Saturday, January 14, 2012

Family VIII: Missy, Empress of All the Light Touches

This is Missy's "scratch my back" face.

This is Missy's "fine, I'll scratch my own darned back" face. 
Missy has fallen a couple of rungs on the ladder of superiority here at Bent Barrow Farm—when she arrived, she could steel her small, 80# frame against any assault. She could out-glare, out-hackle, and even outsmart any resident. I came to Bent Barrow Farm a couple of years later, and by then she was already firmly established. Her Emperial Majesty was not to be trifled with.

The human children would like to sew Missy a spandex suit, complete with a cape reading "SM." This stands for "Super Milker." She is, indeed, a paragon of lactational excellence. She produced a whole lot of milk for her own twins, then for her next set of twins, then for the human family for another 22 months before being forced to dry off. She then relactated, spontaneously supplying milk to her daughter's triplets when we all thought her dairy days were done. In between, she almost died but didn't.

Missy is 10 now, which is pushing into goaty old age. She's a bit senile since her illness and is a member, along with Paisley and Townes, of the Not Quite Right club. Still, she gets up joyfully every morning, eats her hay with enthusiasm, and joins me in the pasture each and every day for a bit of browse and a quiet conversation.

Missy loves backrubs, facerubs, and legrubs from the humans, and particularly enjoys having the skin between her two hooves massaged. (Goats, if you recall, have two hooves on the end of each leg—super gross, I know). Missy gets the extraordinary privilege of sitting in FarmWife's lap during hoof trims, which I find absolutely appalling. So what if she's lacking in coordination and bulk! Certain standards of fairness ought to be maintained.

Except for this minor glitch in the order of things, I have no complaints about Missy. She's a tough old bird, and rather nice.

Fenway Bartholomule

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