Thursday, January 31, 2008

Foot Care Day

Six weeks of winter has crept by, signaling the return of our foot man, an event I very much enjoy. The woman has been nearly paralyzed with worry about how TJ would take this return. This is quite tiresome as it means she isn't properly focused on my wants and needs.

Shortly before his arrival, she gave TJ some sort of powder to help him relax and put us all in our stalls to with some hay. Although it made TJ somewhat more relaxed (ie. brought him down to warp speed) he was quite alert when the foot man walked in the barn. I have known this foot man all my life and I know he has the patience of Job and the strength of ten, so I was interested to see the outcome of their second meeting. He stroked TJ everywhere and even when TJ threw himself on the ground and in the air, the man just kept reassuring him, until finally TJ gave him a foot. I was quite annoyed with all the fuss and broke into full voice a few times but was told quite rudely by the woman to "button it". TJ had all four feet done and by that time he and the foot man were both quite winded and rather warm. The silly woman has given herself a migraine worrying about the whole thing. Pahh! TJ must learn that I am the central figure in this barn and his histrionics will not change that.

Speaking of nonsense, the weather is being utterly ridiculous. Yesterday we had violent winds - the dog had her mini-horse blanket on and the wind blew up the back of it and carried her down the driveway sideways. She looked like a small sailboat, tacking against the gale. Tomorrow we are to have a monstrous snow storm. Deep snow bogs me down and allows TJ to extract what remains of my winter coat. Mr. Gale has recommended something called WHOA!, a spray-on product that acts as mule repellant. I have instructed the woman to go out and search for it immediately. I have hopes of someday finding a product that will sound a large air horn the second TJ makes contact with my person - maybe it could also coat him with mace or pepper spray. Knowing TJ, he drinks the stuff for breakfast and comes back for seconds.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Heads and Tails

I quite enjoy having my picture taken and this weekend the two humans emerged, camera in hand, and proceeded to capture my likeness while I posed against the backdrop of the driveshed. I am very talented at remaining immobile for long periods of time; unlike some I could mention, I never fidget. Only when they had finished did I realize the photos are to go in a magazine for which the woman scribbles and they were actually pictures of HER, with me as a scenic backdrop. The nerve. Oh well, I suppose it will give my blog some publicity, as long as readers don't examine her visage too closely (she's fairly hideous).

Now for the hind end. TJ has devised a new game of creeping up behind me and yanking large tufts of hair from my hindquarters. Yet another humiliation from the evil brain of the mini-barbarian. With the cold weather, it's getting quite chilly back there. The woman rubbed blobs of white cream on the two largest spots next to my tail, in hopes that TJ would end up with a mouthful of diaper ointment (designed for infant human bottoms, I believe). It worked quite well and there he stood, foaming at the mouth and looking perplexed. I have posted a photo of self with the white patches in evidence. I told him that one fine day he would find himself enmeshed in a bitter lawsuit and the idiot said "Uhuhh, fossildonkey, I don't never wear no soots." Sigh.

Friday, January 25, 2008

An (Unofficial) Spa Day

On seeing TJ using me as a sort of gymnastic apparatus, the woman felt I needed a respite and invited me into the barn while she did her chambermaid duties. She had just returned from the morning walk with the dog, and fearing the dog would become cold in the barn, took her to the house, leaving behind the intriguing green compost container she had been carrying.

So there I was, alone in the barn with just the wheelbarrow and the green container for company. I did some whittling on the wheelbarrow handles but the aroma wafting from the green container proved too alluring. I nudged it gently and it tipped over, losing it's lid and spilling it's contents all over the aisle. The treasures I found! Unidentified things, many of which tasted wonderful, plus some perfectly good pieces of watermelon rind and something called coffee grounds. A veritable feast. There was a gentle heat emanating from the contents and I sensed an opportunity to indulge in some aromatherapy while giving myself a spa treatment. I rolled in it, making sure to coat myself thoroughly. I was lying there, groaning slightly and feeling a sense of relaxation and well-being when the door opened.

"Deargodsheafferwhathaveyoudonenow?" she bellowed. Well, that ruined any of the health benefits right there. She squawked and flapped around and next thing I was being assaulted with damp towels. Then dry towels. Then brushes. After that I was rudely escorted outside. She's still complaining about the "ungodly" cleanup. If she'd just stretch out in the compost for awhile, she'd find her tendency to over-react would simply vanish.

