The man who purchases Miggery Sow insists she calls him Uncle. Mig must care for his sheep, cook his food, and scrub his dishes—all without praise. Uncle is fond of giving Mig “a good clout to the ear.” He always asks her if she wants one, to his credit, and Mig always says no. But he doesn’t care what she wants, so he hits her hard on both ears. Eventually, her ears start to resemble cauliflower, and she becomes mostly deaf. As she loses her hearing and understands less and less, she makes more mistakes, so Uncle hits her more and more. Nobody wants to be in the middle of a vicious circle like this, but almost no one cares what Mig wants.
Once again, though Mig does say explicitly what she wants (to not be hit), the adults in charge don’t care at all what Mig wants. Hitting her is a way for Uncle to get Mig to conform to his ideal image of a serving girl. But perhaps unwittingly, forcing Mig to conform like this actually makes her an even worse serving girl, as her hearing loss means she struggles to accomplish any tasks without struggling or making mistakes.