Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Our Buddy

Well, I totally screwed up yesterday. Yup, when we did chores, I was in and out of one of the pens while feeding, and I didn’t do up the chain that secures the gate. Why use a chain instead of a latch, you may ask? Because, Morgan horses are thinkers, of course, at least ours are. An ordinary latch is far too easy to open, hence the chain and snap that looks like a link. As usual, I’m getting ahead of myself again. Completely unaware of my faux pas, we watered horses and did some feeding. Sweetpea and I wanted to go to the nearby town of OakBank to use some free Wi-Fi. Hubby suggested we go while he cleaned snow with the big machine, and we would put out bales when we got back. It made no sense to put the forks on then take them off right away again, so we went off to use the Internet, while he continued to move snow.
We took along a fuel can to pick up more diesel for the machine, and off we went. We picked up a couple of things at the grocery store, filled the fuel container then went to have a coffee and use some free Internet. We hadn’t been there very long, when hubby called.
“I guess you’d better come home. There are horses running around everywhere.”
“Oh?” Not completely worried, I wanted more information. It wasn’t like any would go anywhere. There was a buffet of hay in the middle of the aisle between the pens. There wasn’t a horse that could resist. It didn’t matter that they all had free choice in their pens. Not only was grass greener on the other side of the fence, so is hay. In this case that was really true. Sweetpea had left a lovely, green and fragrant, small square bale of the nicest grass hay to the middle as well. We used them to feed when it was really windy, and hay needs to be fed in the shelters so it doesn’t blow away, “Which ones?”
“I don’t know,” he pauses with a big sigh, “horses.”
“What colours?” Sure that he could handle it, I persisted.
“Black ones, a brown one and a blonde.”
“Ah,” suddenly realizing I hadn’t done up the chain, I had an ‘ah ha’ moment, “the mares. They’re easy to put back. Just grab the blue bucket from the porch, put a little senior feed in it and they’ll follow you right back in.”
Another big sigh accompanies his answer, “okay,” he relents, “I’ll try.”
Having intently listened as I talked to her dad, sweetpea was ready to go, “I guess we’d better get home?”
“Nope,” shaking my head, I smiled and shrugged, “it’s the mares. He should be able to get them back in. Let’s give it a bit and see how he does. It’s not like they’re going anywhere.”
She was pretty well out of data, and needed to get some things done on the Internet. I saw no reason to jump and run, before her dad had the chance to deal with it on his own.
“I wonder how they got out,” she mused as she contemplated the possible scenarios.
“Oh,” I smiled and shrugged, “I’m pretty sure, I left the gate open. I’m kinda surprised that they got out though. The gate was closed. It wasn’t like it was swinging there and inviting them to go out. Maybe one accidentally pushed it open?”
“Well,” sweetpea chuckled, “they’re pretty smart. They probably saw it wasn’t done up, and pushed it open. They knew that small bale was sitting there.”
“Yeah,” I sighed and laughed at myself, “that’s going to be gone. So much for being careful with the feed. Oh well, I won’t do that again … hopefully.”
“Yeah right,” sweetpea chuckled. There surely would be gates left open in the future. It’s totally a thing.
So, it took a bit to get an answer, but eventually we found out that hubby had indeed, got the horses back into their pen. We finished with our Internet use, and headed out. We had to swing by and pick up eggs before going home.
“I wonder if our buddy will be waiting for us,” I said as we neared the road we had to turn off onto.
“I wonder,” sweetpea said as she turned the corner and we headed east. As we approached, we saw the Paint standing close to the road, but no sign of the black Friesian. “There he is,” sweetpea pointed to the back of the treed pen, “he’s eating. But look, he’s noticed us.”
Well, we went and got eggs, and when we drove back up the long, treed driveway, we had to grin. There he was, waiting and watching for us. Did we stop and chat with him? Of course we did. We might be the highlight of his week, but he’s certainly one of ours as well. The paint isn’t interested and ignores us, but he’s our buddy.
Coming across country to get home, we saw our new neighbour busily shovelling out the end of his driveway. It appeared to be quite the task, as the snow had built up over the winter, and it was packed deep, but couldn’t support a vehicle either.
“We’d better send dad over with the machine to clean that out,” I said as we neared, “do you want to stop and tell him?”
“No,” shaking her head, sweetpea grinned, “it’ll be more fun if he just shows up.”
We drove into our backyard, found her dad waiting in the machine, bale forks back on, because he’d finished clearing snow, and she hopped out to tell him. She helped fuel up the machine, then remove the forks and off he went. He also cleaned up the driveway of another neighbour, as hers was getting pretty narrow. Acts of kindness are their own reward, and we know they’re well appreciated. Hubby was offered a container of cookies when he was finished.
“Here are some cookies, if you’d like them?”
“I like cookies,” he answered, because it’s true, he does.

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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