Nik–Beloved Billy Goat and South Austin Icon–Dies.

Nik, beloved South Congress billy goat, Austin icon, pardoned outlaw, and victim of gentrification, died Wednesday. He was over 10 years old.

Nik The Goat Austin

Nik the Goat (photo from Nik the Goat Facebook Page)

For almost 10 years, Nik lived in the front yard of a little house at South Congress and Mary. With his big horns and long beard, he was a permanent fixture on the popular street. Known for his friendly disposition and love of Fran’s french fries, he enjoyed being pet and fed by visitors.

Nik’s goatiness could be smelled from as far west as South First. To some, it smelled like a yummy goat cheese. To others, it smelled like stale urine. It was this smell that probably drew ire from the new neighbors moving in to the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, leading Nik’s owner, Joel Munos, to receive a citation for violating Austin’s livestock ordinance. After a flood of e-mails, letters, and phone calls, City Hall changed their stance. In 2005, Nik won an official pardon from Mayor Will Wynn, proclaiming that Nik was a “good goat.”

Nik the Goat sits in front of his old house on South Congress. (photo courtesy of Nik the Goat Facebook Page)

Nik the Goat sits in front of his old house on South Congress. (photo courtesy of Nik the Goat Facebook Page)

Nik had the adoration of thousands of Austinites. He received a steady stream of daily visitors. And while he had all the fries he could eat, he was never able to find true love.

All that would change in 2011. Surrounded by the constant hammering of gentrification, Nik’s original owners sold their home and gave Nik to a new owner. His new owner, Paula, took Nik out to a farm to live his final days in the country.

Nik the goat eating hay on the farm (photo courtesy of Nik the Goat's Facebook Page)

Nik the goat eating hay on the farm (photo courtesy of Nik the Goat Facebook Page)

It was on Paula’s farm where Nik would finally find romance with a younger doe named Annabelle. Initially Anabelle was attracted to his strong goatiness–but she was a little intimidated by his celebrity status. The more time she spent with him, however, the more she realized that he was a chill goat. For the last year of his life, Annabelle and Nik were inseparable.

Nik the Goat Austin South Congress

Nik and Annabelle share shade (photo courtesy of Nik the Goat Facebook Page).

Nik passed peacefully Wednesday morning, surrounded by Annabelle, Paula, and the other animals on the farm. The death was announced on Nik’s Facebook page.

For me, Nik was more than just a goat. He was a symbol of everything I loved about South Austin. Biking to Magnolia on late summer nights, I’d smell Nik and know that all was good in our fair city. Despite the million dollar homes going up in the hood, his goatiness prevailed; Austin was still a town with goats and dirt and funk.

When he left in 2011, I was sad. No more goatiness. No more field trips with friends’ kids to pet Nik. Now it’s just a new home that looks kind of like all the other new homes going up in the neighborhood.

R.I.P Nik. I’ll eat some fries for you.

Please share your pictures, poems, or remembrances to Nik on his Facebook Page.

Nik is the centerpiece of this collage about Austin created by my cousin.

Nik is the centerpiece of this collage about Austin created by my cousin.

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About Chris Apollo Lynn

78704er, cyclist, part-time DJ, new media mad scientist, urban farmer, not a robot, ready for End of Days.

3 thoughts on “Nik–Beloved Billy Goat and South Austin Icon–Dies.

  1. Pingback: Austin Weekly Roundup: Where To Eat Downtown During SXSW & More!

  2. KKurz

    Farewell Nik! Once upon a time I worked near his house. It was fun to see him out there every day. I will miss old Austin as well… “All Good Things Must Come To An End…” as they say. Hopefully more good things will evolve to replace what has been lost…

    Reply
  3. charles

    Lived across the street from him for a year. Always loved looking out the window and seeing him there. Never seemed like enough room for a goat… living on basically a front porch. So happy to hear he had such a nice place to live out his days. Btw I never thought he smelled, just part of the hood, as much as Frans or the auto repair shop or Magnolia. RIP.

    Reply

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