Friday, October 31, 2008

Festival of the Orange Gourds

After a spell of ear freezing weather, we were blessed with a day of sun and balmy breezes. I know the weather gods will make us pay later, but for now a donkey can snooze and graze, snooze and graze and then repeat at leisure. My friend Buddy in Nevada was asking when we are forced into winter clothing and the answer for now is a joyous - NOT YET! I absolutely refuse to keep the damned things on and would rather freeze to death but Doc and Jack have extensive wardrobes. Molly has a plush double fur coat designed for the high Alps so she swelters if she is anything other than "au naturel".

This date each year marks a bizarre ritual in which humans seem to take great delight. They dress up in ridiculous and/or hideous costumes and rush around giving the option of either tricking or treating. The excitement builds during the day and at nightfall the offspring from the farm across the road are driven over. They spill out of their vehicle, unrecognizable in various disguises and wearing eerie glow-in-the-dark rings around their necks. Then - and I'm not making this up - they hammer on the door demanding candy. And the humans give it to them. Can you imagine if I were to conduct myself in that sort of brazen manner? It would be hard labour in Siberia for several decades. Yet another example of the double standard by which humans operate.

I have heard tell of a donkey in our area who goes out with the human offspring, one of whom is dressed as something called a "Shrek". This donkey receives so many handouts of apples, carrots and other delicacies that they are rationed out over the next few weeks. I could probably work up greater enthusiasm for this Halloween charade if I were to find myself in that sort of supporting role - even if every second human felt compelled to shriek "Donkehhhhhhh" at the mere sight of me.

One last terrible and truly gruesome thought - what if TJ takes part in this ritual? His deceptively innocent appearance would result in mountains of treats - meanwhile he would be in his glory plotting the "trick" element. I shudder to think of the carnage.


Buddy said...

So nice to hear that Molly goes naked during the winter - I'm gonna try and get up to see her this winter - LOL.

Yep its halloween tonight - my woman is waiting by the door for the little gobblins - so far - nothing - but its not quite dark yet. Our first halloween at the new house so my woman isn't sure if she will eat all the candy herself or not - hope she shares with me.


billie said...

We don't get many trick or treaters here, if any, but we did have a small Halloween party the night before in which the horses and donkeys played "beasts large and small that might snort and blow and bray as you pass by.." They boycotted my suggested roles completely and were docile as lambs back there!

Sheaffer, if you went trick or treating you'd end up with more treats than anyone. However, as much as I like the woman, I feel sure she would take it all away from you at the end of the night, so... better to stay home and enjoy a quiet evening with Jack exchanging tales of spirit donkeys.

Caspar said...

Alas, my humans participate in this bizarre ritual as well. My woman came at me in black - black breeches, boots, gloves, and shirt - none of which is too unusual for her. But the black hat, cape and mask were quite unusual. As was the metallic silver duct-taped dowel that she brandished as if it were a sword. She was absolutely dilusional and I hid from her, trying to pretend she wasn't mine.

THEN she drug me out of my stall and tacked me up. I was mortified, but she used a bridle I had never seen before that was covered in silver. It went quite nicely with my coloring, if I do say so myself. The caped creature climbed on me and rode into the arena where several of my friends were dressed as fairies and bunny rabbits. I didn't recognize them at first. Then I realized that I should pity them, because at least I only looked like a fool due to my association with my woman and not because of some oddity dangling from my person.

I understand the mall is decorated for Christmas, which concerns me. I ate my stocking, santa hat, and reindeer ears from last year. I shudder to think of what will replace them.

I haven't been posting as sometimes the computer doesn't appreciate my password. But I have been a faithful reader of yours, Sheaffer, for quite some time.

Buddy said...

Well we didn't get any tricker or treaters so mom has lots of candy - she will not share! It has been raining - I'm filthy dirty and loving it!

completecare said...

Hi Sheaffer,
My humans did not stay home and give out candy. Instead they deserted us and went to the city to see the Lipizzan Stallions perform. They went with Uncle Ed and his Winsome Wife Wendy. At the end of the show all four agreed that my "airs above the ground" are more spectacular and entertaining than any they witnessed during the performance.
That just goes to show how athletic and talented we donkeys can be when the urge strikes.
Your fan,

Anonymous said...

