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Friday, January 14, 2011

Miracles in progress

Not just my brave hat, but my boots too. 

Climbing up into that loft is not one of my favorite things to do.  Turns out my fear of heights is nothing compared to my fear of walking through the pasture with a bale of hay in my hands.  The animals know what hay looks like.  They know it is their food during the winter months.  They love to walk beside the hay as the farmhand (that would be me today), finds the best place to serve the meal in the pasture.  We have a bale ring we can put the hay in, but right now we prefer to put several small patches of hay out in the pasture to give equal eating opportunities and to minimize "the drop zone" effect (you know one massive area of future compost material).  We have a few animals that think they should eat until they are personally stuffed, before anyone else should be able to enjoy even a morsel.  Making these small piles really helps everyone to get a fair share of hay.

Today I hadn't even walked through the gate to the pasture where the animals were mingling when I was spotted by Gypsy.
Gypsy is Rodi's horse and she loves that man.  She will follow him anywhere.  She terrifies me, and she knows it.

I took a deep breath and kept walking.  I walked as if I wasn't scared.  I walked as if I didn't have a care in the world.  I was just there to put out the hay and that is a simple thing to do (in my dreams).  Gypsy tried to take a sample of the hay as I passed by.  I just told her "no", and kept walking.  Soon all the animals were coming towards me.  My herd of cows looked ready to pounce.  Tonka with his bullish ways started using his horns to push the other cows out of his way and to the back of the line.  Even with all this commotion going on all I could think about were Gypsy and Rosebud and how they were following closely behind.  Gypsy snorted and I swear I almost lost my breakfast.  I put the hay down and began to break it apart into sections. I grabbed the first section and walked it across the pasture a bit.  When I looked to see who was following me I was dismayed but not surprised, to find all the animals over munching on the main block that was still waiting for me to distribute it into several areas.  This would mean I was going to have to go back over there, bend down to pick up more hay, and not be trampled by the cows and most importantly the horses.  In their minds I would be stealing their food, I am quite sure.  Certain death was in store for me, I just knew it.  I remembered I had on my brave hat and confidently went in for the hay.
I didn't die, and I even found it easier to breathe than I had expected.  I was able to go back to the now smaller original bale several times.  I was almost giddy looking at the animals as they all found their way to their own little piles of hay.  I did that.  I made them happy.  Way to go me!  

As I started to walk away I noticed Gypsy was following me.  Eeeekkkk!  Was she ushering me out of her pasture?  I turned around, tried my best to wipe the fear out of my eyes, and asked her what she wanted.  Then.... she brushed her nose on my jacket.  I wasn't sure what to do so I gave her nose a little rub.  Turns out she was okay with that.  She turned and went back to her pile of hay.  I started to walk back to the barn when I noticed Carley J in the yard no longer tending to the bunnies and chickens.  She had stopped in her tracks to watch such a rare sight, her mother in the pasture with the horses.  So excited about what had just happened, she actually told me she was proud.  My heart melted just a little.  Okay a lot.

I decided we needed proof of my adventures.  I handed her my phone and told her to snap a few pictures.  Then I did the unthinkable... I walked back towards the pasture, back towards Gypsy.  Gypsy saw me and decided to meet me halfway. 
I am still fearful of these beautiful creatures, so it is not yet a miracle.

More like a miracle in progress.


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