Well, actually, the story starts last night.
I got home about a quarter to 12 and thought I heard grass chomping noises. Now, with the death of grass, the horse chomping being done in the pasture has basically ceased.
I popped into the house, grabbed my chore coat, and headed out, scoop of cat food in my hand. I poured it onto an old much abused pizza pan serving as a cat food platform to keep chunks from lodging between the boards on the porch, which I've caught skunks, coons, and the big possum digging out with their claws.
You guessed it... I had a horsey visitor in my yard, just out of sight around the side of the trailer. When I walked over there, I discovered Debut, the front pasture stallion. As far as I knew, his fence, newly rebuilt, was impregnable. NOT. Baring human intervention (opening the gate to set a new hay bale and losing him in the process, hunters trespassing, etc.) he must have developed wings. Not a new mark on him, thank goodness.
I thought about haltering him and leading him down the drive, along the road, and into the pasture in the dark, then looked at Adagio, staring at him adoringly over the fence. "He's not going anywhere with that cute little filly batting her baby browns at him."
I didn't give a thought to the horse interfering with the cat's meal... much less other general mischief. Debut has resided off and on for years as a "front yard horse", never even decimating the flowers/garden attempts he blithely grazed around.
The extra "cold storage" I'd filled with the turkey breast meat (my favorite) and the brand new bowl of dressing was sitting in the blue igloo cooler on top of the bench under which the cat food pan was skulking.
Sure enough, when I woke up, not only was he still there, but he had attracted a crowd... Louise, Adagio, Cariñosa and Cortaj. Well, if I could count on that as "open", I'd say I only have a possibility of 9 foals coming next year, but last year, Crem showed hard heat three weeks before she foaled.... but the blue cooler had been pulled from the bench, opened, and both the turkey and dressing were absent... A carnivorous horse? No way. Dressing-eating cats? (Not even a chunk of celery remained to show what had been in the bowl. It was totally licked clean.) Happy New Year, whomever!
The phone rang. I took the call, and was nearly late. I figure four head will keep Debut busy today. (Actually, I went back out in my school shoes, and he'd gone into a muddy pasture to go up to the pond for water...)
Thankfully, he's a real sweetie. (There was fresh hay in the pen behind the barn, but not where he was being kept. If they'd started in with a bale, lost him, and decided he'd stay in the front yard, they'd have gone ahead and set him a new bale. He wasn't really ready for one, so...)
And so it goes at Pandemonium. (Good song start by Billy Joel. "And so it goes, and so it goes, and so will you, too, I suppose...)
Edit: After school, I left at once, getting home shortly after 4:30. Debut was eating the verge of the driveway in the circle in front of the trailer. I called him, got a halter, lowered the driver's window, and haltered him, climbing back in as I passed the rope through the window. He docilely followed me down the drive at a snail's pace. I felt badly for making him walk so far all at once.
When I got to his (still chained) gate, he bumped me repeatedly, trying to hurry me along. I removed the halter, and he trotted off to the creek (across which the mares were eating hay.)
It was still before 5 slightly when I got in, so I called the courthouse to report for grand jury duty. They'd left for the day, so I left my name and phone number. Duty done for the year, I hope. The clerk of court said she'd QUIT if we convened a grand jury when I called before Christmas. She's been there 15 years and never had to call one. I reminded her of the ONE murder we'd had in the 30 years I've been in the area. When I asked her why she'd quit, she said they were a lot of work... I felt a lot better about being called after I talked to her.
Today in one class, (with two kids facing court on who knows what charges) got off on whether I would be called in on their cases. Everyone decided since I'd taught everyone in the area and several in the next school district as well, that I'd have to be excused for knowing the perps/victims. As the discussion continued, it turned out that I'd taught one fellow's FATHER and another girl's mother, just in that one small class. I told the boy about talking to his grandfather about another member of his family, and after a bit, he said, "I think you really need to be talking to my son." Oops! Flipped a whole generation... The boy really loved that story.