Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gracious Guests Bearing Magnificent Gifts

January is a cold, uncaring month. It creeps into your bones and ears and soul and wraps it's icy tentacles around your very core. And then, if you're very, very lucky, something happens to raise your spirts and shed a ray of hope. Today it motored down our driveway and lifted my weary self from the frozen despair of darkest winter.

After much planning and cancellation due to human illnesses on all sides (they're a weak species) the Toothfloater who tends to the woman and the male humans' dentition and his lovely spouse Katie came to visit. They are a charming couple who know how to meet and greet equines. Katie was especially patient when Doc and Molly swarmed her and proceeded to groom the faux fur trim on her coat. I exchanged some pleasantries with the Toothfloater and shared with him my belief that the woman needs more intense and uncomfortable procedures performed on her teeth. He seemed to take my meaning.

They were not only the perfect guests, they brought me the most magnificent gifts in the history of gift giving. I now have my very own leather shank with my name engraved on a brass plate - no more cast off nylon excresence or worn rope length with a rusty clip. No one else is allowed to use it - it is mine. AND, while I was still overcome by the first gift, I was presented with a gift fruit/vegetable basket/bucket. I confess, the woman had to remove the crinkly outer wrapping before I could approach, as it gave me flashbacks to the horrors of shavings bags. Upon examination, it proved to contain bunches of tender young carrots with the tops still on, a mountain of apples and a green plant that is called celery as the centrepiece. It took my mind right off the howling wind and blowing snow. The downside - I am told I must share.

This visit had such an impact that I believe it may well carry me into early spring. It is nice to make contact with the outside world and to know there are humans who do not consider six carrot rounds and an apple slice a sufficient treat. I may have met human royalty - there can be not other explanation for such inherent graciousness and generosity.


billie said...

Sheaffer, I did a double-take when I saw the photo just now, thinking The Woman had finally gone off to an equine affaire and come home with something suitable instead of vermifuge!

Alas, you are indeed lucky to have such gracious and generous guests. That shank is a thing of beauty. A prized possession for you.

I have to offer a tip of my hat to you and all of your readers who live with snow more than once per season.

We are in day 3 of the snow event here and I am about to scream. It started melting today and between the hoof-shaped ice chunks, the muddy slush, and the promise of freezing rain tomorrow morning, I feel like packing up and heading to a tropical island. Those of you who endure this all winter (with more inches of snowfall and much lower temps) must be saints. I trudged around today doing chores like the Grinch himself.

The only good thing I could find about it were all the sparkly clean hooves the equines now sport.

Rising Rainbow said...

January isn't my time of the year either. I'm definitely more prone to those seasons where carrots can actually be grown in the garden built only for horses.

ponymaid said...

Billie, oh no, Herself would never think in those sort of grandiose gift terms. I'm lucky to get part of a wilted carrot every long while. However, she has hung the shank where I can admire it (but not chew it). Winter abides - I know how the Franklin Expedition felt when it found itself stranded in the Arctic, their ship encased in ice and a tin of peas among them. The horror, the horror.

Rising Rainbow, how nice to see you here! Anyone who grows their own carrots is indeed a friend of mine. I sincerely hope you are not suffering too much in these dark days of winter.

South Valley Girl said...

Greetings Sheaffer - I was so happy to see that you've finally been visited by a more refined class of humans, who know how a refined, well-bred Donkey such as yourself should be treated. What a splendid shank - a lovely, thoughtful gift - and of course the bucket 'o' goodies is long overdue. Good for your spirits AND your health - I'm sure Jack has used that old adage many a time, "An apple a day keeps the vit'n'ry away..."

We've had snow and rain here recently, both of which are much appreciated in this dry desert land; the Sandia Mountains are still etched in snow from a big storm last week, and we're hoping for more again tonight. I know it's unthinkable for you, living as you do in the cold Far North, but snow is actually our savior here. Not only does it keep all the inhabitants of the mountains in fresh water, it also prevents wildfires in the Spring before the Summer rains begin, so we're always happy to look up and see the mountains snow-covered.

And some humans actually find ways to play in the snow; they strap boards to their feet and propel themselves down steep hills on slippery snow with nothing but a couple of sticks in their hands to guide them. Can you imagine it?!?!? It's a wonder any of them survive such foolishness. They call it fun, I call it insanity.

Best to you on this beautiful day -

Christina / SVG

ponymaid said...

Christina, SVG, good to hear from you and that you are keeping well. Our guests have vowed to return to lift my spirits further and they will bring with them their youngest offspring, who is now a young adult. I met him nine years ago and he is a fine, donkey-appreciating sort of individual. How I wish I could somehow transport our excess snow to you - drought would be but a distant memory. My humans occasionally strap those narrow boards to their feet and labour around the fields. My first encounter with them was not auspicious. There was a slight shusshing noise and what appeared to be flattened snakes appeared out of the snow. The humans seemed to be trying to stab at them with a stick in either hand but kept missing. I gave the alarm and retreated - Doc leapt around on the spot and Molly, being an alpine equine, said "oh for crying out loud, they're skiing you idiots." Well, how were we to know. Now I just ignore the nonsense.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I'm impressed with these human frens of yours bearing gifts! Would you mention to them that there is a handsome palomino living in Nevada???

The weather has been very nice here but starting tomorrow rain for 4 days - and the puddles in my paddock haven't even dried from the rain two weeks ago - ARGHHH.

Your fren,

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - check out this baby donkey - too cute.

Your Fren

completecare said...

Hi Sheaffer,

My 12th birthday is in September and I am going to put a leather lead shank with a personalized nameplate on my birthday wish list.
I figure if you can have one then I should be able to have one as well. Right now we just get whatever rope comes off the hook first - no regard to colour, suitability or style. Sometimes it is just embarrassing. I will start working on my human now and maybe by September?????

Your fan,


ponymaid said...

Buddy, my visitors did indeed inquire after you and many other blog readers - I will try to persuade them to forward a bit of the largesse your way. We tried to see the baby donkey but had no luck in accessing the film - will keep trying.

Willy, I know, I know. We donkeys always seem to get the last bit of tatty rope on the rack. I would begin lobbying now as humans can be quite resistant. You definitely need a name plate so infractions can be pointed out immediately with no weak " I didn't know it was yours" arguments. Will you have it engraved with "Willy" or the more formal "William"?

completecare said...

Hi Sheaffer,

I will have to get "Willy" engraved on my new lead shank. My real name is Willow but I don't think that is a very appropriate name for a muscular, masculine fellow like myself. I was born in a grove of willow trees at the Donkey Sanctuary hence the name. It suited me as a young sprout but doesn't seem quite right now that I have matured.

Your fan,


ponymaid said...

Emmm, yes Willy, I think that's a very wise decision. Although "Willow" is a perfectly nice name, it doesn't quite suit someone of your obvious masculine character. If you drank those latte things and wore silk shirts - maybe - but not as the CEO of a herd of donkey ladies.