Friday, April 6, 2012

Reprinted from the Brayer

So much has changed since I last wrote column for the Brayer two months ago! I tried to get in shape for camping, and my hock went kablooey again, and I was retired from strenuous activity altogether, and Schneider's Saddlery heard about my hydration woes and sent me this wonderful bucket for wintertime sipping: 

Here, anyway, is the column I wrote two months ago. I was so young, so naive, so innocent then! 

The Bold and the Brayful
A column by Fenway Bartholomule

Trips and Sips: thoughts on staying hydrated

You may remember that I am good at about a thousand things. Among them: steering my goats hither and thither with assertiveness but without cruelty, turning a little bit of hay into a lot of tummy, summiting precipitous slopes, filling my neighborhood with the joyful noise of my resounding bray, and warming the cockles of my human's heart.

I am also terribly good at camping, which I proved two homes ago when I carried my very big owner all the way into the woods and carried his very big dead elk all the way out again. FarmWife promises me that I can go camping with her this year, and that there will be no elk to carry. Maybe a sleeping bag, she says. Maybe a little girl. You see, when FarmWife and I go camping we will also have a FarmHusband and three little girls along for company.

FarmWife and I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which means we're usually pretty soggy from October through June but we're rewarded, in July and August, with the greenest and most amazing world a mule could possibly ask for. I'm good at snacking upon the great green world and at traveling through it with surefooted majesty, but FarmWife says I need to get my drinking problem under control before we hit the trail. My drinking problem, despite what you think, is not overindulgence: I drink rather little, you see. I drink a couple of gallons a day, and FarmWife says that a great big fellow like me surely needs more than that to maintain life. I hardly drink at all when I'm away from home, or when the weather is cold, or when the weather is hot, or when anything is funny at all, and so FarmWife says I am going to have to start eating my hay soaked. “Hydration,” she says, “is of the utmost importance.” This, coming from a woman who gets 80% of her fluids from coffee and the other 20% from soup.

I have decided to petition for alternative beverages, and have put in an order for apple juice, cranberry juice cocktail, and a double tall iced soy mocha. FarmWife says her plan for quenching my thirst involves soggy grass hay in a water-filled trash can, so we have some negotiating to do. I'll let you know how that goes.

Ears to you,
Fenway Bartholomule

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