Pony Attitude



“Your eyes are a little weepy,” I told Bugsy last night, as I opened the door to let him out. “I think you have allergies.”

Yea, well you’re late… you’re f*&king late,” Bugsy replied, brushing by without waiting.

Let me interrupt here.

Of course Bugsy doesn’t talk. I’m anthropomorphizing as usual — assigning human thought and perception to a pony.

But Bugsy does communicate. Look in his eyes and at his face and you’ll see that he speaks.

And I’m certain that Bugsy swears.

Mind you, never around young ears. He’s a consummate professional. Like a Sesame Street puppeteer, or that lumbering schmo, Barney, Bugsy would never besmirch his reputation.

But at day’s end, I imagine him at a bar; he’s the guy with the rumpled suit and loosened tie, hunkered over a Jack-and-Coke, grumbling, Christ, you wouldn’t believe the sh*tty day I’ve had…

On the job with kids, he’s always perky and bright. But when I approach, he casts me a withering look.

I like to think that I’m older and wiser — well, at least older. I’ve got 15 years on him. Unless you consider horse-human age conversion. In that case, Bugsy’s 24 is equivalent to a 70-year-old. That means he’s eligible for medicaid. And 70 explains his grandfatherly affinity for children and his dismissive, you’re an idiot, attitude around me.

Last week, he gave me that old-man attitude.

I took Bugsy to Hadley’s school — like last year — but this time, each of her classmates rode him. That’s 15 kids, fitted with a helmet, helped into the saddle, feet in the stirrups, around the field, then off, and repeat process.

When we were finally done, two little kids were petting Bugsy and holding his leads. “Do you mind?” I asked a nearby teacher, pointing to the pony. “I’ve just got to run to the trailer for a minute…”

I was actually gone for five, and returned just in time to see the last kid funnel through a door into school. The door slammed shut. The playground was silent and empty.

Well, not completely empty.

Bugsy gave me the eye. “Hey Einstein, you forget something?”



He was standing right where I’d left him: by the playground near a broad, unfenced field. “Wow Bugsy,” I said, gingerly approaching. “Thanks for not running away.”

And,” he added, “you left me watching that little hellion again…



I gathered the abandoned lead ropes and pulled the reins over his head. “Good pony,” I said. We headed back to trailer and I sighed. “Man, I need a drink.”

Sh&t, you’re telling me? The morning I just had…







Our orange cats, Mel and Olive, share virtually everything: food dishes, water bowls and sleeping quarters. They also look alike, with the same pumpkin hue and tabby markings. Few people can tell them apart.

But truthfully, color is the only commonality. These two cats live worlds apart.

Mel has a hankering to hike (chronicled here.) He has ambled the length of the drive and crossed Chet’s hayfield oodles of times. He’s also completed the neighborhood loop (a mile-plus in length) and is undaunted by high grass, violent weather or strange animals. 

Think marathon walker, feline style.



This penchant to perambulate can be infuriating. Often, Mel wanders directly in front of us, and on a moonless night, we trip over him three or four times.

But on other occasions, his presence is comforting. Like the night I walked the dog late, in the pouring rain. I was feeling glum and sorry for myself, until I noticed Mel, trailing my puddled footprints. Sodden, Mel plodded faithfully along.

Then there’s Olive, the picture of inactivity. I’ve mentioned her before (and blogged about her listlessness here.) Her sloth-like behavior is epic; she channels a limp dishrag.


Cayden & Olive, a couple yrs ago


Most recently, Olive’s been driven to sleep on our bed. She lurks by the house and waits for opportunity: an unattended door. Then she sneaks inside and darts up the stairs to our room. If she’s detected, she beelines for the narrow, inaccessible slot under the bed frame… and emerges when the coast is clear.

Olive is maniacal in her quest to sleep on our bed.



But the kids are equally maniacal about ejecting her from the house.  


Brynn & Olive, a week ago


And after scrolling through my photo library, I’m not so sure that the cat is the manic one.

Maybe it’s not the cat…

It could be the kids…


Hadley, at 18 mos, with Drippy, 20 yrs old






Cloaked and content…


Another Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, come and gone. (For details on the festival, see last year’s post here.)



Due to social conflicts, we blitzed the sheep show on Saturday — we breezed through the tents and pavilions and skipped the main events. We missed the “grand lamb cook-off,” and the “sheep and wool skill-a-thon.” We bailed on the crowning of the lamb and wool queen and princess.

We did, however, find time to wolf down lamb gyros, lamb kabobs, corn dogs and cotton candy.

Hands down, the family-food consumption award goes to Brynn, who singlehandedly polished off a platter of cheese fries.

Not too surprising, given Brynn’s penchant for grilled-cheese sandwiches, garnished with a wedge of soft cheese and few slices of cheddar on the side…