Jailbreak!

Part one, in which I Am Brilliant.

So Wednesday I took that awesome picture of Cersei on my cell phone. I turned on the bluetooth, uploaded the picture, made a post, and forgot about it. Then Thursday or Friday I remembered the bluetooth broadcasting was still on, draining a little extra battery, so I turned it off.

Saturday afternoon I noticed that I had not, in fact, turned off the bluetooth. I turned off the phone’s ability to send and receive calls, which is on the same screen as the bluetooth. My phone had been a PDA-only for a couple of days. Woops. Turned the phone on (and bluetooth off), checked my voice mail, and got a cryptic message from my uncle.

I called their house and my aunt answered. I told her I was planning to come down Sunday on my way to the exam if that was ok? and she said fine. She didn’t mention him calling so I figured it wasn’t that important.

Part two, in which I Know My Horses When I See Them!

I always go see the horses first, then visit the house on the way back out. I’d dropped Cersei with my parents, so driving out to the horses was a little lonely. I was bouncing through the field adjacent to the horses when I saw a flash of something that looked an awful lot like the spotted mare’s flank in the corral by the barn. I briefly thought “Nah, that’s just a new cow getting acclimated in the barn” but it just didn’t feel right. I know my horses when I see them. Anybody with pets or kids knows what I’m talking about.

I stopped by the gate to the barn area and got out. Sure enough, it was her. She was sticky with sweat and pacing around, but she wasn’t dangerously panicked. I petted her nose, shooed her away to watch her move, and looked really carefully all over her. She had two fresh minor cuts on her legs but was otherwise just fine.

I got back in the truck and drove the 200 yards or so to the horse pasture. The other three were standing at the fence, staring at the direction I’d come from. They were obviously looking for the spotted one, but they were a lot calmer than she was. I guess they still had each other and that made it better. I grabbed a halter and lead rope off the gate and walked the 200 or 300 yards back to the barn area.

The mare (who really needs a real name) was very glad to see me come back and actually stuck her nose right in the halter. Then she walked, like a completely angel, the 400 or 500 yards in the 95 degree muggy heat back to her pasture. When we got close enough that the horses could all see each other, she let out an earsplitting shriek of joy and started dancing in circles around me. Champ and others hollered back at her so I took pity on her and unclipped the lead. She broke into a beautiful canter over to the fence and there was the most adorable reunion scene! Everybody nuzzled over the fence and smelled each other and it was just like a picture.

I told her to come here so I could put her back out with them and she let me catch her with zero fuss. (I really think the “go be a horse and see if you’re less of a spaz” strategy is paying off.) I walked her over to the gate, shooed the boys off of it, and led her through. I turned around to fasten the gate behind me and by the time I turned around, she was squealing at Poppy. I hollered at them, got the halter off of her, and they moved a few feet away to start squealing and kicking. Ahhh, horses. It took literally 30 seconds for them to go from “OMG so glad you’re back!” to “I hate you! Don’t touch me.”

Part three, in which All Is Revealed.

I went by the house on my way out. Stupid mare had broken the fence Saturday morning and was CHASING CALVES. She’s in heat, which is a decent excuse for horse stupidity, but argh. Chasing cows. That’s not cool. And double argh, that my stupid phone was off and I didn’t get the call to come help fix the fence. That’s the first time anybody else has ever fixed a fence for me, and of course it was my 70 year old uncle doing it! Oh well. He’s a farmer, so he wasn’t mad – livestock break fences; it’s a fact of life.

She was locked up by the barn because she is still as wild as a March hare for other people. She wouldn’t let my uncle and his hired guy touch her or even get too near her! It was kind of endearing that she let me catch her so easily. :) More proof, I suppose, that my long term strategy with her is paying off. She does like me. Yay!

Home again!

Damn, my blog reader is full of stuff to catch up on! Yall have been busy.