Doc had a slight colic this evening and unlike myself, he doesn't hide his discomfort, he tells the whole world. The woman gave him something in a syringe and held his hoof and made clucking sounds and he stuck his head over her shoulder and carried on like a big sissy. TJ had a panic attack and even Molly got very quiet and stopped eating. I just carried on as usual and finished my dinner - no point in encouraging this sort of display. He's fine now but the woman keeps popping in and bothering the rest of us and asking Doc if he's feeling better. Such a fuss.

Back to the world of politics tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Retraction and A Provocation

Doc has gotten himself in a state over my mention of his blanket obsession. He wants me change the wording from "poufy snowsuit" to "rugged outdoor survival wear". Fine, but a snowsuit by any other name etc... I think he's afraid of the reaction from his friends who also look like fireplugs . When they get together they play something called paddock hockey, which involves a lot of body slamming and going into the corners while trying to bring the opponent to his knees. If you can believe it, this is their idea of "male bonding". Tchaah.

I've been giving a lot of intense thought to my political platform. I was doing so today, with my eyes closed, when of course TJ materialized and said "Whaddar ya doin"? I said "I'm contemplating." Then he said "WHY?" and I said "Because contemplation precedes action." "WHY?", he asked? I sighed and said "Because thinking animals do things in that order." "WHY?" he said. I replied "Try it sometime and you'll see that..."WHYWHYWHYWHY?" At that point I attempted to box his ears but he he ran away and said "Ya see, akshun is way more funner, hahahaha." Oh Lord, give me strength.

I really think that boy needs sedatives. The plow came to clear our driveway this afternoon and TJ was spellbound. An hour later, when it was time to go into our rooms, he was so still so excited he kept running into the barn, grabbing mouthfuls of food and rushing back out. The woman finally blocked his exit route and he reluctantly went into his room. It's exhausting just watching him. I may have to close my eyes for a minute...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bad News...And Good News

I hardly know how to describe the bad news. It has to do with Molly and something called her "cycle". This is a state of insanity into which she lapses every month or so when the days grow longer. Frankly, it turns her into a depraved, debauched trollope. She suddenly begins batting her eyelashes at Doc, who isn't the least bit interested, and as the madness sweeps over her, she begins spraying mare pee at him while squealing loudly and backing into him at high speed. Doc HATES being dirty and the idea that he or his blanket are at risk of a stinky soaking sends him round the bend. He bellows, bites her substantial backside and chases her - which she unfortunately takes to mean that he is love-stricken. And on it goes for days at a time...

As an innocent bystander, I have often been caught in the overspray and in fact spent part of last summer with my face and head looking like they had been coated with glue. It leads my visitors to approach, extend their hand, and on touching my person, to reel back making gagging noises. The woman tries to clean my face with damp towels but the odour linges on till the next nightmare "cycle". Yet another cross I must bear.

The good news is that my Uncle Keith and family visited yesterday, and as he's a professor of American History, he was able to give me some guidance on the political front. He suggests I bear a strong resemblance to a rather full-figured president called Taft. I plan to emulate this Taft person, on the assumption that anyone with that sort of girth knows the advantages of a calorie-rich diet. I'm quite sure Dicey will agree. On being offered the Chair of Law at Yale University, Taft said, "You'd better make it the SOFA of Law". Can't go wrong following in those footsteps.

TJ saw Doc breaking the ice on the water trough with his hoof and of course had to try it for himself - except he climbs up so all four feet are on the surface. With the arctic air that is sweeping over us the ice is now too thick to break and the woman is carrying warm water to us. Regardless, TJ persists in hammering away, making no headway except for a blizzard of ice chips. I live in hope of a sudden thaw, whereupon he will disappear with a crash and I will pretend not to hear the glubbing noises or see the bubbles rising to the top.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Doc The Clothes Horse

For obvious reasons - mainly that he is like a horrible plague - TJ has been dominating my blog lately. Today I'll tell you about Doc's secret weakness. Bar bouncer, extreme wrestler, take-on-all-comers, pugilistic Doc, makes it to this stage of winter every year and starts craving his comfy warm blanket. This is the 14hh horse who once, in snow over his knees, took on three enormous warmbloods who broke into his paddock, and fought each one to a standstill. He put his own herd in a corner and battled the intruders single-hoofedly. The last one was a true lunatic, owing to a slight oversight when he had had "the operation"; he still fancied himself very much the stallion and was pursuing the mares in an overtly hostile way. Doc couldn't reach him very well so he lunged upward and grabbed him by the throat, effectively causing him to sound like an out-of-tune tuba. The lunatic turned blue in the face. End of battle.

