Thursday, February 08, 2007

Brandy's Big Baby Part Two: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Everybody wants it. But not everybody wants to earn it. It is a lot of trouble earning respect. Unfortunately there is no other way to get it.


Take for example the case of my daughter Hannah Belle and the farmer. Hannah Belle likes the farmer, but she knows all too well how to act cute and apologetic whenever she gets caught doing something bad, so she gets away with quite a bit of dubious behavior. For example, almost every morning now Hannah Belle jumps over the five-and-a-half-foot wall of her stall as soon as she hears the farmer come out. Hannah Belle is a tad tubby, and she is on a diet, so she is not supposed to get grain. So the farmer doesn't give her any grain.

But she knows the farmer has grain, so she just jumps out and follows the farmer around trying to freeload cob or whatever is on the menu for the nsf (not-so-fat) goats. She nibbles and grabs and snatches here and there until the farmer gets annoyed and puts her back in her stall.

This performance may be repeated several times a day, depending on how energetic Hannah Belle is feeling. Each time she weaves and bobs and pilfers until the farmer gets aggravated, then she gets put back in her stall.

But since yesterday, the farmer has been letting Brandy out during feeding. Brandy thinks the farmer is her baby, and likes to follow the farmer around.

Well yesterday Hannah Belle jumped out of her stall as usual and ran up to the farmer. When she saw Brandy, who turned toward her in slow motion like a bull in the ring, she did a cartoon-character doubletake and put on the brakes in a hurry. She went into a 4-wheel roadrunner skid, but too late to keep from jostling the farmer.

Everyone was watching, and you could hear a pin drop.

Hannah Belle had touched Brandy's baby.

You probably know what happened then. Brandy first grabbed Hannah Belle's ear and bit down hard, then spun her in a half-turn and t-boned her into the wall, then grabbed the other ear and bit down hard, which caused Hannah Belle to turn around in the opposite direction. Brandy t-boned her other side, then took a step backward in preparation for a third t-boning, but Hannah Belle scurried around to the opposite side of the farmer, waving the white flag.

She politely averted her eyes from Brandy to show that everything that had happened was a misunderstanding, and that she would never disrespect Brandy's baby in any way, she would rather stick a fork in her eye, and she moved in shadow step with the farmer to her stall door and then gave the farmer the high sign, "let me in, quick!"

And that is where she has stayed since, as long as Brandy is following the farmer around.

The moral of the story is that if your mama is the herdqueen, you don't have to earn nothing. Even in the animal kingdom, there is such a thing as a silver spoon. And right now, the farmer is really enjoying the view from the top.