The Wednesday Post
Duncan wouldn’t want me to give away his little secret, but it’s true.
Take an ordinarily clever–nay (if I may pun)–stupendously intelligent horse, and give him a nice dry barn. Even a modest little shedrow barn. (I still haven’t found my camera. Instead of the barn, here’s a piccie of summer Duncan sticking his tongue out at my entire subject matter.)
So far so good, right?
Okay, now add a brisk winter breeze. Then add the coldest slushy rain you can imagine. Let that start coming down around dark.
Remember. Smart horse. Dry barn.
When the human comes outside at midnight for the last check and feeding, there’s the horse.
Always, there’s the horse.
By the fence.
VERY SORRY FOR SELF.
In this case, wet right through the thick winter coat that can slough off just about anything. Annoyed enough to have thrown some MAD around the paddock and slipped in the process–one learns to read the signs of such things–and now sporting a bloody patch on one hip. Mystery blood. There’s no tracking it down at midnight in the wet cold dark.
So then you have the human, tromping back up to the house to find the waterproof, windproof horsie sheet. Getting out some extra hay pellets as a treat. Tromping to and fro in the wet slushy snow to tend the horsie who stood out in the rain.
By the fence.
NOT SMART AT ALL.
It’s not without its rewards. This particular horse is from a significantly self-aware breed–Lipizzans are like that–and he had a palpable sense of awareness of his miserable state. Cold and tense and unhappy. But he saw me bring out the blanket and he knew. “You are going to make it better.” His entire demeanor changed; his tension flowed away. He put his head out for the blanket (I’m lazy, I put it over his head); he went to his stall and commenced to grinding away at the soaking Lakin hay pellets. He stood like a rock while I fumbled around with blanket fastenings and belly band in the wet cold dark. “I am content,” he said, presenting his Lakin-green lips and muzzle to me along with his soaking muddied-up face. “Kiss my nose.”
“Maybe tomorrow,” I told him, and gave him a pat.
Because, really, don’t you think wet cold dark GREEN would be going one step too far?
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