Thursday, April 28, 2011

Much News - Some Of It Good

The not-so-good-news is that owing to a perfect storm of chaos in the life of Emi (human to Mosby Horse), my birthday party/sanctuary fundraiser is postponed for the near future. Emi is in the throes of house demolition and rebuilding which is to my mind a thrilling and exciting undertaking but to humans apparently it represents a source of stress. Mosby says he isn't bothered at all by the impending excitement. My firefighter's hat, given to me by Dougie Donkey of Scotland, waits at the ready for when a new date is set.

The sanctuary news is good, except for the typhoon-like winds blowing three run-in shelters to smithereens. I will say no more about the current weather - it is cold, wet and unspeakable. Jack continues to thrive, running the sanctuary with a small iron hoof. In addition to his two bubble neighbours, Simon and O'Sullivan, and the goat and sheep, he has inducted two large donkey ladies into his herd. Their names are Molly and Maggie, the former described by Sheila as "big, bold and brassy". Jack is besotted. Molly comes from a Scottish family and Jack tells me she is vocal but incomprehensible. She refers to him as either "Jocko" or "the wee lad" and he spends a lot of time saying "eh?" and "what?" in response to her orders and observations.

Jack has spent the last weeks glued to the human electrical expert and has finally received his certificate. Unfortunately he thought it was vet-related and fled in horror at the sight of it but they hope to coax him around, possibly by coating it with molasses. I don't know how Jack finds the hours in the day to do all he does but if he keeps adding to his activities he will need to appoint an assistant manager.

Chester is nicely settled here and we are starting to see that at age five he really is still a young horse and somewhat innocent of the ways of the world. He is of a military nature and likes thing to be orderly at all times. His habit of guarding us all day leaves him exhausted and after dinner he begins yawning lavishly and soon keels over into a deep, flat-out sleep. This is quickly followed by rhythmic snoring noises. He has an infestion of songbirds in his feet, specifically thrush, and that is being dealt with daily. He had a saddle fitting the other day and the fitter warned the woman that he was still growing and filling out at a great rate. In fact, the hind end has risen like an elevator in the last month and is awaiting the arrival of the front end.


AutumnSkyRanch said...

I just adore you, Sheaffer. It is so good for a donkey to have skills, no matter the type. You are more the observer/reporter which is just as important as being an electrician. I wish for your sake the weather would turn into Spring, as it's now almost Summer. As always, the invitation to visit California to help Harry and Gunny with their landscaping/mowing job is extended.

billie said...

Sheaffer, what a relief to get such a thorough and well-typed report and update from your world. I have been missing your regular missives.

You have permanently and beautifully transformed my perspective on the hoof ailment known as thrush. From now on I will gleefully think of it as "an infestation of songbirds" and will of course think of your brilliant and keen mind each time I do so!!

Chester sounds delightful - what a relief it must be to have a youngster who is so orderly in his ministrations. Unlike a certain young mini-mule we shall not name.

We have had all sorts of whirling winds passing us by this month - lucky for us we have not been affected but it is upsetting to see the photos of devastation of farms and homes not so very far away at all.

Rafer and Redford are disgusted, completely, with the black gnats that have come out here. They like the tender flesh of equine bellies and groins, and I am out there daily assisting with battling these small creatures. Meanwhile none of this herd is suffering too badly with all the green grass and tender leaves - they can be disgusted in one moment and blissful the next, thanks to springtime.

I can hardly bear to mention your birthday celebration being postponed but I know you will soldier along, waiting for the chance to wear that incredible firefighter's hat!

ponymaid said...

AutumnSkyRanch, the adoration is reciprocated - you are obviously a donkeyphile through and through. I do consider myself an observer of life in general and could describe how to rewire a barn but not do the hoofs-on job Jack can. The weather here is simply unspeakable. I would love to be landscaping with Harry and Gunny in the sublime State of California.

ponymaid said...

billie, I may have that wrong - Chester could have a case of Finch Foot but I rather think she said Thrush... Chester is trying very hard to figure out our routine and adapt accordingly. Because he was over-hungry and underfed at some point in his young life, he uses his left front leg to perform air pawing whilst he eats. The Woman explained to him that this causes his dinner to spill when his foot accidentally connects with the bucket. After only one explanation, he now keeps his foot on the ground but vibrates his leg like a wet piece of straw. I don't care for the sound of those gnats - are those some form of southern blackfly? I am coming to grips with this year's lack of party - it will give me longer to prepare a lengthy speech on the evils of cold weather.