Sunday, May 22, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

Mother is a fascinating human. I think most humans are a little bizarre, but I have grown accustomed. Mother makes more sense to me than other humans, most of the time, but at other times...

Mother and the aunts have been acclimating my red mare herd to the grass. Often, they graze us on the lawn. Mother has let me graze free on the lawn, as she is too lazy to stand there with me. Since I am a particularly herd oriented horse, she doesn't worry that I'll flee the wrong direction if trouble comes. One, I am smart, two, the fast road is about three quarters of mile and many grassy knolls away. And three, as I discovered the other weekend~ there are no horses anywhere else, anyway.

The other day, Mother decided to put me on the tract to graze. This is a 50 foot wide expanse of grass between brush walls that extends from the lower driveway up to the house. I had been led down it a time or two earlier in the year, although this day Mother took me down via the driveway.

Mother unclipped the lead from my halter, and stood watching. I ate a few bites... walked a few steps up, ate a snatch, walked more steps, one more mouthful... and started walking determinedly up the hill. Mother sighed. She decided that going around the driveway was easier than scrambling up the steep tract in my wake. That, and she is afraid of ticks.

The poor thing seemed a bit confused, because while I grazed well up the hill, in the neighbor's yard behind our paddock (yes, the neighbors with the roam-everywhere-devil-dogs, who fortunately like horses), Mother presumed I had stopped at the top-ish of the tract, since the underbrush was so heavy, and she didn't see me on the lawn, as she would have expected. She sat on the porch of the house and waited a few minutes. The barking of the smallest neighbor dog urged her to check on my safety and whereabouts.

Mother quickly ascertained I was not in the little meadow at the top of the tract. As she clambered her way back up the hill, she saw one of my hoof marks. She followed them... to a bush. My hoofprint was clearly visible under the protecting branches... which arced about two feet off the ground. And were dense. And extended upwards, as well. Meeting the branches of the neighboring brushy vegetation.

Mother was puzzled as to how I had gotten through there. From other prints, it was clear I had not jumped. But how, she wondered, could a thousand pound horse gotten through an area a fawn would have issues with and NOT even broken a single branch? And more importantly, where had I gone?

She knows me, though, and found me immediately behind the paddock. She laughed at the little blossoms all over my tail and in my mane, but she didn't seem as enchanted as I had hoped. She escorted me back to the main lawn, and pondered again my feat. Was I a magical being, capable of transforming to the size of a rabbit at will?

Um, I'm from the North Dakota badlands. If my papa could avoid the roundup for years and years, I surely can pass through brush with no trace. Come on, Mother, a little faith.

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