Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn Sneaks In On Little Skunk Feet

We believe the feet were attached to a fully-loaded skunk. We drew that conclusion from the highly fragrant state of our paddock yesterday morning. Evidently they like the idea of approaching winter as much as we donkeys. They're just better at expressing their feelings.

Jack and I have been snacking on a selection of nicely dried leaves but the horses insist on grazing over the spent pasture. They have very little imagination and a woefully primitive palate. Molly did debark a tree but that was in a fit of pique because the Woman was working with Doc. It garnered her some attention, even if it was in the form of bellowed threats.

The foot man came yesterday and thankfully pulled off Molly's steel shoes for the winter. It lessens her stomping ability by about fifty percent which chagrins her to no end. We had our usual hoof trims and although Jack had a passing bout of projectile manure expulsion, this time he missed the foot man's shoes. This caused the foot man to become even more cheerful than usual.

The corn in our front field is being processed by the huge machine, the observing of which is one of my favourite pastimes. Last night was even more exciting. We experienced a "weather event" which I believe to have been a small tornadic activity. There was a tremendous wind which sounded like a train, accompanied by intense rain and then the air pressure and temperature changed instantly and dramatically. We could see the lights on the front of the corn mangling machine and quite suddenly the corn whipped from side to side and then ascended directly up in the air, as if pulled by a violent, unseen hand. It was of great interest for someone who studies weather patterns as avidly as I.

The woman sank to her usual low level, repeating the facile "witticism" she always finds so amusing. "Sheaffer, if we have a tornado, we'll all hide under you and hang onto a leg." Ha. Ha. Ha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a blak beeste

this here is jack and i wanta give ya the true story of what happin here lass week.

sum visiters come over and when they git outta their veehickle out jumps this big blak dog thing that starts runnin aroun and barkin and yippin and carryin on like a maneiack. hes a good five-six hans tall with black curlee hair and beedy eyes and a haf a tale. well sir, i tak one look and gallup over all the while brayin and honkin ta beet the band and sonnys rite there behine me. the humins are quite amuse but that beeste knows what im sayin - come here boy, i wanta cleen yer clock fer ya. they tie him bak on his rope.

THEN they come in the padduck and mak for the barn. i tale the blak beeste right over, offerin ta kill him and leave no trace. he takes mi point and hides behin the humins. they think im jus proteckin penny dog an its true - he plays too rough fer her but i juss don like no canine strangers anywheres neer my place ATall. doc helps out by tryin ta reech him over the door and dern nere sukseeds but the humins bust up his plan.

one of tha humins which is call gazelle on here and which is auntie to bouncy dog which is the blak beeste visiter took movin piksures and they decide on account of its cold and windee and im fit ta be tied they will tak sonny out for a walk without me. kin ya believe it? no, me neether. i pitch a fit thet billie prolly kin here in them carolineas. doc an molly get rite in on it and we have quite a time runnin and screamin and tarryhootin aroun. sonny dont say nothin - he never do. hes what ya call a solitaire at hart tho i stik ta him like glue at all time.

anyways if ya go ta yourTube - what? oh. go to uTube - what? oh fer petes sake! go to that youTube thing and write in sheaffer donkey and you mite see me runnin aroun like a reel angry wild man. i look pritty good if i do say so miself. thers some picksures of the others runnin too excep sonnys climin a hill with whatsername. you dont gotta look at those. you could juss look at mee if you want.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Leon Moves On

The first thing I must tell you is that Leon, the throwaway donkey that the Woman bought at auction, is now in his new home. He had his "brain surgery" and whilst recovering, he met the human of his dreams.

Unseen forces must be at work here because the thread that pulled his human to him was a thin but strong one. Sheila, who runs the sanctuary under PrimRose Donkey's guidance, found an injured Cooper's Hawk in the middle of the road one day. She bundled him up and took him to a nearby sanctuary that helps wildlife recover from various traumas. Helping out that day was a veterinarian who donates time whenever she can to giving medical assistance to the patients. There are two donkeys who live at the sanctuary and of whom this medical woman had grown most fond. Sheila arrived, bearing the towel-encased hawk, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The vet woman visited the sanctuary and was introduced to the residents. Her eyes met Leon's across the recovery paddock and that was that. The normally quite shy Leon rushed to her side and they proceeded to stare deeply into each other's eyes and to breathe deeply up each other's nostrils. They were mutually besotted. Plans were made for Leon to move to her house.

