Mother came up this afternoon while I was loafing in the shed with my Belle. We were grumbling a bit to ourselves at our conditions. The shed needed cleaning, and our mid-day feed was late, as the mysterious uncle was having a birthday and delayed Aunt Marilyn's arrival for feeding.
Truthfully, it wasn't all that late, as our meals are spread out almost perfectly to 8 hours apart, but it was a dreary day and I was feeling grumpy and uncharitable.
Mother appeared through the shade cloth (and why isn't the canvas wind-block up yet?!) and walked to me and said "Hi." She peered perplexedly and with a little concern at the twin marks on the left side of my muzzle ( I refused to tell her if they were from the fangs of a rabid raccoon or if I somehow managed to scrape myself most oddly). I sniffed the needle and syringe in her hand and sighed. She swabbed a tiny spot on my neck with an alcohol wipe, wiped her thumb, pressed... pressed... poked me, did something that feels funny while she looked at the syringe, then pushed its contents into my neck.
Well, OK, but could you feed us or call room service or something? I mean, I stood here perfectly and you didn't even use a halter or a rope on my neck or anything.
Because she understands me so well, Mother put some hay out for Belle and I while she cleaned the run-in. Belle and I both made sure to use it right after she spread the bedding to reassure her we knew what it was for - and to let her know she had job security. That's important in today's human world, I hear.
She brought me in for dinner (Aunt Marilyn was feeding my orange mare and Bert by then) and then I went back out to the Small where Mother had already placed our hay in tiny little pre-fluffed piles all over the ground.
Mother likes to do this when the weather allows for it. So on dry days, not-hurricane-windy days, and even snow-covered but not actively-snowing days, Belle and I must wander around our acre if we want to eat. Sometimes we'll eat a few piles and retreat to the run-in to chat with Callie and Bert through the window. It is kind of nice to be able to go back out and still find hay when you get the urge a little later.
And then later still, I might roam around to see if there was a stalk or two that I may have overlooked earlier.
When I am in a stall for any real length of time Mother usually uses the hay net with the really tiny holes, which is kind of nice because I never seem to run out of hay that way. The aunts don't do that, so while Mother says she would like to have those nets up for me and Belle while we are out in our Small, I guess the tiny "enrichment-exercise" piles will have to do.
Mother was talking about the droughts and shortages that are taking place for other horses out there. I started to feel bad about my uncharitable thoughts of "Where's hay? Where's the cleaning service?". I have become so accustomed to domestic life and easy food and clean stalls that I forgot that life isn't always so pleasant. I mean, I still get hay at least three times a day, and there is still green nubs of grass to nip off, even in such a little area as the Small. And Belle and I don't have to stand in the run-in after we've sullied it. It wasn't raining or even breezy out...
Mother kissed my nose, avoiding my mystery marks, and gave me Herballs before she left. Even though she has taken to this weird obsession of stabbing me every few days, I guess I should be happy for the way things are.
Although she could have given me a Mrs. Pastures cookie today. I know there are still plenty of them left, and I was a good boy and I got shot today. That totally should have netted me a Mrs. Pastures or two.