Friday, March 19, 2010

Ode to spring

How does it the spring a young man's fancy turns lightly to love. Well, it doesn't have to be a young man. There are all sorts whose hearts soften with the spring thaw.

Chloe the pony, poor dear, was always at the bottom of the pecking order where she had to be kept. I hated it but sometimes situation dictates the terms under which we live. But she was the first one to come here, to our wee farm. At first the aloneness bothered here and she would call out and wait to here back from a local horse. The reply usually came from a mule about three quarter of a mile to the west on the other side of the woods.

Then came the ill fated Little Finn. Chloe adopted him immediately. He was a tender soul and she loved him dearly. Then Pip came home. Pip had been staying with a neighbor until more fence was up. So our number was now three and we were getting late into our indian summer. Chloe would give her feed to Finn, rest her head on his back and give Pip hateful looks! Her ears would pin, her eyes would narrow and she would pull up her nostrils as high as she could and in her rudest horsey language tell Pip," I DON'T LIKE YOU!!" The tension was palpable.

Then Finn started acting sick. He was worm infested. We got him separated, wormed, and started to get extra feed into him. He improved but the weight wouldn't come on fast enough to get ahead of our sudden start to a severe winter. We lost him to the cold on a saturday morning, and we still miss his gentle spirit. The absence of Little Finn seemed to make Chloe hate Pip even more. Chloe, the trickster, would leave some of her feed behind and Pip, the pirate, could not resist. Chloe was always lined up just right to deliver a volley of kicks to Pip, who could never refuse the bait.

Then things came to a breaking point... literally. When Chloe got hateful, Pip would go through the fence. It became something of a regular event to walk out the door to chore and have Pip waiting for me next to the feed cans. Back in she would go and I would mend fence while they ate. These escape episodes were extremely upsetting for Chloe. She eventually came to the conclusion that any company was better then no company. Things settled down during the course of the winter. They started doing the usual horsey things, like stand head to tail. However they did it fifty feet apart.

Recently, there has been the slightest shift of intent. A little more of the feed was left. And Chloe would move her butt over letting Pip know that the welcome mat was out. There was no kicking. Then the kindness shown was reciprocated. Pip refused to eat at her usual spot. She wanted to stay next to Chloe.

Then this morning was the final act. I put out the feed in two separate piles about twenty feet apart, as always. When I turned around there was the small brown nose next to the big white one. Both busy in the same pile of grain.

Yeah, I'd have to say there has definitely been some thawing going on around here.

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