On their honeymoon, driving south from Cincinnati
through Kentucky to the Smoky Mountains, my parents
stopped to watch a pair of Nubian goats gamboling in a
pasture along the highway. Ten days later, on the way
home, they stopped again and bought a young doe. Back
on their hilltop farm above the Ohio River, they realized
that the goat was not happy. It must be lonely, they
decided, and the solution was to go and get another, a
young buck. So it was that my mother started her herd
and her family at the same time. Within a couple of
years, she had a daughter and the first of five sons. In
1939 her Nubian doe, named Midnight, set the world
record for milk and butterfat production. When I was
growing up I heard about this triumph often enough to
know how proud she was of the achievement and to
realize how much it shaped her life. There must have
been times when she had to choose whether to comfort