Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jack Bulletin

Jack is so busy running the entire "sandcherry" that he communicates infrequently but yesterday he sent me a bulletin.

i tooke miselve a tour of the big padduck yestirday when sheila wernt lookin mi way and i had i gud visit with the big pack a donkeys. i say hello howdedo to em and we get to eatin grass and i got molly donkey eatin there alongside me and a good time is bein had by all. then sheila notice im gone from my area and she hav a near heart attak. so she come rushin up the fiel and i decide i can put miselve bak in so we pass each other and i meet her bak at mi place. she come bak and say jack what the hek you doin scarin me haf to deaf.

she caint do nothin witout me and let me tell ya i put in a full day. chekin feed and personnnel and takin inventery and a billion other stuff. then if them piggs is in the isle i gotta roun em up and put em bak in there area - piggs should stay outta mi area at all time. then i get the sheeps and goat and herde em outside with simon an osullyvan and we wurk on some hay. then if visiteurs come i gotta tour em aroun and a course the voluntteers need watchin so by afternoone i need a shuteye. an before ya know it time for dinner and i start all over againe. sheila give me a big hugg and say she dont know how she ever manage without me. i dont know why shes laffin tho.

gotta go run off them pigges but i will rite soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who Gave Chester This Infernal Sphere?

The other night the woman was in Chester's room, shaking out one of those dreadful plastic containers of bedding. Chester, rather than being sensibly frightened, was delighted. He seized one corner of the bag and began waving it up and down, he held it with a foot and tore holes in it, he offered it to the woman to play tug-of-war. In short, he gave every indication of having a great need for childish amusements.

Yesterday the woman went off on a mission and reappeared with something called a Jolly Ball. This one is a pale green, enhanced with apple scent. Frankly, it is hideous and an affront to the senses. It was put in Chester's room where he discovered it when we were let in for our starvation diet. He was delighted and tested it with both foot and tooth. Then he got on with eating dinner.

I was jolted from a deep sleep by a series of thuds, snorts, stomps and the repeated crashing of a solid object into vertical surfaces. There was a loud splash, followed by a soggy squelching sound. I whuffled the alarm - armageddon had arrived. I've been expecting it for ages. An aggrieved and sleepy voice came from next door. "Geez, will you clam up and kid, will you stop playing with that damn ball!" Molly got right to the point, demanding peace and quiet.

It seems that no sooner had we all settled into the arms of Morpheus than the racket broke out anew. Dawn was breaking and a delighted Chester had rediscovered his new outlet for creative play. Honestly, who gives a four year old a ball? I cannot remain sane and healthy with absolutely no REM sleep. I am quite sure this constitutes psychological abuse, or possibly warfare. Chester says he feels fit as the proverbial fiddle.

Herself finds this all very amusing and was still chuckling when she removed the no longer-so-Jolly-Ball to give it a good wash this morning. It was scraped and dented and covered in filth. I will say this - I've never actually seen kryptonite but this ball may well be made of that very substance.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Penny Publishes a Post, Chester the Mud Man

You may notice the previous post has very slim content - in fact none. It came about when Penny leaned her chin on the typing machine and published her very first work. I think it may be a silent protest against her Friday visit to the veterinarian. It is part of an annual health protocol wherein various needles are stuck in her person and various parts of her anatomy poked and prodded. She feels about needles as I do - she loathes them. I will leave the post as is to show my solidarity with her protest. Down with needles.

Meanwhile Chester's teeth await filing as the medical man is swamped with (what else) requests to stick needles in other hapless equines, emergencies etc. In true Haflinger fashion, pointy teeth haven't slowed down his caloric intake one iota. He has gained about one hundred pounds since arrival and is looking quite the prosperous young man.

In his four years of life he has learned various things but his ability to connect them remains understandably sketchy. Thus, a young human called Justin who specializes in horse education and tutoring has been called in. He worked with Chester in his stall last week, teaching him to turn when pressure is put on his side and not to prop himself, giraffe-like against the request. It's a very simple exercise, which Molly and I both learned at an early age, but one which Chester found difficult because it has never been explained to him properly. He became quite hot with trying but by the end had his head neck lowered and his hind end moving away fluidly. One can never overstate the importance of learning the abc's of communication before trying to write a novel. Chester and the Woman have been doing homework in this basic exercise in preparation for next week's lesson.

On the grooming front, Chester is a firm believer in mud baths, which he takes often, layering one coating of ooze over another. He looks and smells like a swamp creature. His sleep habits are equally as messy. He lies down and performs what look to be olympic swimming exercises in his bed before falling asleep. He usually picks a newly minted mound of manure as a pillow, and given the plenitude of green, grassy foodstuffs, his head is permanently dyed on one side. The Woman scrubs at him in vain but she avers that he looks the spitting image of someone called Braveheart who apparently went about with a blue face.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

For the Love of Donkeys

Our friends at Morning Bray Farm have posted another happy Donkey story. This one is about how one lucky Iraqi Donkey left his old life in a war zone and found a new home in the USA as a Therapy Donkey for stressed and injured soldiers.

