Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ben: The horror! The horror!

Well, Ben’s alert level may have dropped from DEFCON 1 (“It’s the end of the world as we know it!”) to 3, maybe 4, over the last couple of days, but he’s still wary of the latest inhabitants at the farm where he lives.

Disturbing, they are, to any self-respecting horse. Unsettling. Not to be trusted. Gotta keep a sharp eye on them whenever they’re visible, make very very sure they don’t try something, even (shudder) get loose! Who knows what they’re capable of? It could be anything!

What new inhabitants? you ask. What could be so perturbing to a normally calm and easygoing fellow, who’s been around the block more than a few times?

Why, none other than these fearsome beasts:

 photo Cedar_zps677fba0b.jpg

 photo Clay_zps3c738e45.jpg

Yeppers, great big Ben is askeered of two month-old bull calves who don’t even come to midthigh on me. They’re Dairy Shorthorn calves, rescued from the usual fate of such critters and destined to become a yoke of oxen working on the farm. Very friendly little guys, love to have their ears and tiny horn buds scratched. Names are Cedar and Clay. They’re still figuring out this whole halter-leading thing and getting used to life outside a dairy barn’s veal-calf cages.

Their wee outside pen is visible from Ben’s run-in paddock, about 30 yards away, and the big goofball has been gobsmacked by them since their first appearance. He seems to have given up spooking backwards into panicked flight at any movement from them, but he still watches tensely whenever he comes in from his fields, even when they’re lying down and only the tip of a red-brown ear is visible. Heck, today he was staring over there and they weren’t even outside; they were staying in the barn because it was chilly and misty, and Cedar had the runs.

I do hope Ben gets used to them soon, since he’s going to have to live with them being around, and even the sturdiest gelding’s ears can get tired of being constantly pricked in alarm. Not to mention the fact that his stall in the barn is across the aisle from theirs. He’s out 24/7 for now, but winter is coming....

 photo Benlook_zpsaf8bdbf0.jpg

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