Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Pony Tails

Stay Home Pony

Many farms have a good, often old, outside dog watching over things. It watches over humans and stock alike, and protects possessions from theft as well. The farm dog, is an expected sight on any farm, and many have more than one. The sight of a furry canine bounding towards my vehicle has kept me from venturing out of the safety of its confines, more often than I can count. Unless the dog is wearing a happy, doggy smile and wagging its tail that is. Signs of welcome are always reassuring. The ones that snarl and show their teeth, the fur across their backs raised, are easy enough to read. They’re pretty well threatening to eat any intruder who dares step into their territory. The hardest to read are dogs that bark with all kinds of warning, yet slowly wag their tails too. I mean, which end is a person to believe? When it comes to teeth and fangs, I prefer to err on the side of caution. I haven’t been bitten a lot, but I have enough to realize there’s a possibility of danger.
We always had one or two dogs on the farm. I like a good dog. A big bark is a great deterrent to an intruder. Whether man or beast, it can create enough of a hullabaloo to change a mind. We’ve had a few wonderful farm dogs over the years, including some who did the famous wag and bark as they greeted any visitors.
One of our most entertaining, incredibly adorable greeters, didn’t bark or wag its tail. In fact, it couldn’t bark, and wasn’t a dog at all. It did however, put a grin on the face of anyone who dropped in to visit. Not only would the dog or dogs go greet people, Chauncey the pony did as well. You see, we often had the little guy loose in the yard. He would poke around, nibble a bit of grass here and there, and he loved any attention he could get. Of course he greeted people. People meant pats, lots of pats and sometimes, if he was lucky, treats. Our little Chauncey was rather fond of a good treat.
We were so used to having him loose in the yard that we occasionally ran into our nearby town, without putting him away before we did so. Once in a blue moon, the grass would look greener outside the yard, but that was pretty rare. That pony spent as much time outside of the fence, as he ever did behind it. He knew his name, as well as any dog ever did. To hear his exuberant whinny in answer whenever his name was called was the cutest thing ever. It didn’t matter how many times, his name was called, he always answered.
Over the decades, we only had two horses that we could leave loose, the adorable Chauncey, and Sundance Kidd. They were like Mutt and Jeff, one so very small, and one rather tall. Still, they were both the congenial sort that got along with everyone and everything, and they were trustworthy. Unlike Chauncey, Kidd never left the yard when loose, ever. He stayed on the lawn, grazed around the pens, and was no worry at all.
I can’t count the times we came home from a quick run to OakBank, only to find Kidd had been put into an empty pen. The minute the car was parked, and he’d hear the doors shut, he would be calling.
“Hey! Humans! Come let me out.”
“Oh no,” chuckling at how insulted he would sound, we would hurry to open the gate for him, “Has someone locked you up again, poor boy? Who did it this time?”
He never said, and we rarely found out who stopped by only to find him out and put him away. The gate would be opened and he’d saunter out, just as pleased as could be.
It would be the same story with Chauncey, except we would find him in with other horses, as often as we found him alone. Thank goodness he got along with all the other horses, and thank goodness he was never put in with a stallion. Mind you, he did crawl under or through the stallion pen fence, a time or three to steal feed. It was amazing what the little guy could get away with. I suppose humans weren’t the only ones who thought he was incredibly cute.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB