Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Little Pond

Winnie is one of the farmer's pets and she always has been. Or maybe she even thinks the farmer is her pet. Anyway she acts like she owns the farmer. If someone comes around while she is standing by the farmer, she goes into a headbutting frenzy, doing rapid-fire Sugar Ray Leonard type jabs until she has cleared a circle all around the farmer. Just go ahead and dare to enter that circle. Go ahead, see what happens.

Over the years we have been subjected to torrents of Winnie comparison. Winnie is always the milker the beginners milk. Anyone can milk Winnie. She will stand patiently all day long while a two-year-old milks her. Also she gives tons of milk and she has a beautiful udder. Back in the day she was our prettiest LaMancha ever. When Winnie is on the milkstand half the time the farmer calls everyone's attention: "does everyone see how Winnie is standing?"

"Does everyone see how Winnie waits quietly without stamping even though the grain is gone?"

"Does everyone see how Winnie stands like a lamppost while we are drawing blood?"

"Did everyone see how much milk Winnie gave today?"

"Did everyone see how Winnie walked nicely back into the stall without trying to escape into the grain room just because the door is open?"

Bla bla bla bla.

Anyway the thing about Winnie is she is a people goat and she is not a goat's goat. She is one of the Sopranos and when she was young it seemed she might end up as the herdqueen; after all, she was Brandy's oldest daughter. But she didn't have the knack for it. And as soon as Wronny, her little sister, was a yearling, it was clear who would inherit the throne. And after that Winnie gradually slipped into the background.

She is as big as a house so no one ever really bothered her, but after her mother died this summer the farmer would often look out and see Winnie standing alone in the pasture with her head down. She didn't really fit in with the Wronny family, even though she is their aunt, and the Nubian crosses made a point of ignoring her. Even Winnie's own daughters preferred Wronny. So the farmer would look out, and there would be Winnie, gazing off at Mt. Rainier, or staring blankly down the hill. She is the oldest LaMancha here now, ten years old, and even though she still looks like a 5-year-old, she started getting aches and pains, and a week or so ago she hurt her foot somehow and wouldn't join the scrum around the feeder. The other bigs jostled her too much.

"What are we going to do with you?" the farmer asked.

She really only looks happy when the farmer is there, scratching along her shoulder blades and pretending she is still magnificent, even though she is getting a little bit rickety, and if the truth be told she is a little down on her pasterns.

The problem is that, in her mind, she is a big grand champion worldbeating fish. And she has no pond.

"Oh no," said Eo, as the farmer stood scratching Winnie with a puzzled expression.

~~~~ stay tuned ~~~~~