Having had what was something of a pleasant winter day yesterday (surely an oxymoron), we are being made to pay for it today with a non-stop snowstorm. As Bertie Wooster once said to Jeeves, just when you think everything is going splendidly, fate is lurking around the corner with a set of brass knuckles.
Jack and I did our three second tour of the run-in, just long enough for a blast of snow to hit Jack square in the face. We beat a hasty retreat, Jack shaking the precipitation from his formidable eyebrows. "Huh", he said, "I shoulda just stood in bed." Ungrammatical, but cuts right to the heart of the whole winter ordeal . We supervised the chambermaiding, Jack licked the dog's winter coat until it was sticky and Sally watched all from the safety of her den. Breathing heavily in that unpleasant way she has, the woman trundled out with the wheelbarrow.
Jack was standing near the door and as the woman pulled it shut behind her, he gave it an extra hard shove. He hates the idea of cold air getting in. The woman plodded off with the wheelbarrow but when she returned she discovered that Jack has somehow caused the door to stick fast and nothing she did could turn the mechanism. There was some muffled thumping and cursing as she fiddled with it and I'm afraid some uncomplimentary things were said about donkeys in general. "Good thing I locked her out", said Jack, " s'obvious she's gone loco."
Her face appeared in the tack room window; no one should have to look at an apparition like that. It was very red and blotchy but we couldn't tell if the cause was frostbite or fury. She tried to lift the window, forgetting that she had locked it in the fall. Then she went to the back doors, but having no implements to work with, was unsuccessful in making a dent in the ice and snow using only her hands and feet.
We used her absence to sidle into the tack room and that's when the horrible face reappeared. She rapped on the glass and said all sorts of frankly threatening things but we just stared at her and politely pretended not to hear. Thankfully the face disappeared again. Jack sampled some of Sally's dry food and declared he preferred the squishy, smelly stuff. I put my head in what turned out to be a bag of the white powder she spreads on the floors of our rooms. A day later the sneezing is beginning to subside somewhat.
We heard a tremendous banging and crashing at the door and she burst in, looking like an early Neanderthal and clutching a chunk of ice in her hand. She had used it to release the lock mechanism - I've heard of this sort of tool-making amongst the higher primates but had no idea she was that evolved. We backed hastily out of the tack room, Jack scattering mouthfuls of cat kibble and self sneezing violently. She spoke at length in garbled and shrewish tones - we bustled into our rooms and stared at the floor until she ran out of breath. It was worth every minute of the inevitable lecture.
She has fixed the door mechanism but Jack vows to rework it into a more user-friendly state for donkeys. I don't doubt he will; he is a true artisan with endless patience.