Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Barn Rules

As usual, Doc was very sorry after the fact (undressing Jack) and to make amends, he washed him from head to foot. Jack didn't necessarily want to be washed but he knows Doc well enough to recognize that the offer was meant in good faith, even though it's a bit cold for a full-body bath. He also knows that sometimes a little discomfort is better than a more physical Doc apology . The woman later spent ages brushing Jack to try and flatten the collection of cow licks that occured when his hair dried. She reassured him that he didn't look peculiar with his new disheveled style, but was sporting the very trendy "bed head" look. He appeared dubious.

The next day, when the woman was off visiting Molly, Doc felt compelled to carry all the rubber mats from our run-in to an area at the back of the barn. He piled them in the snow and was viewing his handiwork when she returned. She seemed to understand that it was some sort of sublimation of his desire to undress Jack and she just patted him and said not to worry, spring would be here in six or seven years.

After this week of drama, it seemed a good time to discuss the list of barn rules that I had posted in the barn a couple of years ago. The humans went to an exhibition on Catherine the Great of Russia and came back with her list of rules to be followed by anyone attending her salons. They are so perfectly thought out that I have adopted them as my own. I mean, even such luminaries as Voltaire had to follow them. If he ever comes to visit me, he will already understand the ground rules. They are as follows.

1. All ranks shall be left outside the doors, similarly hats and particularly swords (Doc disputes the sword rule)

2. Orders of precedence and haughtiness, and anything of such like which might result from them, shall be left at the doors. (A touch of donkey aloofness will not be frowned upon, however).

3. Be merry, but neither spoil nor break anything, nor indeed gnaw on anything. (Twigs will be supplied for guests).

4. Be seated, stand or walk as it best pleases you, regardless of others. (Guests may also lie down and roll if they so choose).

5. Speak with moderation and not too loudly, so that others present have not an earache or headache. (Braying is permitted).

6. Argue without anger or passion. (Doc says what's the point,then?).

7. Do not sigh or yawn, neither bore nor fatigue others. (Molly is not allowed to expound on her "great beauty" adinfinitum).

8. Agree to partake of any innocent entertainment suggested by others. (Except Twister - it overstimulates Doc and makes Jack too stiff the next day).

9. Eat well of good things, but drink with moderation so that each should be able always to find his legs on leaving these doors. (Doc disagrees violently with the second part).

10. All disputes must stay behind closed doors; and what goes in one ear should go out the other before departing through the doors. (Although donkeys never, ever forget anything, especially disparaging remarks about their ears).

The punishment for infringing on these rules was to drink a glass of cold water and read a page from the "Telemachida" out loud. I find this puzzling - it sounds like more of a reward to me, but I seem to be alone in this sentiment.


billie said...

Sheaffer, how smart to adopt those rules and tailor them to suit your barn.

In our barn we are not nearly so refined. I draw the line at anyone hurting anyone else, but all sorts of shenanigans go on otherwise.

Keil Bay has not quite forgiven me for giving the donkeys the run of the barn aisle, but ever since Rafer had to spend so much time in his stall with his leg, I cannot bear to close him in.

robert5721 said...

EXCELLENT set of rules for your barn, as long as your add ins are observed you mind if I copy and use them here in our barn?
Jack's wisdom is astounding, and poor DOC is trying to make amends, although in a weird way..his understanding is a bit shallow though, so humor him for sure.
Mr Gale

Dougie Donk said...

Sheaffer, the depth of your learning never ceases to amaze & inform my youthful brain!

My woman had no idea what the "Telemachida" was, but is now under instruction to find a bookshop open on a Sunday & to purchase a copy. I expect a few stanzas to be read to me every night, whilst I am consuming my evening repast. I find a little thought to be of assistance with my digestion.

May I also adopt your rules? The foolish ex-racehorse would benefit immensely from some working parameters for his behaviour!

ponymaid said...

Billie, I have these rules posted outside my stall in case any of my civilized friends come to visit. They are completely lost on Doc and Penny and even Jack. The cat just says "pffft" to them and she is of Russian descent. I live in the midst of Neanderthals.

Mr. Gale, I would be most flattered if you used my rules! I'm sure Catherine the Great wouldn't mind either - she seemed like a sensible sort of woman, and probably kindly disposed towards donkeys.

Dougie, please feel free to quote the rules at length to your race horse companion - though I can't guarantee anything will permeate his horse brain. There is a footnote at the bottom of the rules regarding the "Telemachida". It says "The Telemachida was a contemporary Russian poem about the adventures of Telemachus, son of Odysseus, which most contemporaries found tedious and long-winded." Your woman might have a tiny bit of trouble hunting down a copy, but urge her on, using the icy freeze-out technique if necessary. She could walk over to Russia and find you a copy.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - love the rules dude. Now on #7 - I will go on and on about Molly's beauty - as I do not live there and do not have to follow the rules.

Your Fren,


ponymaid said...

Buddy, I'm afraid your original fan club of one is expanding rapidly. Molly is the barn favourite at her winter boarding place and it's doing her ego no good at all. She is being hugged and patted so much her hair may wear off. Not to mention the illegal treats. She'll probably return home with an entourage. However, she still hasn't found what my grandmother would have called a "beau" to replace you, so fear not. You are still the golden couple.

Buddy said...

Whew - I was worried there for a minute - please ask your woman to tell my Christmas Floozie that I send my love and she is still the most beautiful mare in the world.