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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We all need each other

"Why hasn't she been taking pictures of my underpants?" I overheard Jane Morrison asking.

Yes, it's true, my duties as loving companion to many was inadequate all last week. Amidst all the Muddy Madness of the past 7 days, an entire barnyard of creatures continued on with life as usual, aware of the mushy goo goo talk going on at the Big House. There have been many direct hints that it was time for me to get back to my on-top-of-it care taking, versus my hi-guys-gotta-get-back-to-the-puppy-and-book schedule I was on . Not that any one was neglected. But my daily interactions in the barn had to be kept to a bare minimum this past week so I could not get my manuscript finished [which I did], but so I could also guide Muddy in his first week here. Both were necessary.

And it didn't come a day too soon. Arriving at Boone's stall this morning, I gasped. "What in heaven's name, Boone. Did you rock the house last night?" Boone lives in his own turn out stall, meaning he has the freedom to go in and out when he wants. He has a shade porch too so can stand outside but still be under cover from sun or rain. He has it made. He has chicken friends that dine with him, Frankie spends much of the day with him, and he chews on the backs of the rams who share a fence line. He gets a daily brush, one animal cracker a day if available, fresh hay and water from the sky. His feet are cared for by a good farrier and he gets eyeball massages regularly.

Now Boone's always been a tidy housekeeper, unlike many horses. He never poops in his stall, unless it's really raining hard for days. We've had fine weather, not poop-in-the-stall weather, and I was shocked to see his entire stall covered with some of Oregon's finest horse manure. He stuck his head out of the stall like he always does, and nickered, like he always does. And then he turned his big old butt around and pooped.

Man, you slack off for one week to help a puppy and that's the thanks I get.

So, I stood on the hay bales and made a grand declaration to every living creature there. "I am here for you, I never left. I have overcome my 106 Muddy fever, and I will rub your feet again, and your bellies."

As I cleaned Boone's stall, the air felt spring like, and damp. It smelled good to me, manure combined with damp grass and horse all mixed together. As Boone ate, I leaned into him and rested in silence for awhile. I'm lucky to have so much companionship that means so much to me. And I'm lucky I can feel love and give it out to living creatures and people - be it in a horse hug, an old goat massage, or a fresh home made pie.

Living isn't always a picnic in the park, but I need to be alive right now.

And as I left the barn? The three Janes ambushed me, bending over to show me their beautiful, puffy undergarments. I so wished I'd had my camera. Next time.


Tai said...

Chicken underpants (one for each day of the week!), a horse to lean against, puppy, pug and Pino -- ah, that's the good life.

farmlady said...

"Fluffy underpants" indeed. They want they due attentions.
Don't you just love it when your animals "speak" their minds?

Cathy said...

HUGE congratulations on finishing the manuscript!!!

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to always be able to have a critter around to dote on and get comfort from.

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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 ~