Sunday, August 30, 2009

How (Not) To Dig A Ditch

I am well acquainted with the need for humans to rearrange the landscape and generally rummage about, creating chaos. I had an exhausting few days last winter with the Flat Man and his crew, who came and dug up the side of the road and then put it back the way it was originally. I don't understand it but I know it's best to keep a close watch over them when they are so possessed.

When the male human and Jamie, our sometimes minder, appeared at the edge of our paddock with digging implements, all four of us rushed over to give advice and offer opinions. We chewed on the handles of said implements to ensure they were safe to use and licked the metal digging surface just to be sure. As each mound of earth grew, we climbed into the resulting trench and tried to paw the dirt back in. We stood as close to them as possible just in case they should require even more help and rolled in the dirt piles to flatten them. We were so helpful they declared us ready for employment at the Health and Safety Board. Actually, they said Un-Safety Board but I'm sure they mis-spoke.

For ages now a plastic conduit snake has lain at the edge of our paddock and although we have often used it as exercise equipment and to polish our teeth, we never knew what exactly it was meant to do. It seems it conceals various coloured wires that are somehow able to illuminate a glass orb atop a wooden post. I ascertained this as I oversaw every step of the male human constructing these post thingies. Oddly, he has built them just out of donkey reach or my report would be more detailed. Jack says they're candle holders but I somehow doubt it. In any case, our snake is now dwelling underground.

After thoroughly inspecting the posts, we caused the woman a good deal of stress today by returning to the barn covered in burrs. She has worked diligently for years to eradicate these irritants from our paddock but a few holdouts remain. She removed all of my burr collection and put it in a neat pile ready to go in the fire. Jack lined up for his turn. Meanwhile, I discovered she had put the burr pile directly on a patch of prime rolling dust and proceeded to indulge in a thorough cleansing. The entire pile stuck to my topside like a bristly blanket. My, how she carried on! She removed the burrs for a second time and - you can probably guess what happened next. Jack was so inspired by my creativity that he tried to roll as well but Herself dragged us both away with many muttered threats.

Today we helped her with weeding the sand area where she spins the horses on a rope and where they have "schooling" in something or other. The things she makes them practice look covoluted and undignified so Jack and I prefer to simply look away - or to lie on the main track where she is practicing this nonsense. We like the weeding exercise the best and were able to follow her every move, spreading the piles of weeds she had collected and distributing them evenly. She got the weeds collected again and Jack and I were possessed of a tremendous urge to do some high-speed "rasslin" and somehow the weed piles were spread around once more. I won't repeat what she said - Jack said in his day she would have had her mouth washed out with soap. What an excellent idea. She could do with some verbal cleansing.


Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I can not believe the fun you have at your house. Me - I got squirted with the hose yesterday - which was quite nice considering it was a zillion degrees out. Then I was given mana - ice cold watermelon - oh yes - let me tell you it is devine on a day with 110 degrees (thats American temps). It could be 30 degrees and I would love watermelon. So again today more watermelon - have I gone to Heaven???

Your Fren

billie said...

Well, Buddy's day sounds wonderful - what a great Woman you have!

Sheaffer, I can only imagine your Woman taking burrs out only to find them right back in again!

We are thrilled here b/c today's high 80s will give way overnight to a high tomorrow of only 67! I cannot wait to walk out and feel... comfortable.

The only excitement we had was last weekend when husband took down a tree onto a power line that runs over the paddock. So for several hours there was a live wire on the ground, along with the tree. Horses and donkeys were locked in stalls, of course, but it was a sight. Two fences had to be taken down to allow TWO power repair trucks to drive in, one went right into the paddock. By that time we had moved all equines to the back field, where Rafer and Redford were having a fit, running about, "rasslin" as Jack would say, and watching the activity with great gusto.

Daughter was posted back there to make sure no donkeys managed to sneak into the paddock. Salina was trotting around trying to keep them in line, too.