Here's the link: (which I can't seem to get to behave like a link, but if you copy it into your browser you'll get to the right page ... Sorry :-( )


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chester Is Given a Reprieve

We awaited Chester's dental appointment with great interest - especially those of us not due for the gag and rasp treatment this year. Then the medical man called and said that owing to things like emergencies etc. the appointment must be delayed a week. Never having had his teeth filed, Chester is rather blase about the whole thing. He'll find out soon enought...

Finally, the grass has found some ambition and is growing with vigour. Of course that means the stinging wire went up. Chester was not familiar with the concept and somehow had an electrifying experience to the end of his nose that caused an out-of-body event. This resulted in his instantaneous transfer to the other side of the wire. It seems he's quite an accomplished high jumper because nothing was touched in the incident. He wasn't too fussed and carried on with power grazing. The humans arrived, scratched their heads, and took down a section of the wire so he could be reunited with us. Molly used the opportunity to try to barge through and was soundly reprimanded.

In addition to limited grazing we ran out of our winter hay and a top-up load was delivered. We don't care for it. It is wispy and bland. We pointed this out to Herself and were dismissed summarily. She says it is diet hay and good for our waistlines. We say it is a disgrace to subject us to starvation. Herself laughed raucously and said our waistlines remain visible from outer space. And on it goes...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The VET Was Here Today

Yes, the "vitinrey" himself, that needle-packing, mouth probing, finger poking busybody. I should have known when we were dragged back in at 9am that nothing good would follow. I adopted a policy of trying to blend into the back wall of my room but unfortunately in addition to being an officious busybody he's also quite observant.

Chester went first, and being new to this operation, he didn't recognize the mad medical man for what he truly is. The veterinarian lavished him with praise and offered him a handful of treats. Next thing he had his hand is Chester's mouth, announced a veritable mountain range of sharp peaks on many of his teeth and pointed out some baby teeth that are still loitering about in there. Chester is not five years old, but four it seems. The appointment for filing will take place in a week's time.

Molly went next and her full figure drew a warning about the perils of overeating. She blew a raspberry in the vet's direction and rolled her eyes. She didn't even notice when he stuck the needles in her muscular neck. She gulped down the treats offered and lumbered back to her stall where she searched her bedding in vain for hay wisps.

That left only me...my adrenaline surged, my nerves jangled and every sense told me that the next few minutes would be tense indeed. I reared slightly a couple of times to indicate my willingness to set passive resistence aside, I snorted and stamped a foot and then I buried my head in the back corner. "Now, now," said the madman and offered me a treat. I snatched the treat and went back into ostrich mode. He patted my neck and paid me outlandish compliments and next thing it was all over and he was handing me more treats. To my amazement I survived unscathed but I'm still trying to figure out what sleight-of-hand was used. I must brood on this further. At least Molly and I don't need our teeth done this year.

I'm pleased to report that although Jack was attacked with the dreaded vermifuge he gave better than he got. It took three people to hold him and I hear they are still in recovery after he towed them around like so many rubber dinghys. Jack is fine fettle but highly indignant and is still muttering about "maniacks what attak a frale old man with poisin".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Various and Sundry

First of all, I wish to state that a census form appeared in the mail box and the filling out of said form led to rather a lot of confusion. Amongst other things, it asked if there was a visitor from another country staying here, and if so which country. Then it asked if the visitor was a person of diplomatic stature. It was speculated that I was undoubtedly of foreign origin and probably of a diplomatic leaning, possibly even a spy. I am saying nothing. Let them speculate at their leisure, they'll get nothing out of me, including the nature of my mission here.

Chester will have his teeth checked on Saturday to see if he is harbouring something called caps or wolf teeth (how would one ever get close enough to relieve a wolf of his dentition, I don't know). I fear needles may follow. Chester was left outside whilst the Woman rode Molly today and he seemed quite relieved to see this was normal practice around here. He trotted over in a straight line, examined them both, and trotted back in a straight line to where I was grazing. "Seems fine, carry on", he said. He's a stickler for having everything unfold as it should. He even plays in straight lines, leaving ruler-like tracks in the grass. He does not believe in roughhousing but I have hopes of inducing him to frolic some day.

Molly looks like an orange yak. There is no other way to put it. Owing to a long, cold spring, she is relinquishing her coat very slowly. I am hanging on to my own coat until at least July. One simply never knows what horrors Mother Nature has up her sleeve. Speaking of horrors, the wretched blackflies are out so we are forced to wear our masks. The ends of my ear covers are mysteriously masticated - the woman says I did it last summer after rubbing the mask off on the fence. I have no recollection of the event.