When the Spirit Moves You
Hallowe'en blew into Elfwood Farm with a breath of warm air. Annie, Fred and I celebrated the Night of All Souls by going insane. This involved galloping at high speed out of the barn, into the barnyard, around the barnyard, into the field, circling a few times, stopping at the height of ground to rear and buck - donkeys showing our impressive though fuzzy tummies. Repeat. Repeat again. Keep repeating. Then disappear into the dark.

The fat lady was dumbstruck as she toiled away cleaning our stalls. Finally she gave up, put hay in our stalls, left the doors open and hoped they we would come to our senses by morning.

Although we live in a genuinely haunted house and barn, we never get any midget beggars at Halloween due to the 500 foot driveway and invisibility of the house from the road. The fat lady and the big guy usually stock up on candy "just in case" but end up eating it. What's left over they stuff into people's Christmas stockings. By then they are so sick of it they never want to see another gold-wrapped piece of butterscotch again.

Having never been given the opportunity to sample gold-wrapped butterscotch, I can't comment on this - except to say that they are selfish greedy pigs.

Another exciting event on Halloween was the raccoon attack. The big guy graciously got us 10 bushels of apples from his hair stylist (don't ask - but yes this hair salon is located in the middle of an apple orchard).

The fragrance of apples was heavenly - so much so that it enticed a roving raccoon. It ripped out the tack room wall and spent all Thursday night making applesauce.

The apples were in net bags so the coon had to use tooth and nail to extract them through the netting. What a mess. Fred and I couldn't have done better. (Mind you, if we had eaten that many apples we would have exploded.)

The fat lady retaliated by setting a trap baited with apples (while we careened through the barn and through the fields). The saucy raccoon sat in the barn wall and watched her! Moments after she left - snap! - one sad raccoon.

The fat lady loaded the cage into the truck on Saturday and took the coon to a forestry preserve next to a river - which she claims is much nicer than our tack room despite the lack of apples.

She also commented in a rather nasty way that misbehaving donkeys that may end up in the same place. Brr. Some people don't need a costume.

ponymaid said...

buddy, I'm quite sure there is a Halloween law that states the primary resident must share equally with all other residents. See if you can enforce it...Molly is looking more and more like a musk ox but still feels she is an equine glamour queen. The woman has shortened her beard and leg fringes just enough to give the general idea that there is a horse in there. Molly is now calling you her filthy friend...oh dear.

billie, Jack insisted on telling me the tale of the headless spirit donkey he saw as a youth - kept me awake for two nights straight until I convinced myself it was a figment of his younger imagination.

caspar - delighted to have you with us! But what's this about fairies and bunnies? Good lord, I'm glad you escaped with your dignity intact - I'm quite interested in a costume that glints, especially the dowel part. Very wise of you to eat your Christmas things - it forces them to go out and get new, and hopefully better, ones.

Willy, how silly of the humans to rush off to see dancing horses when they could have had a better show at home. Humans are always surprised to discover our great talent for classical dressage. It's because we're a modest clan who don't feel the need to hog the limelight at every occasion. Now, just show them the occasional levade or passage and you'll have them so awe-struck they'll be putty in your hooves.

Ginger, I see you are using the Willy approach to wowing the masses (well, the fat lady anyway). You can call her a mass if you like. Now, that "hair stylist" creature in the orchard - that's a TROLL and must be trampled underfoot once the apples are safely out of the way. Never let a Hairstylist/Troll near you - you will be unrecognizable till the magic wears off and your hair grows in.

Anonymous said...

Pony maid -
Your advice comes a day too late. The fat lady must have been channeling a hair stylist troll yesterday when Fred, Annie and I emerged from the north paddock festooned with burrs. She ruthlessly tied us to the wall (one by one) and used a wide-toothed comb to remove the burrs. Alas, poor Fred had burrs in his excuse for a tail - it was a hard, bristly pointed object - and on his sensitive tummy.

There was a great deal of wiggling and mmphing but we were deburred and brushed and she even had the temerity to clean our feet. This invasion of our persons has happened regularly for the last two weeks. It is some sort of fetish and I hope she gets over it soon.

Fred and I have posted a sign at the barnyard gate, "Here there be trolls."