Thursday, May 5, 2011


Two nights ago, FarmWife noted that the flies were back. They're not the big, boring fatties that lounge about on your average manure pile—they come from the swamp, and they're brown, tiny, and evil. They're like an F-22 Raptor to the house fly's jumbo jet . . . small, fast, and dangerous. Anyway, she saw them eating my ears so she rubbed my ears with some soothing, repellant balm and went indoors. (She calls them "dear flies", by the way, which I presume to be sarcastic in the fashion that "well, bless your heart" is sarcastic.)

Last night, FarmWife was practically ready to call a priest when she saw what state I was in. Lathered in sweat, obviously distressed, and covered in self-inflicted rubs and bites and bug-induced, bleeding spots along my thighs and underbelly, I cried to her as I saw her coming out after dinner (I'd been fine before the meal, by the way). I cried to her to save me, and limped towards her, favoring first one hind leg and then the other. She was sure that I was A) injured, B) dying, and C) the saddest thing she had ever seen in her entire long 31 years of life. She nearly cried when she rubbed my tummy and her hand came away streaked in my own precious muley blood.

(This is not the first time this has happened, by the way, and here is what we have tried in the past: organic marigold spray; herbal vinegar/skin-so-soft/citronella concoctions; standard, non-organic flysprays such as Farnam Endure; and pour-on cattle insecticides for killing everything including the fish and our children's children. None have worked. I need an air-tight barn with AC and radiant floor heating.)

An investigation of my hind limbs revealed that my discomfort stemmed from an embarrassing inflammation of the inner thighs, but that my legs and hooves were well and sound. A half-hour's cool compressing and some medicated ointment brought the irritation down to the point where I walked and trotted soundly. I was cleaned, and then a thorough treatment of my skin and ears with herbal fly repellants was undertaken. I was blanketed against the worst of the plague, and FarmWife moistened my ears with slimy balms. Soon, she tells me, I shall get a mesh ear net in the mail for nighttime use. (I do need to get a leather turnout halter to hold it in place! Anyone have one to sell?)

This morning, I was better. The flies seemed to have drowned in the night, which is one good thing about the rain coming back.

Ears to you,


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!