Some mornings you wake up and look out your window to see the pony on the lawn near the coop. She’s stuffed her head into the chicken grain bin so that all that is visible are her shoulders and fat, round bod, long swishy beautiful black tail, 4 stick legs. You dash out in your nightie that’s sort of damp because maybe you were sweating from being out from under 3 dogs on a narrow mattress that you shared a night with, or maybe its your age. Anyway, one of the dogs is a puppy that molds your every contour as you attempt to adjust your sleeping posture for comfort. One of the dogs is a panting, gassy, love that needs attachment to you to feel calm enough to string together an hour or more of sleep. The last of the three is hunkered in for the long haul, and she’s the one you worry about most since her incontinence issues began.
You slip your bare feet into rubber boots that belonged to a friend who got them from a dead guy and you hope that they don’t stick afterward so that you have to pry them off since you didn’t have time to find socks. You fly across the backyard and discourage the pony from devouring more grain and she flees having been discovered. You inspect the grain bin and it could be half-empty, you don’t remember how far up the can was filled the night before.
Off to the barn in the glam outfit with three dogs trailing, wondering why their breakfast was skipped while you find a halter and lead rope to pursue the escapee. The lambs are all bawling in the barn and want their breakfast while you’re there, so you feed them a scoop of cereal with milk, which is actually lamb pellets & kelp meal. They quiet down but one of them, Angus-the-bottle-lamb, insists on following you out the door to have a morning of free-ranging.
Down the driveway to locate the missing pony who is actually not that far, but far enough that you get to parade out to the road looking. And she is, sure enough, by the mailbox in plain view of the neighbors. They won’t notice you’re in your pale blue sleeping gown and oversized olive-colored rubber boots, right? The pony sees you but feigns ignorance so you play her game. right back atcha honey.
You pretend to not notice each other all the way back to the pond where she decides to call upon her horse friends that are properly inside the fence and grazing contentedly. She slows her pace and drops her neck to graze along the fence next to them, still keeping her attention on you in a “I’m not paying attention to you” way. Which is what you’re doing, too, even though you’re tangled up with three dogs, one of them continuously bonking into your lower legs with his cone while he places a stick at your feet for fetching. Oh, did I not mention that one of the pups, yes the panting, gassy one? Did I forget to say that he is currently wearing a protective cone on his collar to keep him from nursing his hot spots on his hips? So, right, throw that into the sleeping-mix too.
Thinking it smart to grab a little grain from the barn before the hunt, you now rattle it in the scoop to see if that gets the pony’s attention, which it does. She makes her way over to you and you coo and slip the rope around her neck, haltering her to seal the deal. She still thinks she’s won because she refuses to budge, but you give it a few minutes of just standing there and eventually she walks back to the barn, bored with the stand-off.
Next you stall that bad-girl and give her nothing but a bucket of water while putting her under surveillance to make sure she is not going to colic on you from overeating chicken grain. She relieves any anxiety on that front by passing manure in every corner of the clean stall in a matter of no time. You keep her in that stall for good measure until you can find a cup of coffee and feed those trailing dogs.
Dogs fed now. Cats fed now. Coffee brewing but you’ve got a dozen pies and other baked goods to bake and deliver, hopefully by 9a.m., to the local farmstand. And then pick up your young neighbor that enjoys volunteering on your farm to help you with things like catching ponies, rubbing pig ears with fly ointment, pulling burrs from fiber animal’s coats, and watching the white clouds in the blue skies between soft sheep on the green grass.