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Monday, May 31, 2010

Misty goes to summer camp, with a twist.

Poor Donkey. His best friend Misty is nowhere to be found. Yesterday Donkey stood with his chin resting on the fence, watching Misty being led up onto a big, silver trailer. There was quite a fuss, because not only is Misty not accustomed to being told where to go and what to do, but there was also a step to deal with on this trailer. She is used to a ramp. It took a few minutes to figure out just how high she had to lift her huge dinner plate of a hoof to get it on the trailer, so that she could climb aboard and approach me with my bucket full of sweet grain. She eventually figured it out. Donkey watched the whole thing from his side of the fence.
Soon we had Misty secured in the trailer and I was following in my truck. I’m sure I heard Donkey hee-haw as we drove away.
Half an hour later we were at our destination: Maple Ridge Belgians on Hwy 43. The clatter of the trailer summoned the resident horses to the fence. They know that sound. It means another horse is coming. Before the truck stopped in front of the barn, Misty was whinnying. She could smell the other horses. From inside the barn, the mighty stud Prince whinnied back. He was excited to meet the new girl.
Misty was led into her new pen, which is twice the size of her pen at home. The walls are so strong and high, she can wander around inside without being tied. She did a few circles and stopped at the wall to the next pen. She touched noses through the bars with three-year-old Bambi on the other side. I was happy for her. It has been a few months since she lost her beloved sister Ashley, and despite the companionship of her good friend Donkey, I’m sure she misses the company of horses.
The farmer entered Misty’s pen with a pitchfork load of hay, and pulled her by the halter over to the corner. “I want to show you something,” he said, gently. “Look. Here. Water.”
He pushed a button and water filled a bowl. He wet his hand and touched Misty’s nose. I’m sure once she figures that gadget out it will be her favourite toy and she will play for hours. We don’t have any toys for her at the farm.
Once she had settled in somewhat, we decided to properly introduce her to Prince. He had been watching with interest from the closest corner of his stall. As we approached, he excitedly kicked the stall with his great hoof. It sounded like a gunshot.
The two horses touched noses through the bars. Prince snorted excitedly and perked up from ears to tail, like a dog meeting a newcomer. Misty responded by sniffing once and then turning to her side, away from him.
“I guess she isn’t interested in him today,” I said.
As we walked Misty back to her stall, I explained that one day soon she would be very interested in Prince, so she should probably be nicer to him.
Misty went to the corner to examine her automatic water trough. I turned to go.
I’m glad I came along to settle Misty in to her special summer camp. I think it will be good for her to be with other horses for a few weeks. And with any luck, we’ll have a baby Belgian to welcome onto the Fisher farm in about 11 months.
As for Donkey, he seems to be lost without his playmate. Today he tried to make friends with a plastic deer decoy during target practice.

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