Monday, October 12, 2015

Mischief on the Hoof

Ben is a bad boy. Behind that innocent obedient facade lurks mischief.

I visited Ben today, pulled him out of his paddock for a long, relaxing grooming, fed him cookies, and put him back out. Then I sat for a while in my car, doing stuff, when....

Bang. Bang. Not loud, not fast, but bang... bang... from the direction of Ben's paddock.

I looked out the windshield over toward the paddock gate. There was Ben, standing parallel to the fence, pushing his nose in between the gate and gatepost, shoving at the gate. The chain and snap fastener held, though the gatepost wobbled with each shove.

I'm told that Ben makes a habit of testing his gate to see if it's been left unlatched, and has been spotted more than once ambling about the barnyard, nibbling grass or headed for his stall, where he knows there's hay waiting. Apparently (I've never been there to witness it), being an elderly fellow who cares more for fodder than freedom, he doesn't take off running when he's escaped, just goes in search of food.

This behavior is even more clever than you'd at first think, since the gate opens inward and he'd have to figure out how to maneuver it out of his way, rather than just shoving it forward.

I wonder whether Ben bothers when there's snow covering the grass.

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