NANNY DOESN’T LIKE TO BE TEASED
When one of my brothers was a baby, he nearly died from drinking cows’ milk, which everyone said he had to have. When he was covered from head to foot in eczema, our mother went looking for alternatives. Someone told her babies could drink goat’s milk, so she checked with the local farmers in an effort to find a goat that was milking.
Successful in her search, she brought home a white goat. We lived in a small town at the time, and there was no pen for the nanny, so she tied a long rope around its neck and led it across the road to a field. Mother pounded a stake into the ground and tied the rope to it. Now the goat would have all the grass it needed.
Much to everyone’s relief, raw goat’s milk made a huge difference to my brother. His skin cleared up, and he gained weight. The nanny was a life-saver.
A couple of houses down the street from us lived a kid who was nine or ten years old. Big for his age, Jimmy was a bully and, like most bullies, liked to push others around. He was quite a few years older than we were, so we avoided him – but, one day, he discovered the goat.
Mother soon noticed he was teasing the nanny. If cows or goats get upset, they won’t milk properly, and enough stress could make them stop producing milk entirely. Since Mother depended on the nanny’s milk to keep her child alive, she scolded Jimmy and told him to leave the goat alone.
But, of course, it was too much fun to poke sticks at a helpless animal while it was tied to a stake. Our mother tried to keep Jimmy away, but it was hard to do while she was looking after two small children and a baby.
One day, she peeked out the door, and there was Jimmy teasing the goat again. By now, the nanny had developed a pretty serious hatred for this obnoxious child. Mother was about to charge to the goat’s rescue, when she noticed the nanny back up all the way to the stake. Then she lowered her head and charged as hard as she could at Jimmy.
The goat must’ve had a pretty good idea of what it would take to uproot that stake, because it flew out of the ground and bounced along behind her.
Jimmy, brave soul that he was, screamed and charged through the field, scrambled through the ditch, over the road, and into our house, the enraged goat inches from his behind. He dashed into the kitchen, scrambled over the table and scattered chairs as he landed on the floor. The nanny was right behind him, rope, stake, and all. With a murderous and determined glare, she leaped onto the table, her eye on the prize. As she stormed after Jimmy, the rope and stake cleaned the dishes off.
Jimmy charged into the closest bedroom and skidded under the bed.
Mother managed to grab the rope to keep it from breaking everything in the house as the enraged nanny charged into the bedroom intent on her revenge.
In the ensuing scuffle, Mother managed to wrestle the goat to a halt, but it kept struggling to charge at its hated torturer. When she’d gotten the nanny under control, Mother ordered Jimmy out of the house and threatened that if she ever saw him near the goat again, she was going to let it loose.
Jimmy scrambled out the door, and that was the end of him teasing the nanny.
This little event must’ve given Mother a great deal of pleasure as, whenever she tells this story, she always gets a satisfied smile.