Sunday, August 2, 2009
Nora in Charge
August 3, 2009
On the way to the garden to weed last evening my husband yelled out, "No ! Go play with your horses !" So, being the obedient and ever dutiful wife, I did. I switched them from pasture number one, well consumed, to pasture number two full of lush new grass. My three horses; Nora, Sally and Gus, and one donkey, Doolin rushed in eagerly. That is when I noticed the beautiful lighting as the sun was setting. I grabbed my camera.
Snapping pics, standing in the circle of nags, I stopped looking at the light and started really seeing the horses. All appeared about the same at first. Four grazing equines. But with closer inspection I noticed how extremely different they were. Nora in charge, my Alpha horse, was ripping up the grass with her teeth, her wide spread eyes rapidly moving. She was the watchful one, searching for predators,ready to move her herd at a miliseconds notice if need be. When she moved to lusher spot in the pasture the other 3 moved to that area immediately after her. All of them staying within 10-20 feet of each other.
Nora would also move them out of a spot she wanted with a couple steps towards them, neck outreached, teeth showing just a little. They moved. Fast. They backed up over each other, into each other. One look their direction and instattaneously that particular horse had packed up their tack into brown cardboard boxes, rented a U-Haul and gotten out of Dodge. She didn't bite them or kick them she just threatened, and they listened.
Sally, the number two horse, was only in charge if Nora was gone, like up at the barn getting a drink. She would then take the opportunity to chase Gus, old-man-horse-at-bottom-of-totem-pole. She, unlike Nora, never had a real goal in mind. She just liked to boss Gus around
for the fun of it. Consequently, Gus was the one with the bite marks and a few "been kicked" dents in his hide. Yet, he still stuck close to his girls and when he grazed his eyes were always down. He knew it was Nora's job to watch for the dreaded Midwest horse- eating lions. His job was merely to submit to Nora's will.
And then there is Doolin the Donkey. He is the court jester. He moves equally among the crowd. Eats with the higher up Nora as well as with the hired help Gus. Like Sally, he will pretend to be in charge if Nora is indisposed, perhaps being worked by me in the round pen. He is the worst of all followers. If Nora swipes at Gus, so will Doolin. If Nora acts like she is going to rip away a little donkey hair, he'll take off after the new puppy. Everyone needs a scapegoat.
With all this grazing, bossing around, moving to better pastures, more bossing around I thought about my sisters. I have 3 "seesters" as we call ourselves. I am the oldest. We are very close emotionally and geographically. We know a million things about each other. There is another million things we don't know about each other. A couple of weeks ago we had a disagreement about who was supposed to be organizing a couples weekend. I confronted them . (Other people TALK but no, not me, I must CONFRONT)
Why must I always be the one in charge ? The one to make all the plans ? I implored. Because, my youngest sister said , she had no desire to organize anything, ever. The next youngest sister echoed this. "You are so good at organizing things, why would we want to mess with that?" And the sister closest in age to me responded. " Because you said you would."
I did ?!?! Yeah I did. I said I would organize the vacation and then I failed to send out all the info on email.
Big plate of crow. For me. To eat. Fortunately my sisters forgave me. The same way Gus forgives Nora for bossing him around. The same way he forgives Sally for taking over when the Alpha girl is busy working extra shifts at the hospital, I mean drinking water at the barn. I guess they really do see me as Nora, the boss lady, the one who naturally by order of birth is SUPPOSED to run things...or maybe if truth be told they just let me think I'm Nora, when they really see me more like Doolin, the one who often makes an ass of him(her)self.