Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Cause an Irrational Fear: Tar's Delimma

Good morning, folks!  Remember I told you yesterday that Rose is not afraid of Tar?  She is afraid of Merry.  Remember I told you that is irrational?  Remember I told you being afraid of Tar is also irrational?  Remember I told you about Rose's attitude and how it's going to bite her in the ass?  Well, here it goes!

Several months ago, when Rose joined my herd of little Christians at the farm, Big Mac was bummed-up.  Big Mac had a bad abscess in his foot.  He had to be confined to his stall.  Well, Big Mac is very attached to his Miniature Mediterranean Donkey, Donkey Kong.

Big Mac was working himself into near hysteria by day three of his confinement to his stall.  He could see Donkey Kong.  He could "talk" to him. But, he wasn't within reach of him.  That was quickly becoming unacceptable to Big Mac.

Finally, we moved Big Mac and Donkey Kong to an alleyway.  What's an alleyway?  An alleyway is the space between paddocks.  It's about 16 feet wide and the length of a paddock.  It's not a small space, but it's much smaller than a paddock.  It's a good place to confine a horse who is not doing well being in the barn alone.

Big Mac and Donkey Kong are normally in the paddock beside Tar.  Since horses don't like change, we put them in the alleyway beside Tar.  I think this is when it started.

I often think my horses and other animals consult with each other.  Why? Because sometimes they seem to be working together.  Now, this is not far off the mark.  Horses are herd animals.  In nature, they work together.  So, I assure you, I haven't lost my mind.

During this time, Rose was going in and out of that alleyway, which was blocked off with corral panels to keep Donkey Kong and Big Mac in there.  I'd warned her about keeping the horses at an arm's length.  It's just good practice.  It keeps you from getting stepped on and a myriad of other accidents that are waiting to happen.

When you're working with corral panels instead of gates, it's a little more cumbersome. While a person is wrestling with a panel, a horse can close in on them.  I think Donkey Kong and Tar were counting on this while they were talking about how to initiate Rose into farm life.  I think they had a bet.

Donkey Kong is a slick little bastard.  He sneaks up on people with his cuteness, like my mother.  My mother is a whole different kind of cute than Donkey Kong.  But, they both use cute to their advantage.  Remember that folks!

Anyway, back to the donkey...He's short and fat and generally looks like a cartoon.  He is not a cartoon, friends.  He's slick.

No one told me when it happened.  I think they were afraid I'd blow my cool.  I blow my cool when people do things I've told them not to do that can result in injury to person or horse.  I save blowing my cool for moments when it'll make an impression.  If you're doing something that can get you or a horse hurt, it's time for me to make an impression.

Several days after the fact, I heard about it from Dod.  Apparently, Donkey Kong had bit Rose in the ass.  Bit in the ass by an ass.  It's poetic.  I'm sure Donkey Kong thought of it that way.

I asked Rose about it.  Yes, it was true.  She was putting Big Mac's feed bag on him.  She felt Donkey Kong behind her.  She didn't shoo him away like she'd been aside in my mind.  Then he bit her.  It left a mark.  I didn't ask to see it.  I think I laughed.  I'm sure Tar got a giggle out of it, too.  I'm also sure he must have been in on the plan.

At times like this, don't expect much sympathy from me.  I told her to keep them at arm's length.  I told her it was for safety.  Sometimes, people have to find out for themselves.

In the months that have followed, Tar has done his best to look huge and freak out new people. Rose has bumped along in her learning process.  As she's learning, we're learning about her, too.  For example, that she's mostly talk and very little tough.  I'm sure the animals are learning about her as well.  Remember, horses pay attention to everything.  Horses are smarter than people.

In the meantime, Tar is out there plotting, I assure you.  He's used to getting the first laugh on the new staff.  This time, Donkey Kong stole his thunder.

Tar heard that Rose is afraid of little tiny Merry.  He can't have that!  Now, Tar really needs to make an impression on Rose.  He's thinking of how to make her life more interesting.  That's his mission.

He's thinking, "Maybe I should bite her in the ass? No, no.  That's been done.  Maybe I should flinch when she's leading me?  No, no.  That's been done, too.  I tried my wheelbarrow flipping trick.  It just made her mad.  What can I do?  How can I make my impression?  Why isn't she afraid of me?  I must give her a good scare at least once!  Otherwise, what the hell is going on here? Where have I gone wrong? Have I lost my mojo?  No, no, I haven't.  I just need more time to think."

Oh geez, that's dangerous.  Giving an intelligent, mischievous horse time to think!  That'll bite you in the ass for sure...even if Donkey Kong got you first!

Ok, folks, thanks for reading!  And, yes, I do like Rose.  She drives me a little crazy with her tough talking facade, but she's ok.  She'll learn.  I'm sorry life is going to have to kick her around a little to learn, but she will.  And, Tar will help.  I promise you that.  Tar will help her come down a few notches.  He's thinking about it right now.


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