Imagine my surprise when yesterday a vehicle drove up to the house and my friends from the church I visited in the fall (including Ed the former jockey) hopped out and began shouting greetings in my direction. It was the one bright spot in an otherwise windy, snowy day. They donned boots and bustled right over to see me.
Doc intercepted them at the gate and began his usual antics to draw all the attention to himself. He pulled back his lips and smiled, he washed the fronts of their jackets and he bobbed his head up and down til he became dizzy. The woman explained to the visitors that he has ADD and a terrible need to be the centre of attention. I called to Ed from the back of the scrum and he battled his way through the chaos. He massaged my ears and told me I was looking well and we exchanged pleasantries until Doc noticed and barged in. Jack examined the visitors from a distance and decided, based on my enthusiastic endorsement, that Ed looked alright and came over for some light forehead massage.
The woman allowed us in early because of the piercing wind and all three equines and six humans piled into the barn. The woman cooked our dinners and when Ed saw the meagre portions he said, "My goodness, the racehorses in Newmarket (in England) got eight quarts of oats at each feed, are you sure this is enough?" Finally, someone who understands the prisoner of war conditions under which we exist. The woman gave an evil, callous laugh and said we were all going to join Molly on the Jenny Craig project. I don't know the Craig hussy, but I do know I despise her.
Doc's feet were sliding every which way on account of ice buildup and Ed ducked into his stall, spry as could be, and cleared it out with a hoofpick. He uses the racetrack style which involves cleaning both front and back hooves from the same side. Doc was puzzled at first but caught on quickly. Given Doc's bulldog-like build and short, muscular legs, herself was surprised that he managed to not topple over on Ed.
Ed spent some time talking to Jack and when he saw Jack eating his dinner off the metal stall front he said, "That feels good on the gums, doesn't it, laddie?" Jack was astounded at Ed's level of understanding and on thinking it over told me, "I like that one - he knows a thing or two. He can lick gruel offa my stall any time." High praise indeed.
Too soon Ed and the others were whisked off to the house. Ed has promised to return and the friends who invited me into their back yard last fall have reissued the invitation. I plan to take them up on it. The woman's camera apparatus was paralyzed by the cold weather but she managed to snap a photo or two. I apologize for the dreadful quality but, as you know, I have no control over my universe.