First – I think I did ok on the bar. I know I got enough points to pass the essays; it all depends on how well I did on the multiple choice. And the multiple choice are ridiculously hard, even if you have all the law memorized. The questions almost always end up comparing two types of law, kind of an apples to oranges thing. We shall see in six weeks if I have to flee my loans and live in shame under an assumed name in Canada (or just retake the damn thing in February) or if I am admitted to the honorable practice of law in the great state of Mississippi!

I’ll start posting stories about my trip tomorrow. I had an escapee horse to deal with on the way down, then I stayed in an apartment with a psycho kitty and the world’s fattest cat, and of course I saw and met some wonderfully stereotypically Mississippians down in Jackson. I’m really glad to be home, and Cersei’s really glad to be home, and I think even the cats missed me. :)

Posted in me

BRB!

So tomorrow morning I’m packing up and going to Jackson, MS, to take the bar! I’ll be staying at a friend’s, but I don’t know if she has internet, so I probably won’t post until Thursday. See yall on the other side!

Posted in me

Wildlife and Cow Junk

Last post from the Como trip!

I know there’s a lot of deer down there – I see their tracks in the dirt all the time. Deer tracks are blase to me now though. (Live deer still leave me breathless with their wildness and beauty.) No deer track pictures for yall.

I do like raccoons though. They’re pretty cute. I hear they’re annoying as hell if you live in the suburbs, or I suppose if you’re in the country and you don’t keep your stuff secured. But really now, coon tracks are nothing but cute out in the wild. Little bitty hands!
Raccoon track

And the Mystery Burrow! I don’t know what lives there. I have yet to see any tracks (other than cow and deer tracks) in the dirt near the burrow, but something keeps the grass beaten back near the hole.

The barbed wire and the creosote fence post in the picture give a pretty good sense of scale.
Can you see the burrow?

Here’s a close-up of the burrow. Fox? Rabbit? It’s too small for a coyote.
I guess it's a rabbit hole?

Cow Junk.
It’s got “Old Scratch” barely visible on the nameplate on the cylinder. That gave me something to google, and I discovered it’s a cattle oiler. Apparently one fills it up with insecticidal oil and the cows … walk into or under it. I think the diagonal things are like backscratchers that dispense the oil. I’m not sure how you convince the cows to go near such a strange looking thing – just further proof that horses are not remotely like cows, I guess. I’m going to make some inquiries and if I figure out how this thing works, I’ll update the post.

Anyway, the antique cow equipment!
Mystery thing!

The other thing I wanted to point out about this picture – and this is going to be a big long horsey observation / rant – this is a prosperous, well kept “hobby” farm in Mississippi. That’s what fences LOOK like down here. There’s scrap metal propped up against the fence, and there’s a giant (broken? off-season? yard art?) cattle oiler sitting out in the open. That’s all perfectly normal for me.

I read and love FHOTD. I totally agree with her about 80% of the time, and I think maybe there’s some possible excuse for the horrible horses she showcases the other 20% of the time. I think she, like any other really popular author, has an agenda and it’s noble and she’s mostly right. I just think that just about any time you make a blanket statement, you’re wrong for some small percentage of cases.

I don’t mean that FHOTD should stop publicly humiliating people for keeping horses in junkyards, or breaking out yearlings, or (ESPECIALLY) running your old horses through an auction because you can’t afford to feed them and can’t bear to put them to sleep.

But what you see in the background of the Cow Thing is not officially approved horse-safe fencing. Except – it is reasonably safe. Yeah, it’s crappy wire that could slice my beloved horses’ tendons. But it’s a HUGE FRIGGIN PASTURE, with a herd of adult horses who know each other. The smaller the pasture, the safer the fences need to be.

And besides, I’m pretty sure a horse bent on self-destruction (or maxing out his owner’s credit cards) could hurt himself in a padded stall. You can’t prevent all possible bad outcomes. Everybody has to do his or her own cost/benefit analysis on life, all the time.

This is rather jumbled up in my head, and I don’t think it’s coming out right. What I mean is that you, each individual person, has to find a balance between infinite safety and pointless cruelty.