Things are hectic here as I have been busy helping to get Lucy ready to go to sleep-away camp. Camp is a wonderful perk of my husband’s job that both our children have enjoyed. Though it will be hard to have Lucy gone for seven weeks, I know she will have a great time. However in all the preparations I haven’t had time to finish writing about Katika. Perhaps tonight.
Yesterday, between rain showers and yeoman stints of packing, I took Lucy and her friend Anabell riding. This was by way of a goodbye treat. Her horse Birch has not been out under saddle all spring. First Lucy was busy at school, then I was busy with heavy equipment, and finally we were waiting for the farrier to come trim Birch’s hooves.
Now at last she could ride. Unfortunately all the animals are so herd-bound after the long winter together that even though cows might be pesky, Birch hated to leave them. The steer Rocky watched our departure with his head low, bellowing like a mournful foghorn.
On his own for the first time in months, Birch was on his tiptoes, startling and jumping nervously at everything he saw. This made Lucy and Anabell equally nervous.
We thought it might be easier outside the round pen and started to walk him out to the back acres. Birch’s hindquarters bunched underneath him. He blew out his nose, looking around wildly, appearing ready to take flight. I took hold of his bridle, and had second thoughts about a trail ride.
“Maybe we should ride closer to the barn —” I began.
“Great idea!” Anabell said in relief.
As we turned around we noticed that the geese, Andy and K, had been hurrying to follow us out to the back. Pilgrim geese cannot fly, so this was a serious trek.
“C’mon kids, we’re turning back,” I said to the geese. Obediently they turned and stumped after us, waddling as fast as they could go.
“They are so cute,” Lucy cried, snapping photos.
At the barn I decided to take the girls riding in the bottom of the south pasture, where it is flat (and where recently I’d spread manure).
At this point the barn cats Freddie and Flossie chose to join the parade.
At Fairhope Farm, you’ll never walk alone!