I'm reminded of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show, his semi-autobiographical coming of age novel set in Texas. Bestiality is taken for granted there, and seen as one of the perks of a tedious job by adolescent boys set to watch the sheep in distant paddocks. Doubtless teenaged boys and sheep have not changed much in the decades since.

I’ve known young men who simply had to have sex at least once a day. Dating such a one was exhausting, and the relationship didn’t last, but if my guy had been a farmboy, I dare say no biblical verses would have stopped him making the most of what was available.

Patrick O’Brian, in the first volume of a 21-book saga that is best described as “Jane Austen goes to sea” has a little fun with the topic.

A court-martial is ordered, the nannygoat is to be slaughtered, and Captain Jack discusses the case with the ship’s doctor:

‘Could you not set them both ashore — on separate shores, if you have strong feelings on the moral issue — and sail quietly away?’

‘Well,’ said Jack, whose anger had died down. ‘Perhaps there is something in what you propose. A dish of tea? You take milk, sir?’

‘Goat’s milk, sir?’

‘Why, I suppose it is.’

‘Perhaps without milk, then, if you please.’

O’Brian has fun throughout the whole grand novel series, and Larry McMurtry hardly needs discussion as the author of some of the best American books ever written. So there must be some link between the concept and greatness.

Britni, just kidding

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