Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Herd Animal

This is me meeting Oliver, a P.O.A. in my extended family,
for the first time. 
Here is something else you might not know about me . . . I play well with others. Although I live alone (except for my goats, the chickens, FarmWife, and an assortment of house creatures), I am always up for a chance to meet new equines.* I greet them with inquisitive welcome. I neither shun them nor make an eager fool of myself. It's nice, because FarmWife can always feel safe turning me out beside someone new without fear that I will bow a tendon running the fenceline or break a hock kicking the fence.

Here is the other thing . . . I am perfectly able to observe a hormonal mare or a snarky retiree without rocking the boat. I don't get up in people's business unless they want me up in their business, and yet I never take it personally when they're up in mine. I am the perfect Herd Mediator.

If I lived at college I'd be the R.A.—always checking in to make sure everyone is feeling fine, but giving them enough space to stretch their wings. I would step in if I had to, for instance if someone had a big flake of hay that was simply too big to finish alone.

There was one exception to my Mediator trend, and that was when FarmWife brought a Shetland pony to Bent Barrow Farm. This was before I knew FarmWife personally . . . . I was still the neighbor mule, but even then I had enough sense to try to warn her. Ponies are NOT to be trusted, and pony IS a four letter word. Mule, however, is the other kind of four letter word—the same kind as "love" and "like" and "dear."

The other exception, come to think of it, was when I had a mule friend given to me and then taken away. When she was given back, several months later, I wanted nothing at all to do with her. I had decided that she was no good, and there was to be no more shed sharing between us.  That was another story, and I'll tell it to you sometime.

Ears to you, and sniffy muzzle touches too.


*disclaimer—I shall be meeting no new equines this week, thank you! I'll wait until the EHV-1 plague has subsided. I am friendly, but I am not foolish.

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Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!