This is the same Doc who lets the woman know it's time for his winter suit by going through a pantomime anyone could read. He makes himself look small and miserable, turning his head toward the barn and asking to go in. The woman caters to this ridiculous behaviour by rushing to the tack room and rushing back with his winter coat. Before she was back out the door this morning, he had his eyes closed and his head stuck out so she could slide the thing over his head. Pahhh. I never let anyone put clothing on ME - I consider it far too demeaning. The winter coat is a green plaid and Doc has red hair, so the woman has renamed him MacDoc for the winter. What utter nonsense.

Of course, TJ had never seen one of these blanket things and was utterly incredulous. He watched from a distance, eyes wide as feed tubs. He crept up behind Doc and touched the material and leapt back like he'd received an electric shock. This went on for quite awhile. By this afternoon, he was hanging onto the tail cover while Doc galloped around towing him. Given the high winds we have at the moment, TJ actually became airborne at times, looking very much like a dingy being towed by a tug boat (I once saw these at the lake). The woman was not pleased and muttered about the cost of repairs etc. I, however, was quite pleased because it removed the pestilent mule from my orbit for awhile. I will have a chat with Doc and see if he can launch TJ over the fence when they next indulge in this tomfoolery. Then I can honestly say I had nothing to do with his mysterious disappearance. Heh heh heh.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vote Fer TJ!!!

Tj fer persident! vote fer me! i will be yer fearless leider! i am not afeared of nothing! mules rool, donkeys drool hahahahahahahah! owwwwwwch!

GET OFF THIS BLOG IMMEDIATELY OR THERE WILL BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES. I beg your pardon, bit out of breath. I was examining some interesting dried leaves and of course you know who had to sneak on here. Doesn't know what a "persident" is but he wants to be one because he must mimic every move I make. If he could just focus for more than two seconds he might be useful in extracting donations from the party faithful. He combines a deceptively innocent demeanor with the mind of a guerilla fighter.

We got some new hay to try and we have given it a unanimous hoofs down. Too flat, too stemmy, not green enough, not exactly like our last batch. The woman called us a bunch of spoiled ingrates but of course SHE doesn't have to eat the stuff. I may soon look like one of those third world donkeys who are all ribs and are forced to carry enormous fat men around. Life is a constant struggle but I try to hold up under the strain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Political Career

Such excitement! For years I have pondered a life in politics and here Mr. Gale has offered to manage my campaign (with Dicey in a PR role). I have strong feelings on the subject of one of the major parties using a donkey logo without donkey permission and if they refuse to desist, my banner will feature a cartoon version of a human head in all it's goofy splendour. Then we'll see how they like it.

As to my citizenship, I believe I hold two passports (maybe more). Though I travel with my Canadian papers, I have a grandfather with the registered name of Chicago Brownie which gives me American citizenship as well (and possibly a useful mob connection). My platform will be based upon the irrefutable belief that there should be a twig in every pot and an annual allotment of at least one ton of carrots for each donkey. The current candidates don't have a decent sized ear amongst them, so I will emphasize that large ears make for better listening. My role model has always been Sir Winston Churchill, both for his substantial girth and his strong leadership qualities. I plan to acquire a bowler hat and waistcoat to underline the resemblance. I have always enjoyed standing with my front feet on any sort of box and have some skill in mingling with the masses, so I am quite prepared to hit the campaign trail. I suggest we start somewhere warm, like the Baja in California.

I like the suggestion of enlisting TJ in the Foreign Legion. He's very taken with flashy outfits and loves to charge around aimlessly inflicting collateral damage on everything in sight. He would be an excellent live explosives expert . Failing that, I plan to relegate all mules in my kingdom - err, sorry, I meant republic - to work in the sewers. In better days they could have replaced pit ponies in the mines, but I must be seen to keep up with the times.

On a lighter note, two lively young donkeys called Fred and Ginger have taken up residence at Elfwood Farm. It's taken literally a decade of working on their human woman, but she finally saw reason and admitted that life without donkeys is quite pointless.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Cunning Plan Goes Horribly Wrong

I have given deep thought to the plan proposed by Mr. Gale, one of my correspondents and tactical advisors. He suggested I gallop at high speed toward a closed door or wall, leaping sideways at the last minute so that the pursing, pestilent mule would find himself a flattened version of his former self.

