In a Sow’s Ear 6-8-09
Kidnapping is against the law, isn’t it? At least it is when it comes to one human snatching another member of two-legged people-type animals. Not so with four-legged critters.
To the west of my property is a biggish pasture where a bunch of horses graze. Frequently, the neighbor’s horses drift up to the dividing fence for a conversational visit with my ponies. Far be it from me to object to friendly chit-chats across the barrier. After all, we homo sapiens types coffee up at the drugstore in town or drop by a friend’s house to catch up on local gossip. So, why shouldn’t horses?
However, the horsy conversation led to one of the neighbor’s mares – a tall, rambunctious sorrel -to develop an obsession with Sugar, my chestnut saddle mare. I don’t know what sort of tête-à-tête led to the sorrel’s fixation as I don’t speak horse other than “whoa.”
It turned out that across-the-fence gabbing wasn’t sufficient for Ms. Sorrel Mare. She jumped the cattle guard between the properties which put her in my north pasture. Sugar and five miniatures grazed in the south pasture separated from the north by a second cattle guard.
Not a problem for Ms. Sorrel. She sailed over and then abducted my chestnut mare. The mini horses are used to following Sugar, but the big sorrel chased them away. Indignant, I attempted to catch Ms. Sorrel who wouldn’t let me get within 10 feet of her, not even when offered an enticing bit of hay or a yummy handful of oats.
To make matters even more annoying, the danged sorrel wouldn’t let me catch Sugar, who will come when I call, especially if I have oats. Like cutting a calf away from its mama, Ms. Sorrel Mare established her big body between me and Sugar.
By now, as you might imagine, I was growing testy. Which is to say, I employed several words that would be deleted on radio or TV. Determined to win this battle, I jumped on my four-wheeler and herded the sorrel mare and Sugar into the corral. Back at the house, I phoned Ms. Sorrel Mare’s owner.
Once the sorrel was incarcerated in the corral, the owner was able to get a halter on her, and lead her back to where she belonged with the big herd next door.
This scenario went on for three days. Put Sorrel back. Sorrel refused to have anything to do with her own group. No. She flew across the cattle guards, found Sugar and kidnapped her.
After the third day, my thoughts grew ugly.
Has the problem been solved, you ask?
The solution turned out to be corralling the two mares again (for the fourth time). Ms. Sorrel Mare’s owner arrived with a horse trailer. The usual routine followed. Chase sorrel around the corral till she gave up and allowed herself to be haltered. Lead her to the trailer. Encourage her to enter. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
At long last, sorrel mare was loaded. I waved good-bye. Where Sorrel Mare’s owner was planning to take her, I don’t know. I didn’t ask.
Sugar has returned to her leadership role with the five mini horses. This morning, she stood with the minis grouped around her. I think the conversation went like this:
Miniatures: “Where have you been?”
Sugar: “You won’t believe this, but I was kidnapped and …”