Thursday, February 12, 2009

The petit percheron & her massive ass

For most people who see her for the first time, Coco looks like a big girl. Well, she is not. Yes, she is the biggest girl (or boy) on the place, but for a draft, she is small & for a Percheron she is petite. Which is not surprising as she is almost certainly not a Percheron, or at least not all Percheron.

Coco was born & will therefore always be classified a PMU foal. She was bought by a friend who realized that she did not have the time to train a foal that had not been born & weaned in a barn family; this wild-&-untamed thing was going to take more time than that. Coco came here while still smaller than the donkey & they have been in love ever since. Now they look like the Kissingers, but equines do not care about that kind of thing. Picture Nancy Kissinger with a long horsey face & a white blaze on her forehead. Henry & the donkey look more or less alike.

Before Coco came here, she lived on pasture with a band of other PMU foals. The closest human society I can think of would be Fagin's band of pickpockets. But here life was different. Captain was still alive, slow moving, gentle, enormous. He enjoyed the company of women & welcomed almost everyone. I miss him every day.

I honestly do not remember Coco's first day here. I do remember that she was called Celeste, but as she never answered to anything any human ever said, the change to Coco was easy (we already have a Celeste. She works in the Tech Services Department at the library; she is not a horse).

What I do remember is the extreme ease with which she bonded with the donkey. Let me be clear-the donkey is a trouble-maker. He opens doors, works latches, pulls down fence boards. The other horses look down on him. I am not joking; they treated him with as much respect as they give a goat. That is to say: none. In their defense, they were themselves a battered & damaged band that arrived here after starvation, abuse, untreated injury or some combination of the above. They did not have any interest in an energetic jack-ass. Still there did seem to be some strange racial divide. Mostly he was lonely. & then his dream girl arrived.

On winter nights, I often move the three mares, Coco included, to the pasture next door. I leave the donkey at our place. Have I mentioned he is destructive? Well, he is. It is one thing when he pulls down our fence boards (or kicks out the bottom of our barn door or yanks our fences post out of the ground, to open the whole back fence like a door) but to do it on W*****'s place is asking too much from her. I was prepared for & unsurprised by the long donkey moans of despair. The loud crashing & pulling of the barn doors against their latches, the chasing of the unhappy goats. Very unhappy goats. Very very unhappy goats.

Although we had reached an accord, I have been unable to make as regular use of W*****'s pasture as I would like. A happy donkey is trouble enough, a love-sick donkey cannot be borne. & so the ladies hang their heads over our common gate will himself tears down boards, bangs the barn doors until they fall off their hinges & generally makes an ass of himself. I am wondering if there is cuisine that serves donkey; perhaps we need to read a book from there for bookclub...

No comments:

Post a Comment