The illustrated nanny goat stares out at me from the packaging. She has a benign smile on her face. Her large ears stick out at right angles from her narrow head. Her little eyes are expressionless. She wouldn't do me any harm.
Underneath her face are the words, "The REAL alternative to cow's milk". Above her face, "Packed full of goodness".
I know cow's milk ruins my digestion. But I'm a bit bored with soya. And there's no denying that dairy gives me a boost. I feel stronger and more awake when I drink it. But with cow's milk, the minuses outweigh the pluses. But Nanny wouldn't harm me, would she? I take her home.
Nanny's milk is very white. Brilliant emulsion white. It tastes slightly sour. I pour it on my cereal. I lap it up. I feel strong. Stronger. Christ, I could climb a mountain if I didn't get vertigo.
But as the day goes on, the milk doesn't go down. It sticks in my gullet (the old reflux). I start to cough. I feel breathless. Here we go again.
I go to the fridge. I pick up the carton and Nanny smiles at me. There's something cruel in that smile. Why didn't I see it before? Why should she like me when cows don't?
And cows are more even tempered than goats, aren't they?