An opportunity to test this stategy arose today; he was, as usual, chasing me while hurling abuse and insults in my direction. We galloped at high speed toward the large door of the run-in, which is really just an open archway. My plan was to bound sideways so that he would continue on and collide with the wall at the other end of the run-in. The plan was unfolding beautifully when we hit the one remaining patch of ice in the entire county, right in front of the doorway. My feet began describing rapid circles as I tried to brake and maintain my footing. TJ was, of course, oblivious to the situation and without pausing he collided violently with my hindquarters. We catapaulted into the middle of the run-in in a tangle of thrashing, flailing limbs. The idiot managed to land on top of me, breaking his fall and knocking every molecule of air out of my lungs.

The woman, who was tidying our hay storage area, expressed immediate concern for my well-being but I noticed a suspicious shaking of her shoulders and she appeared to be trying to stifle some highly inapppropriate laughter. The idiot mule said "Whoa, Grampaw, do it again, do it again!" Pahhh. I can't decide if he's more insolent or arrogant.

The woman said she felt sorry for me (how she prevaricates) and took me for a walk down our farm lane and around the loop. It restored my equanimity so successfully that on the way home I did some airs above the ground and threw in a few martial arts kicks at some shrubbery. TJ was extremely jealous, so that made it even more satisfying.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's Raining Fish

We're having record breaking warm temperatures which means the evil snow is gone but the squishy mud is back. It takes me a very long time to make my way to the front of the paddock, navigating through the boggy spots, and when I get there, it's time to come back to the barn. The others don't care, they gallop everywhere and accumulate a hideous coating of gloop.

Imagine my shock when I began the long trudge and, nose close to the ground, discovered a disembodied head staring at me. I froze in my tracks. The Head resembled nothing I have ever seen before - gaping mouth with many pointy teeth, glassy eyes and a strangely shiny armoured skin. I simply could not fathom what it had done with it's body nor why it seemed to have one fixed expression. Our staring match became a stand-off.

Much later out comes herself and asks me what on earth I'm doing. As she got closer, she said "Sheaffer, where did you get that fish head?" As if it were something I had casually acquired! She did not explain what a fish is or why they don't have bodies or anything else that might have enlightened me. She did say to the male human something about it having come from Lake Simcoe and having been transported here by a bird. This place is a madhouse. Now in addition to everything else I have to worry about being pelted with falling fish heads.

TJ is delerious with joy because it's gotten warm out. He attacked a tree, dragging a branch around and de-barking it while making strange huffing noises. Then he dug an enormous hole, so large his front end disappeared. The woman said he must be a mule/terrier mix. I was just going to push him into the hole and paw the dirt back in when he grew tired of digging and raced off to create havoc elsewhere. Oh well, next time.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

TJ in cherge

oldonkeyman is asleep. i am the bos now!!! i am muchh smater and mor handsom. he think he is so smurt and clever but i can beet his a** any day! hahahahahahaha i can steel his fud if i want and aslo mak him run arond and say snork blah gahhh TJ stopityoudelinqwint. i wil twist his tale and wak him up. he is alotsa fun. i wuld nevr twist docs tale becuse he wuld kil me or molly becuse she wuld sit on me and i wuld stp breething. uhh ohhh...

Ackkk! Doze off for a nano second and that maniac mule encroaches on my blog! Please excuse his immature and incomprehensible ramblings. He regards nothing as private. I was dozing lightly and was suddenly awakened by a violent twisting of my tail. TJ says he once saw an ancient automobile brought to life that way and thought it would work on me because I am equally ancient... you see the sort of thing I must bear.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Belated Happy New Year

Very best wishes to all my readers - may the coming year treat you well and bring you the things you need. Carrots, stud muffins, deep bedding etc. And most of all, may it be mule-free.

Said mule is making some progress down the road to civility - some, not a lot. He has finally agreed that brushing does not cause him pain and has stopped grinding his teeth and pinning his ears when the woman grooms him very gently. Yesterday she got a halter on him for the first time since he moved here. He was upset and angry at first but accepted a steady stream of treats as a settlement. Today he was somewhat better at being haltered. I have explained the management of humans to him at great length but he remains wary - he says every human he's met is randomly berserk and he's waiting for the woman to show her true colours. I reassured him that she is simple but well-meaning.

We're enduring arctic temperatures and today I accumulated an impressive beard of icicles. It grew so large that it clanked and rattled when I moved around. It all began when I made the mistake of having a drink of water and the woman said I looked like a member of an orchestra called ZZ Top - it must be a classical group with which I am unfamiliar.