Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Scoop on Bird

 Human here, to give you the scoop on Songbird.

He is shiny, sweet, and wonderful . . . and a little bit broken hearted. (Fenway was once, too.) As I've gotten to know him more over the last month, I've come to understand that he associates humans with unpleasantness, at least, and suffering, at worst. He has some gnarly scars. He flinches away from touch, though he warms up quickly when treats are involved. He's quite a foodie. He's easily startled. He's alert, and vigilant. He doesn't always feel safe.

He also really likes it at my mom's house, which has a slower pace than the wonderful boarding and lesson barn where he lived in June. He appreciates the predictable routine, the long quiet afternoons, and the retired horses who give him company. He has flattened the grass under the big cedar out back and created nests to rest in. The soft footing at my mom's is better for his newly bare feet. He is starting to believe he'll be ok. 

I have ridden him twice—once when I bought him, where I rode just long enough to tell that he was trained and obedient. Once about three weeks later, for just a few minutes, while I experimented with saddle fit. My saddle fits him nicely, but I don't think his head is in the right space for being ridden. I am going to wait until he looks forward to seeing me—and trusts me to touch him, catch him, lead him out the gate and down the trail for adventures—and then he and I will discuss whether he would like to be a saddle mule. 

I am so very happy I bought him—he is a goodhearted, beautiful boy and he deserves years of happiness after his years of toil. I think we are going to be very good friends indeed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

My new home

I moved in with my grandmother! I think she's my grandmother. She's the mother of the woman who looks after me. I am told that this will be my permanent home until the woman buys me some acreage of my own. 

It is not hard to be patient here . . . this place features equine companionship, delectable grasses, rural privacy, and access to trails that I have yet to explore. I have met the DOG, who I'm told is the woman's other best friend, and he is open to going adventuring with me. I am content, and grateful for this grandmother's hospitality.

Ears to you,


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Meeting the Family

The woman introduced me to my Auntie today—I am not sure how we're related, and we don't have much of a family resemblance except in our temperaments, but if the woman says this hoof trimmer is part of my family then I am willing to take her word for it! She says, "she's your Auntie in spirit, Bird," which I thought meant that she would be my Auntie even if I were dead, but which the woman says means that we are not actually related. 

My Auntie trimmed my hooves and told me they are going to be A-OK. She complimented me on my fine face and my kind eyes and my generally pleasant demeanor. She gave me a low-sugar mule cookie and she told me I would be fine. 

This Auntie is famous from Fenway Bartholomule's blogging days, and I am happy to say that I, too, received a wonderful mani-pedi!

Friday, July 9, 2021

A short little song


This is a very short little song, but it's long enough for you to get a sense of my technique and range. Listen for the little chirps at the end, which the woman finds so endearing. There's good reason my new name is Songbird!


Monday, July 5, 2021

Pearly Whites

Dr. H, Equine Dentist to the Stars, came out today and polished my pearly whites. I know you know I've been excited, so let me just break the bad news to you first—she didn't give me a choice of toothpaste flavors, and I didn't get a toothbrush or a sticker to keep afterwards. I did get some compliments, though, so it wasn't all bad!

I was a little nervous at first. Watching my friend Bongo stagger out of there, drooling, like he'd just been KO'd by a prize fighter . . . that made me a little nervous. Watching Dr. H adjusting her rolling cart of torture implements . . . that made me a little nervous. Watching Dr. H and her trusty assistant greet me kindly, and listen to my heart and lungs, and tell me I was lovely . . . that put me at ease. So at ease, in fact, that I voluntarily walked into the WEIRDEST situation I think I have ever encountered. 

First, they must have injected me with something—I barely felt the needle, but I sure felt the effects! The woman—my new friend—was there. She said, "I'll keep an eye on you, Bird," which helped. I was in no position to keep an eye on myself. 

When I was so loopy I could barely stand, they had me rinse and spit. Then, they put my head on a padded stand and commenced to literally FILE MY TEETH WITH POWER TOOLS! I kid you not! Yes, I'm yelling. 

I never cease to be amazed at the weird things humans can think up! Maybe they want me to have a smile that aligns more with American beauty standards now that I'm a famous blogger? I am not sure that's the reason, as I don't get a superficial vibe from this new woman. Maybe it has something to do with wanting me to have fresher breath, preparing me to do more author appearances?  

Dr. H evened up my smile in the front, then tuned up my molars—lefts and rights, tops and bottoms. I never knew I had so much extra tooth material in there. After she had ground all my sharp bits to dust, she had me rinse and spit again. I love this shiny clean tooth feeling, and my cheeks are feeling better than ever. I didn't realize how rough my teeth had gotten, but now I think I can chew more comfortably than before. Come to think of it, maybe that was the goal all along? Comfort, and chewing efficiency?

Dr. H and the woman took a good look at my worst scar—a 2 centimeter-long gash in my lip and gum. It sits a little forward of where a bit would go, and although I'm still a little touchy about the memory of pain it has healed as well as can be expected. Although it goes all the way down to the bar, near the root of an adjacent tooth, it doesn't seem to have caused any bone or tooth damage. They talked about my past, and my future, and the idea of trying me in something called a "hackamore". 

Dr. H called me a "good boy" and said I was easier to sedate than some mules—attributable in part to my Missouri Fox Trotter mother, perhaps, as that's a breed that apparently responds nicely to sedation. 

I am starting to feel more alert now, and ready for lunch. I will let you know how these new improved biting surfaces work! 

Ears to you,


Saturday, July 3, 2021

This is my "I wanted a massage" face


This woman, my new friend, is of the admirable opinion that part of being a friend to a mule is providing him with all the things he needs to help his body feel good—balanced hoof care, tooth floating, good nutrition, veterinary care, and—for a mule who moves a little out of balance, with some funny feelings in his hindquarters—body work from equine massage therapists. I had an appointment to have my muscles worked over by just such a therapist the other day, but it didn't work out. 

In all fairness, it wasn't quite an appointment. It was more of a, "if you have time, I know you're busy, could you stop by?" plan. So maybe it was a wish, rather than a plan. But in any case, it was a thing that was possibly going to happen and then it didn't happen and I got stuck with an average, run-of-the mill currying instead of the hot stone massage I expected. 

I did get my shoes pulled, which is progress, and I am still going to see the dentist on Monday. If they give me a choice of flavors for my toothpaste or fluoride treatment, I will ask for Carrot Cake.


P.S. My new Fetching Tag came! The reverse side says "GusBird" and our phone number, but I am not allowed to share that side since I am only 13 and the woman says it isn't safe for teenagers to post their phone numbers on the internet.