Wednesday, January 6, 2010

There Ought to be A Law

Surely this sort of weather is illegal? And if so, why isn't someone overhauling the legal system? They finally came to their senses and closed down the gulags in Siberia, but here I am, stuck between a snowbank and and ice patch. The sun is only present in a token sort of way, not enough heat to warm the cockles of a donkey's heart, let alone his ears.

This morning I was immersed in a complicated dream about spring grass and trespassing moose when the lights in our barn flicked on and a hideous face shoved itself into mine. "Sheabber", it said "id timbe to ged ub". The face was blotchy and it had beady, bloodshot eyes and a reddened nose. On it's head was a strange, bulky shape with flaps and fasteners. My heart rate soared as I prepared to flee the invading sasquatch but it proved to be the woman wearing her new hat and suffering from what Jack calls "the grippe". She coughed at me in a phlegmy sort of way and undid my stall guard, saying. "Oud you go, and doand dri to sneag bagh in while Ib pudding oud your hay". Sneak past that? I hardly think so.

Doc is having other winter woes, caused by our windows being completely frosted over with a thick layer of rime. He has a large window in his room that overlooks the house and driveway and he checks it regularly to make sure our territory is safe. Imagine his dismay when he wasn't able to complete his usual security check. He left his hay untouched and called the woman over. She thought he might be ill and felt his ears and feet and fussed over him but he just kept turning back to the window.

She finally figured out the problem and, hacking and wheezing away, used the plastic rectangle upon which our treats are prepared to scrape his window clear. He knew exactly what she was doing and helpfully kept his chin on her shoulder the whole while. When she was done he heaved a deep sigh, nudged her arm in thanks and gave a long surveillance stare outside. She has now purchased an automotive ice remover for exclusive use on Doc's window.


billie said...

I agree about this law!

Today we got up to 43 degrees, and the wind got very slow. I removed all horse blankets so the horses could roll and soak in the sunshine.

Rafer Johnson laid himself out by the barn, full sun, and when I came upon him he raised his handsome head, stretched, and made a very cat-like sound that clearly said, "I'd like to get up, but I just cannnnn't be bothered."

This is the first time I've made any sort of connection between donkeys and cats!

I thought of you and Jack, wishing there were some way to bottle up some of today's precious warmth and send it straight to your barn door.

Maybe The Woman could install heat lamps until spring?

ponymaid said...

Billie, there is a very strong feline/donkey link - I sometimes wonder if we share DNA. Violet's vocalizations have often been compared to ours in both volume and tone. Although her papers from the rescue say she is a purebred Russian Blue, the humans often wonder if there is a hint of Siamese in there. I have not yet met a Siamese cat but would be most interested to communicate with one. Please carry on with your experiment in bottling sunshine and put us at the top of the list for a winter's worth.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I witnessed something yesterday afternoon that made me think you're right about the DNA.

Dickens, our resident cowboy/feline, was doing some "work" with young Redford, who likes the cats, but finds the urge to chase them sometimes irresistible.

Redford tried to chase Dickens, who jumped up on the picnic table so they could discuss this eye-to-eye. Redford's intrusion into Dickens' personal space was met with a very solid, no claws' smack. Redford smartly took one step back.

Dickens moved down to the seat of the picnic table, allowing Redford to be a bit taller, but this time, the moment Redford intruded with his nose, Dickens raised his paw and Redford stepped back one more step.

These lines firmly drawn, Dickens jumped back to the ground and rolled onto his back, fully exposing his belly, almost daring Redford to cross the line. Redford, of course, is quite the intelligent young donkey, and he very smartly stood at attention but did not shove his nose into unwanted areas!

So Dickens stood up and they walked off together, back on good terms.

The thing is, I'm not sure a dog (or heck, even some people) could communicate so clearly and easily with a spirited young donkey.

There seems to be an inherent level of understanding with felines and donkeys that I never expected to see.

I should add that once Redford fully understands the boundaries of cat bellies, I'm sure he will be afforded the same privilege Rafer Johnson has with Dickens - who allows Rafer to bury his nose in his belly and give him a gentle nuzzle.

I am working on that sunshine but we are back to cold and wind, alas!

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Oh My Sheaffer! I totally agree that this weather should be illegal! We are in Florida but you'd never know it by the thermometer. It has been in the 20's F, minus 4 C, overnight for several days. The daytime temps are no higher than 42 F, 5 C. BRRR!! Just glad the woman brought our heavy winter coats. We have had the privilege of sleeping outside, with the exception of 2 nights when there was precipitation. The ground is soft regardless of the temps, as it is sand, so my feet and ankles are getting some respite. "They" keep promising it's only for another couple of days, but these promises seem to be rather empty... sigh... if it ever warms up here, my invitation stands to any and all who would like to join us here in "Paradise"...

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Sheaffer, My woman can't figure out how to find the calendars. Her computer crashed in December and she lost most of her email addresses and bookmark sites. Can you tell her how/where to purchase some?

ponymaid said...

CindyLou, ahhh the irony of our weather systems. You flee to the warmth of the deep south and surprise! guess what dogs (or horses) your every footstep. We have heard tales of both oranges and reptiles falling from trees in a state of advanced icy-ness. Surely, surely, this must stop soon? We send good wishes to your and your ankles and your entourage on a daily basis.

ponymaid said...

Alas CindyLou, the human to Fred and Ginger has disappeared off our radar - presumably smothered by a few tons of office paperwork. Or she has become welded to the permafrost that is such a delightful part of an Ottawa winter. I will let you know as soon as we have contact.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - sorry for my absence - mom has been busy making an afghan - whatever that is - and hasn't been keeping up with my frens.

Nothing new to report - weather has been nice - 60 degress F in the day 30's at night. It is so warm out right now - 55 - no blanket tonight. WHOO HOO I can run and roll without that contraption on.

Love the pics - specially Miss Molly - what a looker.

Your fren,

Anonymous said...


ponymaid said...

Buddy, an afghan? I assume it's for you in place of those restrictive horse coats? An afghan has a nice, old-world air about it - something Queen Victoria would have used when she was at home with her boots unbuttoned. I hope it is done in colours becoming to you?

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I think it is gonna be too girly for me - lots of pinks and yellows. Mom is making it for herself. Besides I like my sports jackets.

Your Fren,