For 40 years it has been torched, vandalized, had its legs cut off and even been run over by a car. But officials in the Swedish city of Gavle are guaranteeing that this year's giant straw Christmas goat — the victim of Sweden's most violent yule tradition — will survive unscathed.
But for its 40th anniversary Sunday, officials think they have finally outsmarted the resourceful vandals by dousing the battered ram with flame-resistant chemicals normally used on airplanes.
The company providing the fireproof treatment is so sure of its resilience that its spokesman Freddy Klassmo told newspaper Aftonbladet that "not even napalm can set fire to the goat now."
For those who want to follow its fate, a 24-hour Web cam has been set up to film the straw goat where it stands on the central square in Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm. However, the security guards that have watched over previous versions have been called off, Ostman said.
"We can sleep very soundly at night now," she said. "The goat can too."
— Red Panda, Very Flammable, Light Reading