Friday, February 12, 2010

2/12 Four Species Went for a Walk Today (Feb. 12, 2010)

Scout, the bull calf, has a strong preference for walking on my left, his nose about even with my elbow. On halter I trained him to walk mostly on my right: he’s walking off halter now and choosing to walk on my left. I’m blind in my right eye — is it possible he has picked up on that and chooses to walk within my field of vision? He dislikes most when I walk behind him making him take the lead. I would attribute this to “cow herd” mentality: the lead cow. . . . well. . . .leads.

Peaches, the pony, usually isn’t allowed to go on our walks because she likes to run — flat out! Full gallop! I surmise that in a wild herd of horses, the slowest horse gets eaten. So I have to keep her on a rope lead. Starting out on our walk she makes circles around us, keeping me busy untangling rope, leads, feet, hooves, and paws. By the end of our six-mile walk, though, she’s lagging behind at the end of her rope, and I’m dragging her along at the end of my patience. She is a horse, of course! Horses are particularly good at flight. Being quick on the trigger is good for horse survival, and makes horses well suited for the races and wars men seem so intent on. But, for a leisurely walk, not so good. Scout maintained consistent speed throughout whereas Peaches was quickly bored with our plodding.

Harry, the puppy, was in scavenger mode most of the time. He worked both sides of the gravel road, up ahead of the pack covereing many more miles than the rest of us. I suppose the wolf who finds road-kill first, and gulps it down quickest, is the fattest dog in the pack. (No, I didn’t say fastest.) As Harry matures, I expect to see his scavenging behaviors gradually begin to include hunting behaviors. When we walked by farm places with barking dogs, he showed signs of unease with sharing territory. Dogs being territorial are quick to defend their space. (The less space they have the quicker and more vehemently they will defend it.)

And that brings us to me, our representative of the human race. It was pitch dark before we got half way through our walk. One vehicle passed us during that time. As soon as I spotted the headlights I got Scout and Harry on leads, along with the Peaches, and dragged us all in a tangle into the ditch, belly deep in the snow. As the driver passed, did he wonder what a dog, a horse, a bull calf and a man were doing tangled together, in a huddle, along a lonely road, in the ditch, in the snow, in the cold, and in the dark?

Only an animal with an oversized brain could have gotten us there.

A horse, of course!
Posted by Picasa


Leauxra said...

I love this photo. It implies a great deal of trust to me, which is perfect with interspecies relationships.

LTD said...

Thanks Leauxra ---

I'm not sure how this post appeared exactly one year after I posted it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!