By: Husam Mirghani
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - News reaching here over the weekend from the Red Sea Port Town of Suakin have mourned a lighthearted fish restaurant owner who taught three goats he kept at his place to eat fish and enjoy drinking Pepsi Cola.
After the death of their owner, the bereaved creatures kept their distance from the restaurant, though business continued at the place as usual.
Hashim Garmoushi reportedly died while having his pre-dawn swimming session in the Red Sea, a practice he kept everyday after performing his dawn prayers.
Idris Barri, one of the town’s notables, considered Garmoushi’s departure a big loss for the Suakin district. ”He was a symbol of our town, we will miss him too much, ” he said.
Barri said Garmoushi was famed for keeping these goats at his place. ”The goats used to help Garmoushi with some errands in the restaurant. He also taught them to drink Pepsi Cola and eat fish and biscuits as humans do,” he wondered.
Journalist Mohammad al-Hassan Shigaira said Garmoushi was one of Suakin’s landmarks. “His restaurant was a destination for the town’s visitors and tourists who used to come to his place to see the goats eat fish and biscuits and drink carbonated drinks,” said Shigaira.
”Garmoushi had acquired a rare experience in animal husbandry, teaching his goats to perform amazing shows that entertain customers,” he said.
“The Maestro Restaurant” came to be known as “ The Ghanamaya (she goat) Restaurant” because of these goats. The restaurant was specialized in sea food and because of these goats, it became an attraction for town visitors and the media. Several TV shows were screened about the place, including shots of the goats as they ate human foods and made some funny shows.
Garmoushi had given his three goats the names: Suha, Siham and Acia, all female human names. He would call each of these goats by its name and it would readily come to see what he wants, exactly as circus animals do.
In a town with passion for stories about creatures from the underworld, Garmoushi had used to categorically deny any supernatural thing about what his goats would do. He used to argue that it was just good training that made them obey his orders.
The goats were a hybrid from Sudanese and Syrian species, a matter that gave them quite a unique shape.
Thanks to their attractive shape and the skills they would demonstrate, a tourist from the Gulf region once offered to pay $18,000 for Siham, but Garmoushi would not part with his dear goat.
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