Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Winter Chores

Though the adventure of returning sweetpea’s guest to her home was over, the task of doing minimal chores still needed seeing to. Deep snow or not, there were horses to be checked on and watered. I made sure that; sweetpea was cuddled up in a blanket on the couch then headed out again. After all, I was already dressed for the cold. There was no point in putting it off. Pulling a toboggan loaded with five gallon pails of water isn’t easy when dealing with random drifts of deep snow, but it was what it was. If nothing else, it was a really good workout. First stop was the barn. There were some warm mashes to dole out, watering to do and hay to top off. From there, I was off to check on the others and water more horses.
Pulling a toboggan loaded with pails of water, over soft drifts of snow, isn’t an easy task. Not only is the load a tad tippy, it’s hard to pull. To add to the level of difficulty, as soon as I moved away from the sheltering buildings, I was blasted with mind numbing cold. Besides that, somewhere under the snow was a path. Stick to the path, the going was a bit easier. Step off it; disappear into several feet of snow. I was busily keeping a close eye on every step I took, more than I was looking ahead, when I happened to glance up to see how much further I had to go and noticed something. All the horses were intently staring towards the back of one of the pens. Following their rapt gaze, I could hardly believe my eyes. Leaving the pen and the large bales of hay within were white-tailed deer … so many deer. I had been wondering why the horses were going through so much hay, at least compared to other years. Now I had my answer. I was feeding a small herd of deer, almost a dozen, as a matter of fact.
I saw to the horses, all of which were none the worse for having weathered a blizzard, then headed out back to see how much fence the jumpers had broken. To my astonishment, it was as if there was a cow path back there. They obviously bounded over the wooden fence, but the electric fence hadn’t faired very well. I had so much fence to repair and a good portion of it was now buried under the snow. I had no choice in the matter. It would have to wait, until spring melt.
I fed those deer all winter without a word of thanks. As many times as I told the horses that they shouldn’t share, they didn’t seem to mind having dinner guests. The deer would stand between the horses and help themselves, only leaving when they caught sight of anyone coming that way, the little beggers.

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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