A Bedtime Story- The More Things Change . . .

My daughter spent about an hour this afternoon grooming my gelding Boomer. His winter coat is coming loose and he’s making his yearly transformation into “a horse of a different color”. I’d have liked to used a “butterfly emerging” analogy right there, but it’s tough to make that comparison when the “butterfly” is engaged in adding to the ten inches of manure recently released from the snow in the corners of the paddock. Spring . . . again. The horses are molting and it’s time to see about renting a loader tractor for the weekend.

Spring time is fence fixing time. This year we’re going to try what is essentially barbless barbed wire. It’s the same gauge of twisted wire- just no barbs. And that’s worth commenting on. I’ve been on the receiving end of enough abuse, from my daughter’s mare, over the administering of shots, that I have absolutely no inclination to create a situation where knowing how to stitch up horses is a worthwhile addition to my skill set. Boomer might stand still for it. Whisper, while gentle in non-syringe circumstances, is fast and accurate through 360 degrees when confronted with needles. I can sympathize as I’m not terribly fond of them myself. With that said, I’ve never attempted to relocate a knee cap on the lab tech when it’s cholesterol checking time. So even though the vet and I invariably win the tussle- we lose.

Something new this season is going to be chaining the hinges on the eight foot gates. The need for this is a recent development. My daughter and I were rather startled with an unrecognizable racket earlier in the week and rushed out to find Boomer had removed a gate. He’d poked his nose and neck through in an attempt to see if the grass “over there” was as tasty as it looked. And he got his head stuck. I don’t think he spooked when he realized there was a problem. He just gave it a good yank, broke the hook off the chain, rotated the hinges, and we found him standing calmly in the middle of the paddock with four foot of steel tube gate hanging on either side of his head. There are days when a sense of humor is an essential ingredient to horse ownership.

The indoor critters are again intent on become outdoor critters and we’ve reached that interim stage during acclimation when mouth checks must be performed prior to re-admittance to the house for the evening. Midnight snacks and play toys are all well ‘n’ good- with the understanding that if whatever-it-is originated in the great outdoors, it stays there. It’s not that I have any particular problems with frogs, birds, mice, rabbits, or similarly size creatures. I just don’t care to have them left in my bed, or under the furniture, for later retrieval. The cats find this to be a most annoying character flaw and will continue to try smuggling delicacies over the threshold until banished to the outdoors full time. The dog has exactly the opposite problem as she feels all canine specific toys should now be carted outdoors and planted. When presented with absolute proof that “squeaky toys” do in fact grow on bushes, I may reconsider. Until then . . .

After something approaching five decades spinning around on this big blue thing, I suspect that I’m getting a little bit jaded about Spring. I have found myself in no less than two recent debates with folks expounding on the season and how it epitomizes “change”, “rebirth”, and all-things-wonderful. I don’t know. I can’t recall the exact date, but haven’t I been here before? Things are kind of looking familiar.

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