What lives in trees?

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge - trees

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

This week, we’re observing a science lesson with a group of 5 – 6-year-olds in search of knowledge about life in trees.

What lives in trees?

The teacher displayed photographs of trees.

“We’ve been learning about where animals live. Today, we’ll list animals that live in trees.”

Hands shot up, bursting to contribute.

The teacher wrote:

possums, koalas, beetles, snakes, birds …

Amir’s English was developing but his classmates were puzzled when he said what sounded like ‘goat’.

“Repeat,” encouraged the teacher.


When asked, Amir drew a tree with a recognisable goat standing in it.

“Not story,” smiled the teacher. “Real.”

Amir nodded and pointed to the laptop. “Google.”

A quick search confirmed it.

Everyone cheered. Amir added to their knowledge tree that day.


Many of you who have travelled may have seen the tree goats of Morocco. However, I wasn’t aware of them until, a couple of weeks ago, a photo popped up on my desktop. Intrigued, I had to find out more. A search for the goated tree began.

I discovered that the photo wasn’t fake, as I had first thought. The tree is the Argania tree from which we get Argan oil, and the goats like to eat its fruit.

Although more hygienic methods are now often employed, the oil used to be pressed from the seeds which were passed in the goats’ poop after the fruit had been eaten. I’m certain that 5 and 6-year-old children would love this titbit of information.

If you are interested, here are some links to help you learn more about the tree goats:

The Tree Goats of Morocco

The Story Behind Bizarre Tree-Climbing Goats of Morocco

Moroccan argan oil: the ‘gold’ that grows on trees

However, it seems, as with so many things, some people thought they could make extra money from tourists wanting to photograph goats in trees. Sadly, it is not only the goats that suffer from these unkind practices. The trees suffer too and, according to one article I read, “are in danger and the forest is listed by UNESCO as an International Biosphere Reserve.”

Iconic ‘tree-climbing’ goats of Morocco revealed to be a scam

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.


39 thoughts on “What lives in trees?

    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed it, Charli. As soon as I saw your prompt, I knew I wanted to write about the goat tree or tree goats, but it took me a while to figure out how. 🙂


  1. calmkate

    lol I’ve certainly seen goats climb trees to eat leaves but not heard of them actually living in them … pretty sure they’d fall off their perches 🙂

    Great kids story and they would love that bit about the oil in their waste 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      You’re right, Kate. I guess the goats don’t actually ‘live’ in the trees. They simply climb them to eat the fruit. They do look very precarious on their perches.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior...

    This was really clever- in the fiction I like the feeling of hearing Amir’s puzzling contribution – and this “Hands shot up, bursting” has a tree-like vibe with the way branches spring forth.
    The addition of “when asked” added something for me – it shows a non-rusher learning experience with the class (enough time to allow an ESL student to expound even more – good star for that teacher)

    I checked out the links and the third one about the scam one was interesting- the goats sure do look awkward in a tree…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Yvette, thank you very much for your thoughtful comment.
      I hadn’t thought about the hands shooting up being like branches of a tree. That one was unintentional.
      I appreciate that you noticed the ‘when asked’ as it was intentional. I wanted to show exactly what you read, that the teacher asked Amir to clarify with drawing and allowed him the time to do so. If she hadn’t, that whole learning opportunity would have been lost to everyone and Amir may not have contributed again.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the information via the links. I agree, the goats do look very awkward in the tree.

      Liked by 1 person


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