The saga of the mild winter continues.
What? I thought harsh winters were the stuff of sagas. But our weather this winter has been so easy it’s made little tribulations seem big. Like when not even one person came to the Georgetown farm for a tour last Saturday.
Admittedly, January and February have always been our slowest months for visits, but with the weather so mild we’ve had an active winter this year. So, imagine. Saturday, and no entertainment for the horses. No adulation.
And – what, no carrots?!?
Sarava gave up waiting for a tour and took a disgruntled nap. So did Genuine Reward. Rapid Redux put his nose to Amazombie’s, and did I hear the whispered words, “Let’s go on strike”?
Oh-oh. What’s to be done? How to make the day fun for the horses?
There was only one answer.
Yes, I mean that plastic bucket full of chopped carrots the guide hauls out on the tours so everyone can hand-feed carrots to the horses. But I mean more than that.
It’s like the difference between when a friend takes a bonbon out of the candy box and gives it to you, and when they hand you the whole luscious box with an invitation to choose several of the pieces you want the most.
On tours, carrot pieces are forthcoming but The Bucket is the Plastic Grail. It is coveted, yearned for, but almost never in reach. Except for those rare and special times when a horse gets to stick his or her nose in and choose!
Not everybody on the farm gets the uncensored Bucket. Silver Ray, Geri and Archie’s Echo don’t have the teeth to chew carrots. We shred carrots for them. And Alphabet Soup, Swan’s Way, Dinard and some others of our older residents have trouble with the thicker, harder to chew carrot pieces. We try to select easier pieces for them to chew (Afternoon Deelites, this means you, too.)
But for those of fewer years and better teeth, The Bucket is an incomparable event. Oh, the freedom of choice! This carrot must be sweeter than that one. Oh, what a fun Saturday! The Bucket is on the loose!
As Laura and I headed toward Touch Gold, who should we meet but one Michael Blowen, on a Bucket walk from the opposite direction. Doubles!
So last Saturday turned out deliciously. Even so, it was a little short on entertainment for the horses. I think they look forward to their visitors. Our same old faces probably get boring after awhile. I hope they’ll be meeting some new friends and enjoying reunions with old friends tomorrow, and on into the week, and picking up pace as spring approaches and retirement at Old Friends just gets more and more delicious.
photos by Laura