Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ben books it

So there we are, Ben and I, yesterday afternoon, emerging from the barn at midday so that the mighty Thoroughbred, having sheltered from the storm overnight, can rejoin his white buddies in the freedom of the fields. As we march down the drive toward the gate to his run-in, Ben is up-headed but otherwise relaxed and happy to be going out. Cholla is way out in his field grazing intently; Counterpoint is watching Ben’s return from the lane.

Then as we near the gate he sees them. THEM. The Dread Calves of Doom. Not merely lying in their shed next to the paddock he must traverse to freedom, oh, no. Now they are outside and standing! Even moving around, nibbling grass! Aaaiieeeee!

(As seen earlier this week, the Straits of Doom:)  photo 102713014_zpsd5b308dd.jpg

Ben snorts. He blows. He gets up on tippy-hooves. He sidles, dithers, lurches forward by inches as I one-handedly open the gate. A quick dash gets him through and he slews sideways to the DCoD just long enough for me to undo the throatlatch and tug the halter off his sky-high head. SNORT.

Okay, Ben, you’re loose. Freedom lies through the gateway to the paddock, through the paddock to the first field. Will you dare the danger of passage past the DCoD?

Dither sidle slew tippy-hooves to the gateway. As he passes into the paddock he surges into a nervous trot. By the time he gets to the field he’s running for his life.

The DCoD, after a curious glance, have ignored him.

Ben runs about in the first field for a bit, pausing now and then to stare and exchange bitter comments with Counterpoint. He flings his right foreleg up and out as he half-rears. After a bit he settles down to staring, striding tautly about, snatching mouthfuls of grass here and there. Eventually he says the hell with being so near THEM and trots out to his far field. A good wallow in the still-wet grass – down on his left side, roll roll roll (but never all the way over; no, he never does that), up, shake, down on his right, roll roll roll, up, shake – and Life returns to Good.

Until the next time Ben must make his fearful way past the DCoD.

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