Very best wishes to all my readers - may the coming year treat you well and bring you the things you need. Carrots, stud muffins, deep bedding etc. And most of all, may it be mule-free.
Said mule is making some progress down the road to civility - some, not a lot. He has finally agreed that brushing does not cause him pain and has stopped grinding his teeth and pinning his ears when the woman grooms him very gently. Yesterday she got a halter on him for the first time since he moved here. He was upset and angry at first but accepted a steady stream of treats as a settlement. Today he was somewhat better at being haltered. I have explained the management of humans to him at great length but he remains wary - he says every human he's met is randomly berserk and he's waiting for the woman to show her true colours. I reassured him that she is simple but well-meaning.
We're enduring arctic temperatures and today I accumulated an impressive beard of icicles. It grew so large that it clanked and rattled when I moved around. It all began when I made the mistake of having a drink of water and the woman said I looked like a member of an orchestra called ZZ Top - it must be a classical group with which I am unfamiliar.