Thursday, January 31, 2013

An update on the life of Miss Arrietty G. Teaspoon

FarmWife is faced with a dilemma. I have become so slender as to require concentrated feeds (oats, timothy pellets, and equine senior), if you can believe it! FarmWife and the vet are working on figuring out why, but in the meantime my wee companion Miss Arrietty is standing beside me in absolutely NO need of concentrates—that is, she still tends towards plump.

FarmWife's solution to this dilemma has been to give her a token handful of timothy pellets to lift her spirits and to take her out on the lawn for a bit of longeing a couple of times a week. Arrietty is borrowing a harness from the equally petite Anna Mule of Vermont, and if you could imagine the cuteness of my little friend spring-sproinging around in it you would probably swoon. It is not hard to go from this to a mental picture of Arrietty pulling a darling little meadowbrook. She is but five years old, sturdy and sound, cooperative and bold: it is not a far-fetched dream.

When FarmWife put Arrietty away in the fall after a couple of trial longeing lessons, they were both very confused. "Why am I at the end of this rope," Miss Teaspoon asked, "and why are you waggling that whip at me?"

"Why aren't you yielding in the fashion of a horse," FarmWife asked, "and why don't you see that I am waggling this whip at you?"

They both ended the lesson calm, content, and at a loss as to how to proceed without either a roundpen or an assistant to play the lead-the-mule-in-circles role. The funny thing is that Arrietty spent the winter thinking on the subject, and this week has twice demonstrated a good mastery of the longeing concept. She can walk, trot, whoa, and reverse on the longeline with reasonable accuracy. She is a bright little mule!

FarmWife was concerned that the absence of Arrietty would make me pace, bray, carry on, and re-injure my still tender forehoof. She needn't have worried: I know the difference between having my girlfriend borrowed for a bit of longeing on the lawn and having my girlfriend borrowed for something more desperate and long-term like a walk to the schoolbus stop. I am a bright little mule, too.

In an unrelated but also happy bit of news, Miss Arrietty G. Teaspoon was the winner of Kira's "Kira's Kause" Facebook photo contest! We are delighted, and glad to see Kira getting the attention she deserves as she saves up for two ACL surgeries. Thanks to all who voted to help Arrietty win!


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