Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Izzy, One: Farmer, Zero

Izzy went on Friendlies.

This is where they carry you up to the barn and put you on mind control to improve your friendliness. It is very unusual for Friendlies to be required in the Baby Belle family. It only makes sense to be friendly. You can't get peanuts from across the room.

The mind control involves you not getting any food unless you eat it from the farmer's hand. If you eat from the farmer's hand you get a lot of nice food and treats. If you don't eat from the farmer's hand you don't eat.

The farmer took Izzy and put her in a stall alone while all the bottle babies were out browsing. A little while later the farmer came and sat in a chair in the middle of the stall ignoring Izzy and reading a book about how to build a brick pizza oven. Izzy ran around and around the stall trying to get away from the farmer.

Unlike a Nubian she realized after two trips that since the stall was 10 foot square and the farmer was in the middle, she couldn't get any further away than five feet. So after two trips she stopped running and backed into a corner and stared at the farmer balefully.

After one chapter the farmer got up and went away.

The farmer came back with Moldy a couple of hours later. Moldy follows the farmer like flypaper. "Oh Moldy, would you like some treats?" said the farmer, and fed Moldy some grain. Moldy gobbled it greedily, simpering at Izzy from across the stall.

"Oh, Izzy," said the farmer, "would you like some grain?"

Izzy turned her back.

"I see," said the farmer, and left with Moldy.

A little while later the farmer came back and picked up the book again and said, "refractory brick," looking up at the ceiling in a slow-witted musing way. Izzy looked up too, puzzled, and the farmer abruptly caught Izzy with lightning speed and sat with Izzy in the chair, petting her.

Izzy was stiff as a board and mad as a hornet.

The farmer took out a peanut and inserted it manually into Izzy's mouth. Izzy spat it out onto the floor.

The farmer took another peanut and shoved it into Izzy's mouth and held her mouth closed for a minute so she could taste it. The farmer let go and Izzy spat the peanut out and it bounced off the stall door and plonked into the water bucket. Izzy loves peanuts.

"I see," said the farmer and got up to leave.

Two can play at any game and this time when the farmer opened the door Izzy made a bold broken field run to daylight in the style of Walter Payton and before the farmer could say "I see" she was out of the barn and through the panel gate and down the pasture and through that little wedge between the railroad tie and the down-below gate and that was that.

The farmer came down later and looked at Izzy through the fence and said, "I will see you tomorrow little lady."

Izzy pretended not to notice and did not say anything but I know what she was thinking.

Tomorrow. Who cares about tomorrow. This is today.


Brenda said...

Oh, Izzy! You're going to be a hard nut to crack. I have a feeling that your farmer is going to be very persistent in the friendly games.

Marigold said...

Hey, Ho!, Peanut here! I see there is at least one of our family's traits Izzy has - I'm practicing my psychic skills here - I see a horse trailer in Izzy's future - fuzzy, but it's there.

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Oh dear, this was very funny indeed. When the peanut bounced into the water bucket, I laughed out loud. I shall look forward to the further episodes of Farmer vs. Izzy.

Anna said...

I like the goats on our goat farm better when they have went through the friendlies mind game course. Makes for a nice goat. Although I do have one that I bought when she was two years old and was a wild little thing. But now you would never know she has tamed down into a sweet little angel. Just depends on the temperment of the goat I gues.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Hmm. I've never borrowed a stubborn goat. But I'd really like to be the farmer in the middle waiting for Izzy to becoming friendly! :)

Tayet Silverspoon said...

Smart doe!

SueP said...

I like the farmer's technique. I have used a similar version on a horse that wanted nothing to do with people, and it really does work, esp when you have a smart animal, a patient attitude and yummy treats. They make the connection very quickly and then they become your best friend. It's very rewarding when you finally earn their trust.

Izzie is smart and the farmer is patient. It's the perfect recipe for success!

johngroves said...

find your blog interesting, ive been a goat farmer for a long time, have mostly cross bred boers and few pigms for my wife.
ive had goats a lot longer than blogs, new here, dont know much about blogs

shenandoah said...

refractory brick? What is the farmer thinking? Is this the start of another "Fifty Two Loaves" saga? Has the farmer thought about mud/clay artisan ovens?

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a delightful story; the farmer will surely win Izzy over!