In preparation for the move, Sheila put the metal box on wheels in his paddock for a few days and placed food inside. Leon's three trailering experiences in his short life have not been happy ones and he firmly declined to enter. Sheila warned his new human that he might object strenuously to being moved. Enter the new Leon human with her rather posh wheels. Repeat deep breathing and mutual admiration exercise and cue Leon happily skipping up the ramp beside his new soul mate. Love apparently does conquer all.

He is blissfully ensconsed in his new home with three large draft horses who have become his boon companions. The new human took a week off work to strengthen their bond even further and Leon is feeling like a young emperor surveying his empire. I do like a happy ending.

A mere three months ago Leon was running loose beside a major highway, having been thrown out like so much trash by his worthless humans. He was captured, held at a livestock valuator's facility for several weeks and then put through the stress of a busy meat auction. No wonder he wasn't overly optimistic. With the help of an injured avian he found the path to the person and place he needs. Long may he rule over his new kingdom.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two Gifts

It's been a peculiar week. Jack and I each received a completely unexpected gift and our reactions were mixed, to say the least.

On Monday, Jack had just finished his shredded cubes and was beginning to sort through his hay. Suddenly, he snorted, flew to the back of his room and began trying to exit through his locked door. The woman looked suitably alarmed and rushed to his side. She examined his hay pile and found nothing. He remained adhament that something was terribly wrong. She sighed and rifled through the hay once more. "Oh", she said, "I see", and casually shot the object under the divider and right onto my hay! I trumpeted and retreated up the back wall of my room.

She picked up said object and waved it in my direction, laughing like a mad person. I refused to look. She climbed over my stall guard and continued waving the thing in my face. I opened one eye and beheld - Sally's toy mouse. Honestly, I appreciate Sally's generosity but I fear Jack and I can't stand much more of her thoughtfulness.

On a happier note, it transpired that while the Woman and male human were in Chicago, they did indeed buy me a gift. It is a small but tasteful poster bearing the motto "Keep Calm and Carry On". I believe it to be a British saying from the Second World War and very apropos in our barn. My understanding is that although it is displayed on the wall where I can see it, it is really a directive for the others. I pride myself on my sangfroide in stressful situations - unless a fake mouse is involved.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Need Help...

Well, that's what SHE says. SHE says I have a problem with "oral fixation" because I enjoy exploring the textures of anything mouth-sized.

I admit, there was that fine English leather bridle - it was exquisite on the palate. The soft, buttery feel, the essence of leathery goodness and the satisfying recoil off the back molars. My, how she carried on. Then there was the rubber currycomb and the wooden mounting block and the glove with the raised pattern and the book about horse ailments and the cord for the heater thing and the plush animal belonging to a small visitor...each unique and deeply enjoyable in it's own way.

The issue reared it's ugly head again (actually SHE, reared her ugly head again) when she had finished spinning Doc around on the long rope today and cast it aside on the ground. They rode off to practice their - whatever it is they do - so I naturally assumed she had no further use for the rope. I sidled over to assess the target - I mean to casually inspect the object. It was of cotton/leather construction and had a pleasingly pliable feel. In no time I had it clenched firmly between the back molars and was working away with a sawing motion. A feeling of complete and utter bliss swept over me.

SHEAFFERRRRRRR!!! It felt like a bomb had gone off in my ear. She glared down at me from her perch atop Doc. "Youmiserablelittlesneakyungratefuldonkeycriminal". I fled in terror, rope stuck firmly between my clenched teeth. I galloped around, trailing yards of rope until I finally remembered to unclench my teeth. Upon retrieval, it was discovered the rope had substantial - ahem - alterations, but had not been severed completely. She stormed off, muttering threats over which I am sure I could take legal action.

She is particularly peevish because she has purchased "toys" solely for our use and destruction. I simply do not care for them. They are either of an infantile nature or inferior design. The browbeating will continue, I know, but I will soldier on in pursuit of the finer things in life to masticate. As long as this remains a democratic nation, I shall exercise my right to chew freely.