Thursday, March 9, 2006
 

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Ah, the life...

When you live in the country and your daughter has horses; life is never dull.

Our “new” baby horse, who is actually around 7-months-old now, is being weaned from his mama and he is not a happy camper!

Joe, our very gorgeous and very spoiled black and white paint, is not happy either. Come to think of it, the only happy horses we have are Athena, the mama horse and Dude (at one point he was Deuteronomy — from the old, old movie “Home From the Hills”) who is always serene and majestic, as he is truly “king of the hill.”

Joe and Dude usually live in the same pasture. Then Athena came to live with us and shook things up. Not only is she a (gasp) female, but she was also “in a family way.”

Athena and Joe for some reason don’t play well together. So, Joe and Dude stayed in their pasture and Athena lived the life of a queen in her own pasture.

Now though, along comes Orson, the baby. Being a baby, he is just way beyond cute (I will admit he’s not cuddly). So Joe, suspecting that maybe Orson is getting a couple more pats and maybe even some of “his” sweet feed, is quite jealous.

Mama Athena has tired of baby Orson trying to be a baby still when he’s nearly as big as she is. She’s gently tried to wean him for a while now, but being a baby, Orson wants his mama at all times!

So, Dana separated them. She put Athena in with Dude and Orson and Joe together and Orson and Joe are just about the most pitiful pair of horses you’ve ever seen.

Joe wants his pasture and his friend back. Orson wants his mama, badly!

Dude and Athena are quite serenely and majestically enjoying the peace and quiet of their own pasture and solitude.

Joe and Orson are not serene about anything! They are so non-serene that Sunday afternoon, a very weary and harried vet had to make one more stop at our house to sew up the baby’s nose.

Joe, being terrified that Orson would get one more bite of food than he, chased Orson across the pasture. Orson, so pitiful because even though he weighs close to 500-600 pounds and is almost as tall as Joe, had a tantrum and collided with the water barrel and the barbed wire, ripping a nice-sized chunk of skin from his beautiful baby nose.

I don’t know who I felt sorrier for — Joe, because Orson was getting way too much attention; Orson, because he was just plain pitiful; or the vet because he was exhausted.

I think my sympathies are going to have to run with Mike Thompson. He was delivering a baby horse in Hickory Flat when we called him. After our house, he had another call to make and it was dark when he left our pasture.

Joe and Orson seem to be settling down now. Apparently, so much excitement was more than their frazzled nerves could handle!


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