Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The J and S Management Team

I've always felt a responsibility to oversee the running of this place and am pleased to have the mature presence of Jack at my side as co-manager. So far we hold identical views on how and when things should be done, and he is a huge help in keeping the woman on track.

We were waiting for the woman to trudge out to begin her chambermaid duties when Jack suddenly said "Here she comes and she's gotta cup of Joe with her!" I was flabbergasted. I confess, I thought he had had some sort of age-related mental breakdown and was spouting gibberish. She was carrying a mug filled with coffee but there was no one called Joe in sight. Jack became very excited and started huffling and generally carrying on till the woman came over to the fence and let him examine the mug. He stuck his muzzle in and began siphoning up the remaining coffee. When he had extracted every last molecule with the tip of his tongue, he closed his eyes, smacked his lips and said "ahhhhhhhhh!" When he finally opened his eyes I asked him who on earth this Joe is. "Why, coffee, boy, coffee, doncha know. Used to drink it reglar an I was beginnin ta think I'd never taste it again." Next thing he'll tell me he always has a cigarette with his first cup in the morning. I'm very much a tea lover myself but if coffee can make him that happy, I hope the woman continues to share her occasional morning mug.

This afternoon we oversaw the cleaning out of our hay storage area in preparation for delivery of the new supply. The horses were put on the lush side of the paddock (highly discriminatory) and we stayed on the barren side because of her obsession with the "f" word - founder, I mean. She got the wheelbarrow and pitchfork and began overturning the wooden slat things that keep the hay off the floor. Jack hurried over, used his nose to flip open the gate, walked in and began dining on the fallout of hay bits. The woman laughed and told him he could stay if he behaved. That's a fine turn of events - I've always been evicted unceremoniously in the past when I attempted entry. I waited awhile and joined them and she had the good grace to let me stay.

Jack has a highly developped talent for opening and closing doors, which initially took the woman by surprise. His nose is almost prehensile and he can wrap it around the slightest edge of any door or gate that is slightly ajar and have the thing open in a flash. He has figured out the horse-proof latches and is working on the clips that hold my stall guard in place. Today he rapped on the door when the woman was chambermaiding and she let us in to have some hay in the aisle, leaving both end doors open to allow the breeze to blow through. Jack wants her to know how much he likes life in the barn, so he marched over and slammed first one and then the other door. Then he gave a deep sigh of satisfaction and went back to his hay.

We donkeys put in very full days but with Jack onside, I feel there is hope of bringing the woman into line eventually.


billie said...

I think I see a Jack-themed coffee mug in the future, to go with the Sheaffer T-shirt...!

The woman is fortunate to have such responsible barn managers.

Horsebroke said...

I have had the pleasure of meeting all the crew. I can't tell you what a dignified old fellow Jack is. I think Jack thinks he's hit the payload and is staying at one of those upscale retirement resorts where they supply everything including the entertainment. Despite Jack's worldy wisdom he is more than happy to have Sheaffer fill out the daily activities program for him.

T.J. or as I like to call him J.D. for juvenile delinquent is slowly starting to get with the program at his new camp. In response to comments left from previous blog I would like to go on record that T.J. never ever showed signs of open aggression to any people or animals for that matter. I don't think T.J. really knows how to play fair and in his mind it was all or nothing. T.J. did play rough but it was all play!! Unfortunately the animals at farm #1 had never really encountered anything like him. T.J. is kind of like the Huck Finn of the mini mule world. Hit hard and fast and leave people wondering what just happened is his motto. I have also heard that regardless of the mayhem T.J. has created at the rescue, it is not anything less than letting a hyperactive 5 year old loose in a seniors residence. Once the shock wears off, it's nothing that anyone can't handle. In a quiet understated way, the oldtimers are winning the war against T.J. and T.J is beginning to see the merits of manners and boundaries and is even beginning to like having his ears scratched. Thank goodness there are people in this world that don't give up so easily.
Cheers to all... horsebroke

robert5721 said...

youall are taking care of things admirable, and training your woman should be fun with Jack to help you! I never thought things here could ge more interesting than they were, but lo and behold, it gets better each day that you post!! Keep er up,guys!! I look forward to each new post!!
Mr Gale

ponymaid said...

bille - we could rename it a "cup of Jack". I think Jack would very much like a mug with his mug on it.

Thank you horsebroke - I hope your words reassure any readers who got the wrong idea. Much as it galls me to admit it, it seems that in the right environment he is making progress, even if his sense of humour doesn't always leave the older residents laughing. He truly is like the human offspring who pulls the fire alarm in the cafeteria, waits for the place to empty, and then eats all the desserts.

Mr. Gale, I also wondered if life would become rather humdrum around here once the lunatic left but Jack is stepping up and filling in TJ's midget shoes. Thank you for your loyal support - it means a lot to a donkey.

billie said...

Yes - a cup o' Jack!

I'm very happy to hear that TJ is learning the ropes with the very best of teachers - the elders - who I suspect know how to get a young mini mule turned around once they know what they're dealing with.

It never sounded to me like TJ was aggressive to humans but more like his play ethic with the miniature equine set was very very ... shall we say, primitive.

I agree heartily with Mr. Gale - this gets better each day!

Gale said...

Well, well, before you know it, you and Mr. Jack will be having cognac and cigars in the evening! Well done, Mr. Jack! Sheaffer, I think Mr. Jack is now comfortable enough in his new digs to begin teaching YOU some things, eh?

It sounds as if peace is, at last, reigning at your homestead. Amen!

ponymaid said...

billie - yes! TJ suffers from a poor play ethic...hehheh. That's it exactly. He's learning, though, but I expect his need to do everything at warp speed is a function of extreme youth that may mellow with age. I just can't imagine running around in this heat and not even breaking into a damp "glow" but TJ does so constantly. Jack is all for having his own mug asap.

Gale, we do finally have peace in the valley, so to speak (though we live on a hill). Your brilliant idea of after-dinner cognac and cigars fairly takes my breath away - I will put the proposition to the woman immediately and see if she's not too cheap to comply. I also feel a top hat is required to enjoy both other elements. Possibly a monocle...

Buddy said...

and don't forget the smoking jacket!!

Buddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buddy said...

Sorry I haven't been posting but moms forgot her login and password and it just miraculously came to her yesterday.

Congrats on the award little dude - very cool.

Glad to her TJ the Terror is doing so well. And Jack - well moms is in love with Jack - thinks he is the greatest - me - well I have never been around little equines before so I guess they are OK.

Hopefully I'll be back if my woman can remember how to get here.

ponymaid said...

buddy, how could I have forgotten a smoking jacket! I see myself in understated paisley. If I had to wear that ridiculous sports jersey, surely they can come up with something sophisticated for my leisure wear.

I find that humans are prone to brain lapses - unlike Jack and self, who would never forget a password (especially if it gave access to something important like food). We equines must just grin and bear it, I suppose.

AND, my trophy has not yet materialized...heads will roll if it does not appear soon. If I am to be dressed like a buffoon, I should at least have the hardware acknowledging my gracious participation.