I have a goat infestation, if you will recall, but they generally mind their manners when it comes to staying out of my hay flake, yielding the road, etcetera. Not yesterday, when B.G. had her smelly hard head right in my very own dinner pile!
A more short-tempered mule would have resorted to violence. A more passive one might have accepted defeat. Not I! Diplomacy is equal parts tact and gumption, and so I solved the problem without bloodshed.
I pinned my ears, glaring with nostril upcurled. She looked startled, but recommenced to eating. I snaked my head at her, lips tight. She edged away, but continued to snack. I took her ear, then. I took it ehhhhhhver so gently in my teeth. With delicate, guiding pressure, I lifted her head out of my meal and onto her own. I walked her like a naughty schoolboy over to her own delicious dinner and I deposited her there with a look of stern reprehension. She stayed put, and if she had had command of the English language she might have said, "yes, sir. I won't do it again, sir."
I am a problem solver. I am a diplomat. I am never cruel.