We had a big storm overnight and I was in the upper pasture this morning checking on fences. Not unexpectedly, I found a tree down on the fence in one spot. We had high winds, so I was lucky it was only in one spot. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky as to still have two horses in the field.
Shortcake had taken a walk over the downed fence.
Coaxing her back over the fence on my own, even with feed, is not an option. Shortcake is of the suspicious nature. I knew I needed the lead horse on the job. (Zip.)
I went back to the house for a can of feed. Back in the field, I showed the grainy goodness to Zip then led her up the field. Shortcake, of course, followed along the fenceline, unwilling to let Zip out of her sight. Once we got to the spot where the fence was down, I started taking Zip away from Shortcake, across the field, down, down, down, disappearing from Shortcake’s sight. Unfortunately, this didn’t entice the sugary Shortcake to step back over the fence. Or I didn’t wait long enough. Yeah, I think that’s it. Because next I went back to the barn for a halter and lead, deciding to take Zip down out of the field, through the yard, past the studio and the house, and out onto the road. We’d get Shortcake from the other direction, where she didn’t have to step back over the fenceline. She’d come down off the bank and onto the road and follow Zip back to the field from there. A long walk, sure, but we do what we have to do, right? So, first, I brought the wrong halter. It was too small for Zip. (Sigh.) So I just wrapped the lead rope around her neck and told her to c’mon. Zip’s pretty cooperative. Except she really liked the grass in the yard. After insisting quite a bit and wearing myself out, I got her down to the road. So here we go, me and Zip, clip-clopping on up the road to find Shortcake.
Oh, what is that I see on up at the gate to the upper pasture, through the trees, from the road? Why, that’s Shortcake, who has clearly stepped herself back over the fence and is now standing at the gate looking plaintively for her Zippy.
FINE. JUST FINE.
So I explain to Zip that this was all an exercise and we go back up the road, up the driveway, and why, of course, Shortcake has now DISAPPEARED again. Because I’ve just never met a horse with a better sense of humor than my Shortcake.
I get Zip back to the gate to the upper pasture, which involved some tugging and begging since she really did like the grass in the yard, only to discover that Shortcake is now down by the gate to the lower field–outside the field, in the yard. Because I left the upper gate unlatched. This involved an incident with Poky and don’t even get me started on that story, but Poky by now was wandering around the front yard and I was completely ignoring her as I was rather tied up with Zip and Shortcake.
Lest this tale continue until it stretches into a book, let me simply say that they are all back behind fences now. Not necessarily where I want them to be, but behind fences, and the upper pasture is shut off until the tree can be cut out and the fence repaired.
And I am tired.
You can order Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor now!