Changin' of the Guard
Things have been
a little different here at the farm these past coupla months. Ever since
the mules landed, we 6 horses have been together in the pasture as one
herd, not 2 herds of 3 anymore. That day, when the Amish mule-owners came
to fetch their mules, they pulled up in a dark, mysterious covered cart
that was latched onto a horse.
Well I knew all about that pullin' a buggy thing,
and it's no big deal. But my pasture mates were truly afraid. I know horse
'n' buggies are NOT the horse bein' chased and eaten by the buggy. But
they don't. As many times as horse 'n' buggies pass by our farm, you'd
think they woulda figured that out. But a horse 'n' buggy never drug itself
into the yard and stopped before, right before their very eyes... Mebbe
they thought that poor horse gave up and was waitin' to be the buggy's
dinner. My buddies high-tailed it helter-skelter outta the barn area,
leavin' me and the mules to fend for ourselves. Some friends. And after
that, I WASN'T gonna tell 'em what was goin' on; I thought I'd just watch
and be amused for awhile.
The mules were bein' rounded up in the small field,
and I went back to grazin' in my pasture with Bo and Tillie, who were
hangin' at the fence with the other 3 horses. All of 'em were bunched
together on either side of the fence, afraid to go up to the barn, even
after the mules and the horse and buggy were long gone. When our person
saw the way we banded together at the back of the pasture in suspicion
and fear, she thought it was a good time to reintroduce all of us horses
as one herd - while all their minds were preoccupied with survival and
not with tearin' each other up. It was a good plan and it worked.
Why were we separated? One of us males (I won't
point toes) was not gelded and started actin' out downright viciously
toward his male pasturemates - gougin' out clumps of hair and flesh, and
landin' a bite-to-the-bone on Bo's hind leg, in mid air, losin' a few
incisors in the process, from what I heard. That little stallion knocked
Bo down a peg or more in the peckin' order. Poor Bo was runnin' scared.
He had already lost ground since his feet got really sore. The little
stallion was just too serious, and way too unpredictable and mean to have
me "safely in the same enclosure with him," said our person.
He sure did tear into me a few times, but not near as bad as he beat up
on Bo, for some reason. I don't get in the middle of those kinds of messes
anymore, so I can't say what the problem was between 'em. It appeared
that both wanted to rule the roost, or more like it - the mares. Bo was
sure takin' a lickin', so Bo and I were put in our own field and Equinox
(oops, that slipped) was gelded. Tillie, a thoroughbred mare, was put
in with me and Bo to even things up 3 and 3. Tillie headed our group;
a young mare (and Equinox on a bad day) headed the other. It stayed this
way for the better part of a year.
Anyway, back to mule-day. When the dividin' gate
was opened and we had free run into each other's fields, Bo and Tillie
left me again and trotted over to their side, cautiously joinin' them.
Then they milled around a little, all the while lined up like a buncha
compass needles, pointin' their pricked ears toward the barn. They wouldn't
even go up for water; they went back to drink from the creek. I tried
to go to the trough at the barn and Bo came trottin' to head me off, drivin'
me to the back of my pasture again, tryin' to protect me from the bad
buggy. I tried again, got stopped again. He looks out for me, but this
was gettin' ridiculous. He was runnin' nilly-willy back and forth from
my field to theirs like a mother hen, not actin' at all sore on his feet.
I sure was gettin' thirsty; I thought for a moment maybe I should give
in and explain what the horse 'n' buggy was about
Ever since Bo got that Martha Oleevio trim, or
whatever her name is, he's been standin' and movin' tons better. (I just
think I shoulda been the one to get to go meet Martha, 'cause I'm the
oldest, and my feet hurt too. It ain't fair
) Bo had been clingin'
to me like static for a long while (he couldn't boss anybody else around!),
but then he started bossin' Tillie around again.
Well, he sure seemed to be in charge of us all
that day of the buggy. Bein's that there were no sparks between him and
Equinox I kept what I knew about buggies to myself - and the good grazin',
for once. Bo seemed to be gettin' around real good on his used-to-be-sore
feet and nobody was thinkin' about arguin', just stayin' away from the
buggy. They stayed real close together and when Bo was snoozin' I finally
wandered up to the trough and got my drink. Aaahhhh.
Since then Bo's been the one in charge and I've
had my feet properly trimmed too. His feet feel good now and he can move
pretty dang quick again for his 20-somethin' years. He leaped back up
to the toppa the peckin' order, but it was a pretty uneventful changin'
of the guard. The boss is back.
Happy Trails, P-pot