Friday, February 02, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #291

Nancy White Kelly

The snow is gently falling as I write. What a beautiful transformation has taken place over the night. A powdery white veil coats the landscape. The surrounding mountains are as scenic as any New Hampshire postcard.

A distinctive neigh from our horse, Dixie, attracts my attention. She is undoubtedly cold and is announcing to her new owners that she wants some sweet feed.

It didn’t take long for Dixie to train us. How funny it is to watch Buddy sneak out the front door to get the morning paper. If he goes out the back, Dixie whinnies incessantly until Buddy gives in and tromps out to the barn with the feed bucket. Not that she is starving. She has a constant supply of good hay.

For a horse though, Dixie is clever. After a couple of mornings of delayed feedings, she approached the setback from a new angle. Literally.

Now, when Dixie hears the paper lady circle the drive, she goes to the highest hill in the pasture. From this vantage point, Dixie can see Buddy no matter which door he exits. If he doesn’t come when she neighs, Dixie throws the equine equivalent of a toddler tantrum. She snorts and runs wide-open across the pasture. It works. Buddy’s coffee and my reading of the paper wait until Dixie gets what Dixie wants.

We ought to know better. We’ve raised enough children and dogs to know that we are supposed to be in charge. Giving in just reinforces bad behavior.

Perhaps Buddy and I are getting soft in our old age. Yet, is a charming creature creatively calling for crunch chow so crazy?

Neigh. Not is this neighborhood.

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