Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Theo and Grass
I come from work. I cycle over the country road to the farm. At a certain point I can see Theo's white stripe. I make a clacking sound with my tongue and I can see the white stripe rise almost right away. He's in the paddock with Villord and Kjelt. I always spare an apple for Theo to greet him. Ofcourse he knows. When I approach the paddock he's already standing close to the wire of the fence. Looking like: I know that you have something for me, give it to me please. Sometimes he lifts his frontleg high, excited and a bit impatient. He first bites the apple in half. The sound of his chewing is juicy. The next bite is only a little piece and very precise. As if he wants to keep something and enjoy longer. After the greeting I put my bicycle away and see what has to be done. Depending on the condition of my back I decide what I'll do. Today it isn't good. So I will stick to a minimum of work, but offer Theo some distraction from the day in the paddock. I ask him to come and after giving it a thought, Mr. T. decides to come over to me. Meanwhile I look at the amazing amount of poppies beside the paddock....He has arrived, offers his halter to click the rope on, I open the gate and he turns so swiftly around me. I close the gate again and instantly he looks for grass. After a day in the paddock and a limited portion of hay, fresh grass is on his mind quite strongly. So I take him for a short walk. He looks right and left. Grass everywhere. I try to convince him he'll be able to eat grass in a few minutes. That's human talk that he doesn't understand. He keeps on looking left and right. But finally (after 5 long minutes for Mr. T) I allow him to eat and he attacks the grass. The grass is in different lengths and Theo prefers very short and very long grass. Nothing in between. Well, nothing.... In the meantime Mente has come to see us up close. I can hardly express how much I love those nose-holes vibrating, just before the whinnying sounds. He's excited to see Theo and would love to play. But Theo is very concentrated on...the grass. This week he will be put in the field, with lots of lush fresh grass. And the portions I offer him on these walks every day are a good preparation for grazing all day soon... He suddenly raises his head when he hears or sees a still unidentified object. He stops chewing for a few seconds, while the grass sticks out of his mouth left and right. When he knows what he sees or smells (a duck, a cyclist), the chewing starts again and his head lowers to where he likes to be best. The grass.