Friday, February 06, 2009

The Princess and the Pea

It is possible for someone who is extremely good-looking to have funny-looking relatives. You probably know this from your own experience looking around the dinner table at Thanksgiving at some of the pasty-faced chubby-cheeked flat-haired thin-lipped single-eyebrowed (etc) family members who share (can you believe it?) your DNA. Brad Pitt’s brother for example looks kind of like a gerbil. I have nothing against gerbils, I just wouldn’t want to look like one. And then there is my half-sister Snow Pea.

Snow Pea looks like a footstool with ears. In fact, she looks like someone bought her at Ikea and put her together with one of those allen wrenches you can never find when you need it. A footstool that people would look at and say, “is it supposed to be that low to the ground? Why are there two screws left over?”

She completely lacks what the Goat People call “dairy character.” She is square and very well-padded and her legs are only a couple of inches long. This comes in very handy when scarfing up food dropped by others, which is one of the reasons for Snow Pea’s impressive upholstery.

Snow Pea also has a little bit of a personality deficit. When she first came here with me years ago she was very shy of people and would run away squeaking miserably if anyone tried to pet her. She got over this because of her Achilles heel: she loves to be scratched so much that she soon becomes very attached to anyone – the farmer for example – who will sit down and scratch her shoulders. In fact, it is possible to put her into a hypnotic trance by doing this.

But among us goats, she is down at the bottom of the pecking order and a little bit of an outcast. She doesn’t seem to care; she likes her little niche. And she only has two interests. Food, of course. And her boyfriend Captain January.

If you know anything about Snow Pea you know that years ago she had one set of twins. Well, she had all kinds of problems because she was really too fat to kid, and she ended up having a c-section. Since then she has not been allowed to have any kids, and so when she comes into heat she shows astonishing initiative in her special brand of low-to-the-ground escapery.

The Pea is too short and fat to jump anything, so the farmer was very surprised to find her wagging her tail outside CJ’s honeymoon suite yesterday, since it is two high fences away from her pasture. The farmer put her back where she belonged and then watched from a distance as she burrowed under the fence into the neighbor’s pasture, scuttled along inside the blackberry bushes, crammed back under the neighbor’s wooden fence where Wendell the Pest has worn his little wormhole, and burrowed again under the garden fence adjacent to CJ’s pen.

Not even Hannah Belle has thought of doing this.

Anyway the horse trailer is full of grain so the farmer frogmarched her right into my stall. I am tolerating her, but she has to sit in the corner and not touch my food.

Sit, Snow Pea. Stay.