Just a few days ago Jack and I were standing in the shade, swatting flies and now this. It has been snowing sideways all day and is now accumulating on the ground. It's the terrible wet stuff that trickles into a donkey's ears and soaks them through. Jack galloped off snorting and bucking this morning when the woman got out one of his new blankets. Now he says he might wear it afterall.
The woman continues to battle the huaman version of heaves, which has provided us with some excellent comic moments. She has let us onto the lush side of the paddock now that the grass is dying down, with the condition that we must come back up after a couple of hours. I wait till the other three are up there and drift back down to the far end of the lush paddock. Now she has to reinstall the electric strand to contain the others while she cajoles me up towards them. I allow myself to be led, slowly, the length of the field. When we get near the wire, I pretend to be a wild stallion who has scented a large predator and gallop off again, nose stuck in the air, tail whirling madly in circles. Beads of sweat pop out on her brow and she makes noises like an old steam radiator. On Sunday she got so dizzy she had to go back to the house to enlist renforcements. I had a most enjoyable afternoon and feel it makes up somewhat for the muzzle outrage. Now she carries a long, long whip with her and makes phlegmy growling noises at us while honking her nose into a white paper thing. Not at all attractive and enough to make us run for cover.
And now...all is doom and gloom. Jack says he personally knew the old farmer who started the almanac book and all the signs point to a long, hard winter. He bases this on the circumference of the woolly caterpillars, the quantities of food being stored by squirrels and the extra layer of fur that has sprouted in his own generously-sized ears. Not sure about the last one, afterall, he is ancient and extra ear hair seems to be one of the hallmarks of the truly aged. I do know that Voltaire called this country "Quelques arpents de neige" (a few acres of snow) and for that alone he is one of my favourite philosophers. The man knew whereof he spoke.