Tales from the O-NO Ranch
As a casual observer of the human condition, I also observe animals a lot more now than I ever did in the past. Don’t know why that is but maybe it’s because I’m gettin’ older, have more time on my hands or I recently have developed a curious interest in the way animals behave.
Case in point: before I got Casey, (aka Buckwheat) my big German Shepherd, there always seemed to be a rabbit within a few steps of me in the yard or around my corrals, garage or whatever. They just seemed to know that they were not in harm’s way. I began to watch this one particular rabbit. It seemed that whenever I came out of the house last summer, he or she would run to meet me from its resting place.That cotton pickin’ wabbit would get within a few feet of me and began to eat grass or stretch out in the nearest shade.
Buckwheat was put in the garage the other night when I went dancin’. When I got home he was standing in the driveway. “How in the world did he get out of that garage?” I queried. It appears that maybe I didn’t close the walk out door really good and the strong wind blew it open. I was going to leave him out for a few more minutes before I put him in the garage for the night.
He ran ahead of me up onto the back deck, wheeled around and plopped down on a old carpet there with his front paws spread apart and his chin on the carpet lookin’ up at me. He was sayin’, ” I WANT TO SLEEP HERE TONIGHT. PLEASE, I WON’T BARK AND I’LL BE FINE RIGHT HERE. HONEST I WILL.” Well, gentle readers, that’s what I reckoned he was sayin’ to me so I let him sleep outside and he didn’t make a peep. He was just too cute to ignore.
My neighbor Buzz and I ran over and picked me up some more hay for the ponies the other day. I didn’t know exactly where this place was that had the hay, so ole Buzz went with me to show me. I bought a few bales of purty good grass hay for my spoiled horses. They had been eating a really good grass and alfalfa mix that they devoured.
The next morning I put out the grass hay, and although it was good, it was a little stemmy. Two of the horses eat under the shed and the other one eats just outside of the wall in shed.
I watched them to see how they would react to the obviously different feed. The two horses under the shed started eating, but slowly. The pony outside the shed, ole Dakota, took a bite and then looked around at me and I’m sure I heard him say, “WHAT THE HECK IS THIS MESS? WE WERE GETTIN’ FRUIT LOOPS FOR BREAKFAST AND NOW WE GET SHREDDED WHEAT WITH NO FROSTING!”
He was positive that he was gettin’ the short straw (no pun intended) so he goes around the corner and looks to see what the other ponies are havin’ for breakfast. Seeing that they all were eating the same, he returned to his feed bunk and cleaned up his hay.
Animals can be cotton pickin’ cute at times if ya just stop long enough to observe.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.