Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Page From My Past

I was expecting spring by now, but since it appears to be delayed I thought I would share another chapter from my youth.

I suspect I may have some gypsy blood because I have always had the urge to see the world and follow my nose wherever it might lead me. Before I was a year old, I had hatched a plan to make my way onto the road in front of our paddock. The woman is very crafty and was always able to thwart my attempts to slip out unseen beside one of the horses - till the sunny spring day in my second year when I eluded her and made unerringly for the road at a ground-covering trot.

I hoped the fact that the woman was dressed very much in stay-at-home attire might discourage her from following me. She had just washed her hair and it looked like a half-dried haystack, she was wearing a stained tee shirt with no -ahem - underpinnings, and sported a dusty eyeshade, cut-off track pants and old duck boot with no socks. A frightening sight. Unfortunately she and the dog were on my trail immediately.

I shot out of the driveway and was startled by a large boat-like automobile, driven by a very old male human. It screeched to a halt just inches from my nose and I gave him a frosty glare. He turned an unusual shade of greyish white and the automobile continued bouncing gently up and down while we locked eyes. The woman was closing in, panting and trying to speak to me in reassuring tones, so I turned and made my way down the yellow line leading up the hill. Many other automobiles were rushing past us on all sides - participating in an exciting event called rush hour. An enormous vehicle with a turning drum on it's back came over the hill and was so intimidated by the sight of me that it drove onto the gravel part to give me the right of way. The three of us - donkey, woman, dog - formed a strung out line in the middle of the road. I felt wonderful. The woman was fading fast and I was ready to trot for miles.

THEN, an interfering busybody in a pickup truck came up beside me and gradually pushed me to the side and down a driveway. Honestly. Some people just can't stand to see someone else having fun. I trotted briskly down the driveway and turned into some open fields to my right. Still the woman pursued me. She was very sweaty and red in the face - not something the public wanted to see, I'm sure. I finally ended up in a corner between two fences and stopped to have a snack. I'd forgotten that running away from home should always involve packing a lunch.

I made a couple of token efforts to escape and then allowed her to attach a shank to my halter. My goodness, she was in a state. She was shaking like a leaf and gasping that I had scared her nearly to death and put us all in danger and blahblahblah. I felt a smidgen of guilt but overall was much buoyed up my my unexpected adventure. The trip home was much less eventful and she has never in the last decade let her guard down again. Nevertheless, I live in hope...

I like travelling in our metal box on wheels and she has promised to take me on some forest walks next summer. I plan to hold her to her promise and in the meantime I'm keeping an eye on the gate just in case an opportunity should arise.


Gale said...

Sheaffer, I almost hope for a long winter if it will inspire you to provide such entertaining entries as this one. I laugh aloud each time I read it, though I can surely identify with the terror your woman must have felt when she gave chase in the traffic.

A few years ago, someone appeared at our front door to tell me "your birds are loose, your birds are loose!"

"Yes, of course they're loose, they're guinea hens, they fly, I can't catch them, so what's the problem?" I said.

"No, no," he replied, "your BURROS are loose!" It took me a moment to translate his strong Southern accent, but at just that moment, I caught sight of a small herd of donkeys headed down the driveway into the road!

The gentleman kindly helped me round everyone up and get them back to their pasture. As you know, Sheaffer, once a donkey gets a small taste of liberty (usually at the same moment his human realizes that the donkey is headed in the wrong direction) that crafty "gypsy blood" takes over and it can become quite a challenge to convince said donkey that he is much safer at home.

Hang on to your dreams of forest walks and rides in the metal box on wheels. I have a feeling that your woman will keep her promises!

ponymaid said...

I think Gale's guinea burros and I must be closely related: we share the same genes that lead to a life-long urge to travel. Of course they too were thwarted by some busy-body do-gooder.

I'm contemplating chartering a bus that would leave from here and pick up my various donkey friends as we travel south. There would be on-board twig snacks and free stud muffins for all - damn the health consequences. There would be frequent stops at places such as peppermint shops, and sand pits for rolling purposes. Our neighbour the potato farmer is a jovial sort of person with the right driving credentials - I know he would be happy to chauffer us. Sigh. Just the fevered dreams of a donkey in winter...