Even a bag of carrots did not calm them down - at that point they were ALL trotting around in wild circles.

I was so relieved when the trucks moved out, order was restored, and everyone could go back to their normal places.

For some reason, it seems that places with donkeys in residence seem to have a lot of excitement. Do you think there is some connection?

Buddy, if you want to up the excitement level, have your Woman find a donkey to come live with you.

OH - one more thing - a birth announcement! Redford has a full brother born last week. He looks very much like Redford - red sorrel with a white star - and his name is Rojito (means Red One)!

(no, he is not coming to live with us, but we wish he could)

billie said...

whoa! do you think I could have written a longer comment??? got carried away!

Buddy said...

Billy - did you mention the beautiful Salina? I didn't see any pics - can you tell me where to go look - she sounds like my kind of girl. GIve her kisses for me. Oh sorry for the electrical problems - I'm glad to hear everyone is OK and all is fixed.


Dougie Donk said...

I am sadly neglected!

MY woman locks us in our bedrooms before doing any sort of work, so I didn't get to supervise the man putting up 6 metere long candle holders, nor participate in the biannual creosoting of the arena fences. The final insult was when she would not let me assist in chainsawing some logs!

I am affronted. Sheaffer, rather than your coming to Scotland, may I come & visit you? I will bring extra kilts and some Scottish thistles for yourself & Jack.

Yours in hope


ponymaid said...

Buddy, watermelon? Ahhhh, one of our favourites and the most refreshing snack on a hot day. Herself is not as free with the watermelon dispensing as your own woman...As for the hose - it could be hotter than the surface of the sun and we donkeys would still loathe it. Molly wants to know if she can share your shower - shameless.

Billie, it is already distinctly fall-like here. Much too early in my opinion. How I envy the electrical uproarat your place! No wonder the equines were in a frenzy of excitement. And I must ask you to consider taking in Redford's new baby brother. Now that would be REALLY exciting! The donkey Trifecta...

Buddy, I think I will stay far away from your courtship of another mare. I value my hide.

Dougie, pack your steamer trunk immediately - this is an outrage and must not be tolerated. Donkeys and chanisaws are a match made in heaven as far as I am concerned. They have no right to curb your interest in property maintenance. Afterall, you live there too. Pack your winter woolies as well as the kilts - it's growing a tad chilly here. Jack and I would be absolutely thrilled to have you braying amongst us.

Gale said...

No matter what project they undertake, humans require constant supervision, particularly when said projects involve donkey areas!

If projects should necessitate additional effort on the part of the humans, all the better. Removing burrs, no matter how many times, comes under the heading of "Beauty Treatments" and should be carried out without complaint in light of the fact that you and Jack so diligently helped weed the area TWICE!

Billie, I love the name Rojito!

And on behalf of Buddy, I think we would all love to see a picture of Salina.

Dougie, we have some of that purple thistle way down here too! It blew from your place west to Canada and then south from there. I mowed it, sorry! If you make it to Sheaffer's house, then come south a day or two's drive to us, you won't need a wool blankie, at least not until January or February! If you move farther south to Billie's, you might get away without having to bring any jammies with your at all!

billie said...

I will try to get a photo of Salina up at camera-obscura.

Rojito means "little red" NOT "red one" - I mixed it up - but I agree, it's a fine name for a red donkey!

What would really make me happy is if Dougie goes by and gets Sheaffer and Jack, heads south picking up all the donkeys and horses we know along the way, and all of you show up here wearing kilts.

I promise if that happens I will break open BARRELS of stud muffins.

Dougie Donk said...

Billie, I am now in a permanent state of high dudgeon, as the woman says (and this is a verbatim quote!) "If you think I'd spend THAT much money to send a donkey on holiday, then your brain has obviously shrunk in the rain."

I am encouraging the horses to join me in my withdrawal of affection, but regrettably, they can be bought off with carrots in their dinner. What is a boy to do?

