Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chore Time: What Trick Knows

Whip in hand, I carry flakes of hay to the horses in the snow-covered pasture. On my walk back through the stalls, I check waterers to make sure they haven't frozen. For this part of the winter routine, I must remove my gloves. As I do, the whip, clutched under my arm, waves in the air. Trick the Cat climbs the stall wall so that he can reach the whip tassel. Clutching the tassel in his mouth, he grins. After freeing the whip, I go to my next chore: carrying a bale of hay to the sheep. The young ewes eye me through the slats in the stall door. Trick the Cat reaches up and bats each of their noses with his paw. The sheep gather around and bump me as I carry the hay to the feeders in the pasture. With the cold weather and snow-covered pastures, I'm doing this three times a day now. On the way back from the feeders, I stop in the chicken house to pick up the chicken waterer that is now frozen. In the barn, Trick the Cat is running hot laps. He darts from the sheep stall, down the aisle, and then up onto the hay bales. He rolls twice, then repeats the routine. Although I am seeing a cold, snow-covered winter of endless chores, Trick the Cat knows and feels the approaching spring.

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