Saturday, June 28, 2008


We barn boys know that when Molly begins looking smug and superior and starts swaning around the paddock that one of her trail adventures is about to unfold. Sure enough, she got all dressed up in her trail outfit and saddlebags and ear covers and other sorts of nonsense and smirked off in the metal box.

When she returned, she was followed by a very large metal box and it parked in the driveway under the big tree. Smokey's woman hopped out of the truck and I had a delerious moment when I thought my grey friend had come for a visit. Unfortunately there was none of the thumping and crashing that usually announces his arrival. Instead, Smokey's woman folded down the windows and two large heads popped out. They stared at us with open curiosity but remained silent and applied themselves earnestly to their hay nets. The herd of human women sat on the porch facing them and I must say the amount of conversation they put forth more than made up for the equine silence. And let me add, there wasn't a scrap of food when they had finished - not even a rind or bit of apple peel for a starving donkey. Pure unadulterated greed.

The foot man came for his regular visit and it worried Jack very deeply till he figured out who he was. Jack is a stickler for routine and when we were put in our rooms several hours earlier than normal, he grew mildly alarmed. When the foot man walked in, Jack assumed the worst - that he had come specifically to whisk him off to parts unknown. Jack had an instant and massive attack of the screaming squitters - took the woman an hour to wash down the walls afterwards. Good exercise for her, though. When he saw the three of us having our feet done, he relaxed somewhat and was very good when it was his turn, inspite of the flies that relentlessly attack donkey legs at this time of year. Best of all, he hasn't foundered as initially was thought, his feet were contorted out of shape from neglect. The trim has improved them vastly and the foot man feels they will be right as rain in a few more trims. Jack tested his improved trotters and announced "Well, I'll be durned, I think muh feet has shed about thirty year in one go." I take it to mean he's quite pleased. His ankles no longer look like those of someone wearing cheap hockey skates and in this part of the world, that's a good thing.

We heard that Jack used to eat a variety of strange human foods in his former life and was especially fond of something called Smarties. We're thoroughly oppressed in our barn and not allowed exotic delicacies like that. Typical. Occasionally the woman puts two mints in our dinner and tonight she put two in Jack's dinner and let them soak with the rest of his meal. When he found them I thought he was about to succumb to an attack of pure ecstasy. He got one soggy mint between what's left of his back teeth and his eyes rolled back in his head. "Mmmmmmmahhhhhhhh", he growled, and began making the most alarming sucking noises. Eventually a line of peppermint scented foam appeared around his lips and he finally opened his eyes. He sighed deeply and said "My stars, that takes me back. There's nothin like a jolt a mint to to make an old donkey feel like a youngster agin." I just discretely crunch mine but maybe I'll try his system next time.


robert5721 said...

I have extended the open door policy of Olde Towne Farm to you in the past, and the invite is still open, but I must request that you bring Mr Jack with you if and when you come. He sounds like a delightful personality that would fit right in here at our farm. I, of course, will supply the cognac and cigars, so don't forget your evening attire including the suggested smoking jackets.
Mr Gale

ponymaid said...

Oh Mr. Gale, would that we could, we would be on the next air conditioned motor coach bound for your part of the world. We would bring mints and maple syrup. Do you know where we could get Jack some Smarties? He obviously has a bit of a sweet tooth (well, what passes for his tooth). I think it would do us both good to escape the bossy clutches of the woman for an extended period of time.

billie said...

Smarties! I am not much for candy, but I confess that when my children go trick or treating at Halloween I secretly sneak into their bags of loot and get out all the Smarties for myself.

In about one out of three rolls, there is one little Smartie that for some reason is very soft and sort of puffs into nothing in one's mouth. Those are the very best ones!

I don't do much treating the equines here with candy either, but I would share a roll of Smarties with Jack in an instant. Maybe this Halloween I will buy all Smarties and hand them out in honor of Jack.

So glad his trimming went well and that good (cared for) donkey feet will be his very soon.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I just crunch my mints as well - wonder if they taste better by sucking on them and getting foamy mouth - may have to try it next time I get a mint - I did find out I LOVE LOVE grapes - wow those juicy little morsels are just the best - better than mints.

ponymaid said...

billie, I will tell Jack you are on a Smarties stockpiling mission on his behalf. He says that unlike some famous people, he likes all the colours equally.

Ahhh, buddy, you have discovered the increbible delicacy called green grapes. Ask the human to buy them for you in ten pound bags - that way you can really get a mouthful of taste. We love the things but our woman is very sparing with them...eats almost all of them herself, of course.