Photos: Bob Lewis.
Sprite is a fainting goat. Fainting goats have a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita that causes them to abruptly fall over when they’re startled. (It’s painless, though it can be hilarious.) Supposedly this trait was bred into them so that they could be placed with flocks of sheep as bait–predators would hone in on the frightened–and thus fallen–goats, giving the valuable sheep time to escape. Or so the story goes. Fainting goats are slightly smaller than the standard goat and are classified as meat goats, though they aren’t generally raised for meat because they’re also a threatened breed. Mostly, they’re raised for fun. They’re a novelty breed. And there aren’t very many of them in West Virginia, so the idea is to get Sprite and Pepsi together and start making little bottle caps.