Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It was absolutely harrowing. It has taken me nearly a week to work up the courage to even speak of it. I'm surprised it didn't turn me into an albino donkey overnight.

To set the stage, it was an evening like most others. Herself clanged and clattered around in the tack room, preparing our evening meal, Sally played sabre tooth tiger in the hay pile in the aisle and Penny scouted around for edibles (ie: virtually anything). Herself opened the door and the other three marched into their rooms and began swilling away at the trough. I prefer to take my time and usually stand outside until the spirit moves me, at which point I slowly make my way inside. This particular evening was no exception and I stood pondering the more complicated points of the universe.

I had just stepped into the run-in when the most alarming series of events began to unfold. It was by now pitch black outside and the first thing I saw was a pinpoint of light up high in our hay storage. There were some rustling sounds and suddenly an avalanche of bales crashed into the metal gates. From under the bales came a series of hideous grunts and gutteral noises. The light, which was obviously the eye of a savage predator, now rose from the hay pile - and it was attached to a hulking, growling form! Yes, a bear, and probably a grizzly from the sounds of it.

I wasted no time in following that succinct Shakespearean stage direction "Exit, stage left, pursued by bear". The beast did indeed pursue me and then began calling my name. I broke a land speed record in retreating to the far reaches of the paddock. It gradually occurred to my adrenalin primed brain that I am not on a first name basis with any bears; the voice revealed itself as...yes, you know who.

The beam of light sought me out and Herself, wearing almost an entire bale of hay about her person, limped over to apologize and console me. I refused to be consoled and rejected the apology. I galloped to the other end of the paddock in a state of highest dudgeon. I simply could not believe that even SHE could create such havoc through sheer clumsiness. I stayed out in the dark, brooding. And what were my herd mates doing meanwhile? Why, carrying on as if I hadn't been a victim of a savage bear attack! Yes, yes, I know, it wasn't an actual bear. But it could have been.

I finally consented to be bribed inside with a gummi worm and bit of apple. Jack was highly delighted with the entire drama. "playin davy crocket, were ya? king of the wild frontier? sonny, ya caint skin a bear if yer runnin the other way". And then he wheezed and shook till his eyes watered. Old people can be amused by the most inappropriate things.


libraryperson said...

What a vivid imagination!!

billie said...

Sheaffer, my gosh - I was on the edge of my seat... the very thought of you being pursued by a bear was more than I could handle!

Of course, in the end, it is always The Woman, isn't it?

One part of me thinks, oh dear, I hope she is okay.

But another more cynical part suspects a conspiracy. Did she engineer this "accident" in some evil effort to gauge your running speed for, and begin training for, oh, let's just say a donkey derby race that might be coming up?

Jack, of course, played right into her hand.

South Valley Girl said...

Goodness, Sheaffer, what a very perilous life you lead. I was just shattered by the headline on your post - the thought of you being menaced by a Bear... well, it's just too much for my poor nerves so early in the morning, and I can't begin to imagine what an ordeal it must have been for you. Really, this is getting out of hand.

I do hope Herself is duly contrite over the next few days and does everything possible to re-establish trust with you and serenity in your surroundings.

I think a few sessions with a good therapist might be in order - we don't want to overlook the very real possibility of Donkey PTSD...

Christina / SVG

Buddy said...

OMG - Sheaffer you are hilarious! A BEAR - geeze louise - get a grip Sheaffer! I am reading your post and thought for sure - being in Canada and all it was a real bear - this is your woman you are referring to. You do make my night!

Your fren,

ponymaid said...

libraryperson - that's what the woman says - in a rather huffy tone, I might add.

billie, I honestly cannot fathom what strange thoughts blow across the windmills of her mind. She says it was an unfortunate coincidence but still...her track record is not good. Jack is all for entering the running of the Donkey Ascot to be held at your farm. I fear that after that bear incident I am a spent force on the running front. I am, however, very good at giving advice from the sidelines.

Christina, SVG, THAT'S what I have (I looked up PTSD). Oh yes, therapy, and lots of it, in a faraway, warm place. That's what is required.

Buddy, you haven't seen the woman in person - she can quite easily be mistaken for something of the ursine persuasion, especially in the dark. We do have bears around here but I doubt they would ever behave in such an unbecoming manner.

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Oh My, Sheaffer!!!

The Woman is indeed completely Out Of Control!! Mine is much like yours, but I have put my hoof down and insisted; here are the rules I have set down... If She even contemplates that she is going to come back out to the barn later after feed time, she is to leave NIGHTLIGHTS ON!!! There is NO EXCUSE for switching on all the lights in the middle of the night, giving everyone Blinky Eyes! Does the woman have NO Empathy?! ... Hmmm... Perhaps you should obtain on of those extremely bright hand held searchlights... And... some time before dawn, when you wake up, tiptoe to a spot where you can shine it into her eyes and yell, "ALIENS!!! THEY'RE GOING TO ABDUCT YOU!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!

ponymaid said...

CLW, Jack and I are all for trying out the searchlight on the woman. I am keen on the idea of threatening her with alien abduction, though lord knows why any self-respecting aliens would want any sort of interface with her. I'd be afraid of them hastily, and possibly angrily, giving her back. Jack wants to leap out at her as she is blinded by the light and shout "run, its them revenoorers!" His theory is that tax collection is always more frightening than alien life forms.