These mostly windy, rainy cold days of autumn take it's toll on a donkey's psyche. Jack says he feels just fine and advised me to stop "broodin and frettin". His theory is that for him the bucket is always half full and for me it's always half empty with a hole in the bottom. I told him that his unbridled optimism makes me worry even more because I know fate is lurking around the corner.
His tenet of unbridled optimism was proved at least temporarily sound two days ago when the woman strode down to the stinging wire and let us into the lush swaths of grass in the front paddock for the first time in months. She told us that's where she was headed and so we followed closely, Doc walking importantly at her side with her hand draped over his neck. When we got there she wrestled with one of the metal sticks that hold the wire. Meanwhile Doc and Molly began to gyrate on the spot, urging her to hurry up. When she finally got the dreaded wire down, Doc was so excited he jumped over it, clearing it by a good five feet. Molly followed closely but merely hopped over it. Jack and I stayed behind and waited until the wire was safely out of the way. Then we made our way carefully into the ankle deep carpet of plush green. We've only come up for air a couple of times since. Unfortunately, the grass does not renew itself after the first few frosts so we know the heady days of gorging are nearly done.
We're not the only ones enjoying the last days of autumn - Sally has welcomed the cooler weather by finally becoming so comfortable in her role of barn princess that she is allowing the woman to pick her up and pat her. She accompanies the woman and Penny on their walks down the farm lane and makes a point of climbing various trees, perching on branches and addressing the world in a small but confident voice. She has lost the perpetually worried look that she has worn since her arrival and is sleek and glossy. It's no secret that I am a great admirer and friend of cats and it does a donkey's soul good to see her so happy.
Lest you think I have weakened on the doom and gloom front, I'd just like to add that today the woman peered at me and said, "Sheaffer, we need to start thinking of a fun costume for your big birthday bash next spring." We all know perfectly well that the words "fun" and "costume' strike fear and dread into a respectable donkey's heart. Now I'm going to have nightmares all winter about appearing in public dressed as a figure of ridicule. If I weren't so terrified of shavings bags, I'd just put one over my head.