Zzzzen….

29 06 2010

So I have a horse:

Missie says, "Wake me up and I'll bite you!"

 Yes, she’s beautiful, believe me she knows it…. anyway, to get training for her (which I need since she’s much smarter than I alone) I clean stalls at a local ranch every Monday in trade.

There’s a fine art to cleaning manure. Horses walk, all the time, constantly; they even sleep on their feet. So the poo doesn’t stay in nice easily-scooped little piles (well, not little, exactly); it gets trampled all over heck, and you have to use a rake to get all the pieces, or else spend hours more than necessary.
   
It was Monday. I raked… I scooped… I defended my wheelbarrow against horses who like to scratch themselves on it and inadvertently tip it over, I dodged bites, I sweated, I raked again. Then (in the middle of a particularly juicy curse aimed at a diabolical pony named, deceptively, Sugar) I looked back and saw the rake’s marks in the dust. They were beautiful. Heatstroke may have had a hand in this, but I swear, the whole ground was just these lovely soft curving lines, like the tracks of a hundred mysterious snakes.
Before Sugar ran off with my shovel, it reminded me of one of those Zen gardens, where monks comb lines into the sand around big boulders.
    
It was an unexpectedly tranquil moment and I am really glad I didn’t miss it. There were even a few butterflies in my ‘zen’ garden (they are attracted to the salt in the horsie pee). It was the perfect touch. So, lesson: look for the beauty that is left after poo is removed!




Cruelty

21 06 2009

I love reading the news. It’s an educating and often fun experience, and I have about four good sites bookmarked that I click through every day. However, all too often I run across headlines like this: “Woman Pleads Guily to Dragging Dog With Car”. I didn’t link to the story because in all honesty, I couldn’t read it, it made me heartsick.

I’ve been raised with animals of all types, and I like more of the new animals that I meet than the new people. Even for people who’ve never had any time around a family dog or seen a horse, how can they possibly do the cruel and horrible things that they do? One time in art class, the upperclassman boy I had a raging crush on laughingly related a story about injecting a kitten with gasoline and then lighting it on fire. It was told calmly, as if he were talking about a party the night before or a funny movie he’d seen. Other people, sometimes friends I’ve known for a long time and who have always seemed to be very good people, think nothing of brutally kicking their dog out of the way, teasing and terrifying their cockatiel, small side actions done with no thought.

I have a very hard time understanding this, and frankly, I believe that parents need to take more responsibility in helping children understand that animals feel pain and emotion. When I was about five, I got bored and pulled on our cat’s tail, and believe me, my mom put an end to that pretty quick, and she also explained to me that I was hurting Petunia. It sickens me and worries me that casual cruelty to animals is so rampant, and these actions are fairly minor in the broad scope of things humans do  to our fellow animals.

Yes, I realize that many, many human beings go through unbelievable tribulations every day. This also saddens me deeply. Of course, some cruelties will always be practicd on both animals and people, no matter what we do. But maybe teaching sympathy for the so-called ‘lesser life forms’ would engender sympathy for the so-called ‘higher beings’? I believe that more stringent action is needed. Say something when your friend kicks their dog! Report the person next door who is starving their horses! Please, please do something to stop this disgusting cycle, and teach everyone you can!





Scentsational

13 07 2008

Yum.

I’m generally not a fan of typical, cliché scents, but the Demeter Fragrance store has some really wild smells! Some look utterly delicious, like Vanilla Cake Batter, Cinnamon Toast and Green Tea, along with everything in their Sweet Delights collection- luscious! They also have a few pretty off the wall scents- take a whiff of Black Pepper (spicy!), Clean Windows, Crayon, and Fresh Hay.

I wonder if I tried Fresh Hay, would my horse try to bite me more or less? At fairly affordable prices, Demeter could be the perfect place to track down that odd scent you love.