Ben said...

At last I have chided the Barn Man into writing for me. Of course I did fire him after he let the Farrier demon have his evil way with us for a second time. Despite notices on the bulletin board, ads in the classifieds and postings on Craig's List, I have been unable to attract a replacement. I suppose he'll have to do. We've had quite the Summer. Despite torrential rain and wind on occasion, that had me considering an Ark of my own, it has actually been quite pleasant. Few biting insects, moderate temperatures and of course the constant attentions of the humans who keep their Horses here. Jupiter the singing horse from your Birthday video has hurt a hoofie, and shazam, we have run of his Paddock. Oh spacious rapture. Jupiter says he is happy to let us use it until he is well enough to come out again. Now Jerry and I have room to really kick up our heels. You have had quite a few adventures yourself or so the barn man tells me. It seems so unfair that your woman treats you so shabbily. Hopefully she will ultimately come to her senses and see you as the revolutionary genius that you are. Bye the Bye thanks for the mention of the Gummi Worms. We have been showered with them the last few days. Strange texture indeed, but my, what a sugar rush. I even forgot to put up much of a fight when the Farrier demon returned this week for the 3rd time. Keep up your fine literary work.
Your Servant

Bouncy Dog said...

Hey Ben,
Nice picture of you enjoying the "spacious rapture" of Jupiter's paddock ... but um ... You don't exactly look like you're kicking up your heels. Must have been taken after your Gummi Worm sugar rush wore off :-)


P.S. My people wouldn't dare give me Gummi Worms. I'd BOUNCE to the Moon and back.

Jerry said...

right, erm. been told to start showin up round here, i have. old ben said he'd give me a kicking so's as he wouldn't be the "only serendipitous ambassador" or somefing and i wasnt sure how serious to take him but ive only just set me jaw back in place so yeh. hows a man supposed to work when hes all knocked out of place, eh??

and dont be sayin noffin about my lack of punctuation or any tosh like that yeah? all thats whats for ponces like old ben there. first he tries to get first lick of the new salt block and now this internet rubbish. Seems silly having two donks from the same yard on here really-- keeps him busy and i can nick his shady spot when he totters off the mess about on here. not bad though, this blog you got yerself, eh shaeff?

ponymaid said...

Gale, I apologize for my tardy reply but my typist went AWOL again. Funny you should mention the supervision element because clearly Herself can't do anything properly without us at hand but does she appreciate it? Hah! We work ourselves to the bone and what happens? SHE goes to a cottage and we stay here. It's the Cinderella scenario all over again. I very much look forward to joining forces with Dougie and making our way to stay with you. If possible, save us some thistles.

Billie, barrels of Stud Muffins? Dougie and I will spend some happy hours with Gale and Mr. Gale and will then begin our leg of the journey to your doorstep. I understand Redford has created a "Dance of Welcome" for us? Should prove most entertaining.

Dougie, horses can never truly be counted on to provide backup. They will sell their collective soul at the first scent of a carrot molecule.

Ben my boy! Glad to have an update from your paddock or "crib" as I believe the younger generation inexplicably calls it these days. I'm afraid farriers are like death and taxes - can't be avoided and so must be endured. You may find you can tolerate his ministrations better now they have improved the bribes. Try to hang onto that larger paddock as long as you can - it gives you a much larger canvas on which to express yourself. What's all this I hear about a battle royal over a salt block?

Bouncy Dog - please try gummi worms - we would very much like to hear about lunar orbiting.

Jerry, we've been waiting for you to appear and here you are! Jack himself says punctuation is as useful as shorts on a cow so don't give it another thought. I understand you two boys have been "rasslin" up a storm over the salt block and that in fact, in the heat of battle you soared over your stall guard and galloped off down the aisle with the Emi human draped around your neck. It sounds like the more active days of the Roman Coliseum - you may be the very first Gladiator donkeys. Please keep us up to date on the extreme sports.