Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Driving Adventure

They have returned from holiday so apparently my life can begin again. Pshaw. This holiday business is very inconvenient for those of us with no typing skills and much to say.

The day before they disappeared into the vastness of America, I was taken for a road trip to an equine establishment that teaches various disciplines, including driving (my forte). It's rather tiresome being confined in a metal box with windows too high to be useful and no wiring with which to tinker, but I managed the trip over quite well.

They were tremendously excited to see me, especially the horses, who had never before met a donkey. They practised their free-form dressage moves in the air and emitted many loud snorts and whistles. Eventually three of us were strapped into our harnesses (no, not together!) and off we went for a tour.

A magnificent creature called Rosie, a Warmblood of Swedish descent - red of hair and fiery of temperament - strode off at speed, followed by me (out of breath) and Joe, a two-tone horse of Doc breeding. My word, sixty acres of track is an alarming space when one particpant is eight hands and the others are sixteen hands. And I might add, I was hauling a considerable load. Nevertheless, I completed the course (including a ditch crossing) and was able to watch the extraordinary Rosie flying around the field, doing figure eights and all sorts of other impressive foot work.

The human residents were charming, tending to my every need and even whisking me onto the lawn upon arrival so I could be in some matrimonial pictures. I was turned into a large grass paddock, where I could watch my neighbour zoom around his own paddock, snorting and trying to get to me. I encouraged him to simply jump the five foot fence, and he very nearly did.

One thing puzzles me, however. The humans congregated on the lawn, being very noisy and eating all sorts of foodstuffs but I was not invited over. I stared at them very hard through the bottom rails, which worked to the extent that they came over in little groups to see me but I was not let out to mingle. Even when I made my low whuffling sound that usually summons the Woman, they still kept me confined. I tried a few full-throated brays and all that got me was a chorus of raucous laughter and some loud neighs from the horses. I simply don't understand the social contradictions inherent in human behaviour.

I am invited back any time and may be offered the position of Professor Emeritus in their driving program. I will have to ponder this but am leaning toward accepting.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Molly Moves On

Molly has settled back in with her other family and seems to be getting the upper hoof quite quickly. We boys miss her and I confess we have been loitering near the gate by the road in case she should arrive back at any minute.

Molly and the young female human are wandering around the countryside, saddle-less, visiting neighbours and just generally sightseeing. Molly is in her glory, being a busybody whilst getting some low-level exercise. She is in a grass-free paddock with an ancient equine called Ethel who is no doubt alarmed to find herself sequestered with such an, ahem, "dynamic personality". Another ancient equine, Billy, has decided that Molly is the devil incarnate and keeps making threatening gestures from over the fence in the gelding enclosure. Molly stays just out of reach and taunts him with cries of "Go ahead bite me old dude! Hahahahaha!". The other gelding is a svelte Thoroughbred who has fallen so hard for Molly that he may strain something trying to impress her with his moves.
We miss Her Mollyness here but we three boys have formed our own "posse" as Wilson insists on calling it. I will write more about the two new lads at a later date. Tomorrow I am invited to a friend's place to demonstrate my driving skills - the only thing that might stop me is the weather. Their farm is populated by something called Warmbloods, a category of equine which I have not yet encountered. I plan to question them closely.
Oh, and this wretched site will not include paragraphs...my apologies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Don't Believe It!

Such turmoil. Such confusion. Welcome to Chez Sheaffer.
Molly is moving tomorrow. What with the Woman only having one arm for steering, and Molly having a sensitive ankle from last summer, which limits her trail abilities, it has been decided that she will move back in with her former humans. Her bags are packed and she leaves tomorrow. Being Molly, she simply made a light belching sound and said she looks forward to her new adventure. I don't think she realizes I'm not coming with her...
We are invited to visit her any time and I plan to take them up on the offer. There are two new lads here to keep me company but I do believe I will miss La Molly...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Visitors From The Near East

Just when I had fallen into a state of despair - what with the attempted bath and the ongoing remarks about waistlines, who should appear from the Nation's Capital but my old friends, mother and daughter humans who have known me since I first was forced into servitude with Herself. The younger human is the only one to have ever sat upon my back, when she was age six, and she and I share this fond memory whenever we reunite.
They showered me with compliments, not water, and presented me with an entire container of Scotch mints. Of course, on Her orders, these must be doled out like Oliver Twist's gruel but nevertheless...They groomed me, gently cleansed my legs and ears of fly bites and even sang me a quiet song about having "A Heart of Glass". I was temporarily transported to heaven.
Best of all, the mother human took it upon herself to mend my battered fly covering. The fastening under the chin has never been long enough so it is constantly rubbed off on trees and then, I don't know how, the ears become chewed. The Woman says I am in fact the guilty party; I have no recollection of it. But I digress. The extraordinary visitor not only attached a longer chin strap but, using material scavenged from an old horse covering, she rebuilt the ear covers into works of art. It took her hours but she did it just for me. I look immensely dashing, if I do say so myself. Even the Woman says I look like a Highwayman.
Alas, the kind visitors are gone, leaving me with memories, mints and a mask. I hope they return soon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Donkey Days of Summer

Finally, decent weather. The radio in my barn is calling it a heat wave but they are mistaken. It is simply civilized temperatures. I don't care how many eggs they fry on pavements, this is why I endure those endless months of frostbite and hypothermia.

I am slowly, carefully shedding the last of my winter coat. One cannot be too careful in these climes. Of course, Herself can't leave well enought alone but has to "help" me with the process. She uses a large toothed comb to rake through my hair and that I don't mind at all. Yesterday, however, she decided that wasn't enough but that I should have a bath! One with water.

She bribed me into the barn aisle with a tasty snack and then snuck up on me with a bucket of soapy water and a large sponge. She started at my hooves and I was galvanized into a sort of Highland Fling. Then she inched the thing up my leg and onto my side. Well! It was hideous and I understand full well how a near drowning feels. I took immediate action and bellowed for Molly. I spun in a circle, flinging foam in all directions - mainly on Herself. I reared and bolted up and down the aisle. What else could I do? I was under attack in my own home. Molly arrived in a cloud of dust and tried to open the door. Herself spat out bits of soap foam.

We worked out an uneasy truce where I will let her bathe my lower extremeties, for now, but forbid anything liquid to touch my upper person. She says we shall see. Odd, because that's exactly what I say. I think she should just go find some pavement, fry an egg and leave me alone.