Here is the other thing about me: I am not a mule of great indulgence when it comes to enjoying the tactical pleasures of touch. Generally, these are the rules for grooming Fenway Bartholomule . . . .
1) you may rub my ears, but only if you ask first. If you are FarmWife, I will enjoy it. If you are the oldest filly, I will enjoy it. If you are anyone else, I will permit it but it is really going to be more for you than for me. That is just how it is.
2) you may scratch me on my sides, above the rib cage, gently. You may rub me over my eyes (closed) with the palms of your hands, firmly but not firmly enough to damage my big brown orbs. You may massage the sides of my face, from jowl to nostril, towards the nose with a downward, stroking motion. These are the touches I enjoy, and all others are simply tolerated.
3) when it comes to grooming me, you can clean me to your heart's content anywhere except on my sheath but I won't do any of this flappy-lipped, giraffe-necked ecstasy business. That's for weaker mules than me.
But . . . but!! Here is the thing that happened yesterday:
FarmWife groomed me. She rubbed my ears (I liked it). She massaged my face (I sighed). She cradled my head against her chest, and I closed my eyes and sank into her embrace. Then, ever so sneakily, she scratched the itchy spot above my ribcage. I liked it. She scratched, and scratched, and scratched, and my sleek little lip began to quiver. She scratched, and scratched, and my lip jiggled, and wiggled, and I sighed, and I stretched, and before I knew it she was scratching and rubbing my entire body from tail to poll and I was stretched out like a tennessee walker on valium! My eyes were closed, my mouth was agape, and I was, for the first time in my almost seventeen years of life, getting and enjoying a massage. FarmWife lifted my ribcage and stretched my tail and jiggled my crest and generally manipulated my body in ways it's never been manipulated, and then she left me stretched out like a wet towel. I nickered a "wait, don't go," then trotted after her with my ears all dopey-floppy and springs under my feet.
It was nice.