Friday, September 19, 2008

rafer's big adventure, and how can anyone not believe in fairies?

Yesterday afternoon late, a series of earth moving machinery arrived at our neighbors' house, along with a huge dump truck load of red dirt. As we were also having a group of kids and parents over for a gathering, I decided I'd better check on the equines and see how they were handling all the commotion.

Keil Bay was on the near side of the barn, having a fit because he was separated from his herd. His hyper-alertness was getting Rafer Johnson all wound up. I decided to move Keil over to the back paddock with the pony and Cody, open up the back field, and let them remove themselves from the barn to graze. That calmed things down quite a bit, but Rafer was just too wound up inside his stall - he couldn't see what was making all the interesting noise, and it was making him crazy!

So I let him come into the barnyard with Salina, which seemed to do the trick. Once I made sure things were settled, I dashed up to the front porch to let everyone know I would be hanging out at the barn for awhile. When I got back to the barnyard, there was Salina, but Rafer Johnson had disappeared!

I kept looking over the barnyard, left to right, along the edge of the woods, behind the trailer, making sure he wasn't blending in. I checked the stalls. I checked the little barnyard, both paddocks, the back field. He was nowhere to be found!

Then suddenly I stopped my mad dashing and simply looked at Salina. When I followed her gaze, there he was. He had gone into the arena, marched all the way to the end, and was completely intent on watching those earth-moving machines. I opened the gate so Salina could join him.

There was no way he was coming back to his stall right that moment, and I figured since he was calm, we might as well sit and enjoy the show. I pulled up a dressage marker bucket and sat. We watched three abreast. I have never seen such focus - Rafer could not take his eyes off those machines!

When the workers took a break, Rafer went and got himself a dressage marker bucket, tipped it over, and rolled it around the arena. He went over to the back side of the arena to say hello to the geldings. He marched through a stand of weeds at the arena's edge, letting them tickle his belly. He stepped in a fire ant mound and immediately trotted over to me so I could get the few off that were on his leg.

And yes, you read that correctly. Rafer Johnson was trotting around in his cast. I convinced him that a walk was more suitable, and then panicked when he marched up to a cross-rail jump my daughter had left up. He walked right up to the X, looked back at me, and then casually walked around the jump.

I eventually managed to get he and Salina back to the barn doors where I could muck his stall and get it ready for the evening. By that time it was nearing the barn dinner hour, so I got Rafer's halter on, and began to walk him to his stall. Salina, in an uncharacteristic move, surged in front of us and pooped in the middle of Rafer's stall - now, this sounds pretty rude, but it was the first time she's been able to do this since the accident, and Rafer Johnson was beside himself with excitement. FINALLY - he could march in and deposit his contribution on top of the pile! He was ecstatic. I opened his back door, hurried Salina out, and turned just in time to see her hind hoof kick the full bucket of water over. Rafer was in the midst of depositing his pile, and a solid sheet of water went cascading toward him.

He skittered out of the way, and I got the water up.

Needless to say, when I went out to the barn today, this is what I found:

And, apropos of nothing, look up top at what replaced the sunshine mushroom literally over night! Nothing but the work of fairy folk could possibly have made that happen.


the7msn said...

WooHoo! Party in the barn! I'm so excited that Rafer is moving around well enough to venture out of his stall. The fairies must be sprinkling their dust up and down that cast.

billie said...

Linda, it's pretty amazing how well he is using the casted leg. The one thing he misses terribly is rolling in the dust. We've been rubbing dust into his fur, and discovering that it does indeed keep it soft and fluffy.

I read about George and Alan's adventure too - must be the week for donkeys... :)

Twinville said...

Oh Billie,
I just loved reading about Salina and Rafer and all their curiosity and antics. What a wonderful life you give these critters of yours.

I love that last picture of Rafer. He looks so calm and relaxed.

And yes. I do believe in fairies :)

Laughing Orca Ranch
New Mexico

Victoria Cummings said...

What a lovely afternoon for you and Salina and Rafer. I love the image of the three of you watching the earth-mover. We've got those little red mushrooms too this year - Fairies, eh? I was just worried that they'd spread to the pasture. They look cute but poisonous.

billie said...

Thanks, Lisa - it is like our very own soap opera. :)

billie said...

My daughter thinks every mushroom I find is poisonous - she often has names for them and I just shake my head. I don't even want to know.