Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Horse confessional



As the Big House still sleeps in the pre-sunrise day, Boone the horse is already being awakened in the barn, and encounters a lump on his gate - which brings pleasure to the horse, and tears to his human...


I awoke to the small grunter near my stall. She awakes me most mornings, just when I am about to have my third deep sleep dream of pre-sun rise. I was driven for some reason to walk to the nearby corral, to which I have free access. This is pleasing, as it is dirt, and I can dust and roll without the nuisance of rock or thistle. But this morning, I noticed She had left her apparel on my gate in the corral. Why? Is it a message, a sign or some kind of command she is teaching me? It is that coat that looks like my old sweat rag she uses to wash off my back and belly after a ride. She always has it on.

The day is just peaking. My favorite time here. No silliness from the chickens. No small equines making noise, the neighbor farm dogs are still asleep. The tractors are in neutral, shut off. I can not hear anything except the nearby river, and birds. And my breathing, which I admire and like.

I take a roll, ahhh, yes, this feels good. My belly itches from where the saddle girth cinched me yesterday on our ride. As I roll, my right eye catches sight of that coat again, hanging in a lump on my gate. I know I mustn't, this is a boundary, I think. People think we equines don't reason. Nonsense, We reason when necessary, but don't need to over reason as humans do. But the coat has presented itself to me, and when I turn around, it is still there.

I must bring the coat into my corral and examine it. Perhaps see what the inside is really like, since I never get to really see the inside when she wears it. And perhaps, just perhaps, she has left some alfalfa treats in the one pocket. Or carrot tips long forgotten.

The coat is amazingly light weight, considering how bulky she looks in it. Oh, dear, my teeth sink right in. Perhaps I can toss it up and back over to the gate, let's see.
No, it didn't make it, I'll try again. Ah, tossing it up and around my head is much like a self fulfilling game, like child tossing a ball all alone. Over and over, as the times ticks away. Ah...well, that was good fun. Thank you, coat, for playing along.

..........My, I wonder how much time has passed. The donkeys are braying, I hear hens. Yes, I hear her front door, sing song voice, barn feedings. What? What is this, she is coming towards me, here, in my corral. This is not right, She always enters the barn first, to feed the smaller beasts first. I am last. This is not right. What can she be so upset about, I see it in her arm movements. I am just standing here. I have not missed a command. She is not urging me forward with a clucking sound...what can possibly....be wrong....Oh, the coat. She is standing over the coat. It does look different, a bit more tattered than when I first found it on the gate. What? "I've ruined it.' she repeats, over and over, louder. She uses the 'hate' word...I feel horribly. It was just there, the coat. If she had been in the coat, I would have known not to play with it. What? No, no, I would NOT eat anything...that's not true. Ah no, she's crying a little. It's a coat! Now look, the goat got my saddle pad, remember, I did not fret....She's coming over to me, and she's...still crying. Much fuss for a coat...What? the coat is your last connection to your life years ago when your old dog Louie was alive, and so many things were young and free. Your skin was pretty then......You've been to both oceans in that coat? You collect shells and eggs better in the coat...You'll never find a coat like it and your life is changed without that coat...

She is walking away, with the coat...or the coats, it's many pieces now.

I have no regrets. I was never taught that eating lumps on my gate is incorrect. I sure had fun with that coat.

--The End--

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6 comments:

Joan said...

Boone, you silly boy!
Sorry about your coat, Katherine. Nothing lasts forever, but what a way for it to go. I hope you find another that you can fill with good feelings and memories.
Joan

jimmer said...

Once, when I was planting young tomatoes, I said to the person who was helping me in the garden: "You have to think like a tomato for it to grow well." They gave me an odd look. Well, you know how to think like a horse, and I'm sure he knows it. Thanks for the experience!

Tai said...

Ouch! Well perhaps this last wild ride was as fun for the coat as for Boone. All things, even beloved coats, must continue on their journey.

shepherdgirl said...

I still miss the coat, darn it. I washed its many pieces [he had actually somehow torn the back off and pulled the sleeves out inside out, but left the stuffing on the back]I'll use the material in my rag dolls...I have been to ebay to try to find one just like itt, but to avail. i will forge ahead in life, without my beloved coat.

Lori Skoog said...

This piece about Boone is so well written. You have a great site....found it on a list of Farmer's Blogs around the world. Turn that coat into a piece of art. I am a retired art teacher and live on a horse farm. It sounds like you have many animals.
Lori Skoog

un instinct de bonheur said...

I like "a story" and that's a great one - even though you did lose your favourite coat...... sorry ! I'm sure the "Coat Gods" will send you something just as precious very soon!

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~