Sunday, October 11, 2009

visitors and gifts

It's always interesting when visitors come for the first time and meet the animals I write so much about.

Yesterday an old friend came over to meet the herd and spend some time with us. Salina is generally the best barometer of how the visit should proceed because she is so attuned to people's inner workings. If I have to put a lead rope around her neck, or a halter, it generally means the guests are nervous, or not used to horses, or just tightly wound in general. With clients she will point the way to what needs to be addressed. (and with me - as I say on a regular basis, she's my live-in therapist) I've learned to watch her the first few minutes and let her reaction guide what comes next.

Yesterday she was perfectly relaxed and I didn't need to even think about where she was or whether she was okay to be loose in the barnyard with us. The donkeys were their usual ambassadors of love and cuteness, and also showed off their wrestling skills.

The geldings were relaxed too, and all the cats (though Dickens was first and as usual the most forward) savvy enough to know right away that here was a fellow cat lover.

The most marked meeting though was Kyra. My friend is also a dog lover and had to say goodbye to her beloved canine companion recently as well, and I'm not sure, but I think Kyra knew that and responded. I watched as the two met and bonded instantly, and it was with a huge sigh of relief that I saw Kyra's full-blown spark return. Her sassy bark for attention, her excited prancing and clacking (it's a Corgi thing!), and just overall, the last bits of the mutedness we've seen since last week disappeared.

I think my friend enjoyed the time with the November Hill crew, but we all owe her a huge thank you for bringing her gift of connection to Kyra.


ponymaid said...

Billie, Kyra was certainly certainly able to "read" what her visitor needed and to share and acknowledge their recent and common losses. Of course the donkey nephews knew she needed to see some animated wrestling and so they staged a magnificent show. I just know she was impressed. Whenever possible,we donkeys like our guests to go away smiling and speechless.

billie said...

Sheaffer, it boggles my mind on a daily basis that donkeys are not in charge of the world.

Just tonight, a scene in my barn aisle made me do one of those deep belly laughs - we were getting everyone in place for the night and Redford had stayed out in the dark until the last moment. He came marching in, and refused my offer to go in through Salina's stall door, but went to the middle stall looking for his own pile of hay.

When he didn't find it there, he headed on down the barn aisle to the nearly closed barn doors.

But then suddenly Rafer Johnson stuck his nose up to the crack in the door from the outside, and the sudden strange no-eyed donkey face completely spooked Redford, who danced a staccato jig right there in the barn aisle.

Rafer seemed most amused.

I believe we are having some switching of places around here - Rafer is usually not quite such a practical joker!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Salina sounds like a wonderful mare full of insight into everyone around her.
I'm so glad to hear that Kyra has found a new friend and has the sparkle back in her eyes.
And as always your little donkey boys are as amusing and entertaining as usual. I would have loved to see the exchange in the barn tonight! Animals with a sense of humor are so much fun to be around.

billie said...

Arlene, it was hilarious. Redford is usually the perpetrator, but Rafer really did pull the little prank off tonight.

Keil Bay and Cody watched the whole thing w/o blinking an eye.

Anonymous said...

Love this - animal practical jokes, and visits that harmonize with your animals. Glad to hear that Kyra responded with so much spark...must have been heartening to experience.

I have never met donkeys up close, nor had any wish to meet them until I saw your pictures of your animals and read your stories about them - so sweet.

billie said...

Wendy, as thoughtful and loving as you are with your horses, I believe you would enjoy being with donkeys. They have a different sensibility than horses, and I think their small size adds to the effect they have on us humans.

Michelle said...

I love that you have this amazing connection with your animals and can read them so thoroughly. It is a beautiful connection.
I'm glad Kyra enjoyed the visitors! I feel so bad for her in this time, it must be so hard to lose your best friend. Glad she's feeling better.

billie said...

Michelle, I have always been very connected to animals, since I was very young. Most of the time it's a wonderful thing. Every now and then it's difficult.

I remember walking into a pet store a year or so ago and there was a big parrot who lived there (may have also been for sale, as they had other birds that were). The parrot started doing a very odd keening sound and I felt all the way into my heart that the parrot wanted me to take him out of there.

It was hard to walk out of that store.