Friday, March 30, 2012

Long Live the Queen

Boxcar Betty used to be mild-mannered and obedient. She even went to one show and walked like a princess and won first place and the judge said: "that is the cutest thing I have ever seen."

Then Betty started hanging around with her mother, Hannah Belle. And Betty vowed never to go to another show.

Hannah Belle always thought that obedience was for losers.

So if someone like Pinky would come down and announce that all the milkers were supposed to go to the milk parlor, Hannah Belle would not even get up, she would just turn her head in a leisurely fashion and pop a fresh cud and drawl: "Says Who?"

Hannah Belle was also a master of the head flip - if you haven't read up in your goat glossary the head flip is very similar to its counterpart in the encyclopedia of human gestures. If a goat gives you the head flip, it is the same as if a person flipped you off.

The meaning is: don't stand near me, don't look at my food, move along and stop blotting out the light, outside under the rain gutter would be a good place for you to stand.  Hannah Belle could keep another goat in the opposite corner of her stall without getting up - why get up? that's so much trouble -  by means of the head flip. Iota to this day really doesn't venture into the nook nearest the door in Hannah Belle's stall. She was head-flipped out of it by a master. That kind of head flip leaves a lasting impression, especially on a small potato like Iota.

Until recently Betty was not much of a flipper.

That's all changed: Betty can hardly stop flipping now.

She flipped Blue, she flipped Belle Pepper, she flipped me, she flipped Izzy, she flipped Moldy (not that Moldy noticed), she flipped all the yearlings. She just flipped.

Now, when she is on the other side of the fence, she even flips Pinky, who by this time weighs about a thousand pounds. But discretion is the better part of flipping, and she doesn't flip Wronny or even Brandy. That's a mark of respect - one world leader to another.

We thought it would be a long time before a Nigerian battled to the top of the ladder.

But just yesterday I heard Sandy asking whether it would be okay to go under the broken fence rail and into the driveway and up the hill to the barn and try to stampede the alfalfa.

And Pebbles gave a stumped look and gazed off into the distance and said, "I guess we better ask Betty."

Long Live the Queen.