Friday, June 10, 2011

A Strange Week Indeed

My week began when the Woman rummaged around, found the green cloth bag with my harness in it, opened said bag and pronounced a series of old Anglo Saxon words that made me blanch. It seems that mice had chewed a hole in the bag and made a vast homestead inside, using bits of material and leather to create a multi-family dwelling. The odour was rather overwhelming. She aired out the harness and, in her absent-minded fog, attached me to the cart with it. I felt like a hobo donkey. She said it was perfectly fine, just a bit rough around the edges.

She must have re-thought her rather foolish stance because next day she went off and returned with a quite lovely leather harness, complete with a stylish collar. It belonged to a donkey called Tiddles who regards pulling things with unabashed horror. This horror cause his human to decide that the best policy was to sell it to a donkey who enjoys touring with cart in tow. That donkey is me.

This afternoon they tried the collar on me and Herself opined that it seemed not to fit well. The male human suggested it was upside down. He was quite correct. And he is supposedly the non-equine expert in residence. You see the sort of thing I'm up against. I can only imagine where she will think the mouthpiece goes...

We had a diversion this morning when one of those large land fowls, (brown, small pointy head and rather vacuous look) wandered right up to the gate. I did my best to converse but all I got for my troubles was "guk buk ook". Chester glared at it in a fixed manner, hoping against hope that it would enter, whereupon he could pulverize it. It became distracted by something in the forest and ambled off. Not a very satisfying encounter at all.

Chester is now being ridden in the aisle and run-in, learning to relax and accept the pressures of steering without rushing forward in a panic. He was exemplary and is a tad too smug in my opinion. If he is still relaxed on Sunday he will go out toting saddle and human. Our feet were pedicured this week and Chester's finally look like horse feet and not large, ragged blocks of wood. His thrush is gone and the last of his dry winter coat coming out. Herself performed the bizarre ritual of rifling through his manure and bagging some up - this means the dreaded dewormer is in our future. I will endeavour to channel Jack and seal my lips firmly.

14 comments:

Buddy said...

OMG Sheaffer - is that you pulling a human in a cart - KUDOS my fren!!! I would love to be able to do that - take my mom around the neighborhood - oh what fun!

Your fren,

Susan said...

Camryn here: Glad your human gotted new gear for you, an that the man human figured out it was upside down. You look sooooo handsome in your pictures. I didn't realize just how talented you are.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I want to pack up Rafer Johnson and come learn to drive with you and The Woman!

I feel sure Rafer would take one look at you and practically climb into his harness by himself.

I need to ask you a question about the vermifuge. Is there any benefit in the apple-flavored variety? I usually buy it to make it more palatable, and it seems to be true, since 4 out of the 6 equines here will basically suck it out of the syringe, especially Rafer and the pony.

You and The Woman are quite a striking pair - and your landscape is gorgeous. Finally! You have your season to enjoy.

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Oh Sheaffer, you look stunning in your new harness! While we both enjoy carriage pulling, I think you and I have different ideas about the speed at which it should be done. You probably like to tour casually about at a walk, whereas I love to just FLY across the countryside, the faster the better! We also encounter *Obstacles* where we spin and turn quickly through and around gates in a predetermined order. I'm sure you would savor the finesse of the order, but probably would not like to do it at speed. LOL (I won't comment on the downside... the weight of those whom we pull...)
Billie, we quite like the apple flavored vermifuge. Just about when we are going to spit it all over our Woman, we realize it tastes good so we swallow it and lick our lips.

billie said...

Finn, the resident pony here will take the syringe tube in his teeth and run with it given half a chance! I feel bad b/c they follow me around like I have a treat - and it's dewormer!

This is probably the dire consequences of this crew never having had a Stud Muffin.

I know, Sheaffer, you are MORTIFIED.

ponymaid said...

Buddy - at risk of encouraging severe overwork, I must admit I do like to have the occasional jaunt in the cart. I think you and your woman would enjoy touring the neighbourhood -I suggest frequent stops for refueling.

ponymaid said...

Camryn - good heavens, you make me blush! Hard to tell under all the black facial fur, I know, but I am indeed blushing. I approve of my new gear, especially as it replaced mouse-chewed, odouriferous rags that I was embarrassed to wear.

ponymaid said...

billie - Rafer would be an instant study, I know. Redford might lean more toward the speed events...I find all wormer to be loathesome but Molly says the apple flavour is delicious. I'm not sure if Haflingers can be counted upon for a balanced view when it comes to anything edible...she has also stolen a ham/cheese sandwich abomination and thoroughly enjoyed it. I must admit, I savour every moment of our green season - blackflies and all. I still haven't begun shedding - the weather gods are notoriously fickle.

ponymaid said...

Finn Pony - I suspect you and Billie's Redford have the same desire for speed whilst pulling. I myself am a slow, careful pilot (not plodding, as some would have it) but can also step out in a precise trot if requested. I do enjoy the mathematical precision of those cone courses but am always let down by human error. We do fine when they just stop steering and interfering and let me drive.

ponymaid said...

billie - no Stud Muffins?! Surely this is against some sort of law? No wonder those poor souls think vermifuge is a treat!

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Sheaffer, I too have the impediment of the human steerage in cones. Twice this season already we would have come in first rather than second if my human hadn't steered the cart into a cone (or 3)! I must repeat, you look FABULOUS in your new togs!

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Sheaffer, I too have the impediment of the human steerage in cones. Twice this season already we would have come in first rather than second if my human hadn't steered the cart into a cone (or 3)! I must repeat, you look FABULOUS in your new togs!

completecare said...

Hi Sheaffer,
Since you are now back "in the harness" will you be attending parades etc as you did before you had to stay home with Jack. You could travel the countryside giving donkey driving lessons or doing public speaking engagements. You could come and visit me and my new friend Loki and show us a few of your moves. I had a few lessons when I was younger but never made it as far as pulling a cart. Loki is quite timid so I think he would be content to just watch.

My Mom, Bert is still at the donkey sanctuary and will remain there until they get her bladder stone problem under control. My human visits her and then gives me a full report. Right now she has a very special job of trying to socialize a donkey that was terribly abused and has trouble relating to other donkeys and of course humans. If anyone can help this poor donkey, my mom it will be the one.

I hope you are enjoying the heat and sunshine. It is great.

Your Fan,

Willy

ponymaid said...

Willy - I would be delighted to stay with you and share my limited amount of driving knowledge. Think of the hours of fun we could have... It really is not fair that your esteemed mother should be visited with a plague of stones. The only bright side is that she is certainly a wonderful comfort and role model for the abused donkey she has taken under her hoof. As you in turn are for Loki. Keep up the good work, young man!