldn't give them up," she said.
Now, she only occasionally lets one of her goats go, but "I know who they go to, and I follow up to check on them."
In 2014, Kight was diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis, both of which affect the brain. She had to relearn how to communicate, and she was later attacked by pit bulls while out walking. She said her goats greatly helped her heal from both instances.
"Whenever I feel stressed or down, I just go outside and visit with my goats," she said.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.