New Arrival

Miss T’s equine menagerie was reduced by one a week or two back: the geriatric Robin, who made the hilltop his sunset home, finally fell over and died. Even the most devoted nursing can only do so much, and he was ancient, blind, and kept alive on soup because he couldn’t manage hay and pony nuts. He was a dear old thing, and we are sorry he is gone. The new arrival, by contrast, is six months old. He is another rescue, an orphan Shetland pony — his mama contrived to break a leg and had to be put down when he was still a tiny foal, so he has been bottle-fed, with the result that he is not entirely sure he is a horse. It’s possible to be a bit confused about this in any case, since he looks like something left over from the last Ice Age, black, stumpy and quite absurdly shaggy. Basically he is a sort of brownish-black fuzz-ball with big black eyes, standing about thirty inches high on four minute black hooves like little pegs. He seems to have a nice nature, and like all bottle-fed animals, he is very interactive. We may end up taking him for walks.

3 Responses to “New Arrival”

  1. Jill Says:

    It’s a bit of a liberty but may I suggest a name for the diminutive fellow now living in your North Forty? The description of his size suggests that he may carry interesting genes.In the 1870’s, Lord Londonderry owned a stud farm on Shetland Island of Noss for the express purpose of creating a tinier version of the rugged and reliable Shetland pony. Victorian legislation had banned child labour in coal mines and pony’s were a cheap replacement for working Londonderry’s deep seamed coal mines in Durham. Hundreds of these animals were sent south from Noss and thereafter, spent their entire lives underground in stables.
    Wee Geordie most certainly will lead a charmed life by comparison.

  2. Jane Says:

    I think the little animal has come in with the name ‘Mystery’ — I don’t think it implies that he is a product of miscegenation between a shetland pony and a passing woolly mammoth, even though that is roughly what he looks like. His undersizedness relates to having been deprived of mother’s milk — bottlefeeding I think is a problem with foals because they don’t take much at a time, and of course if mother and foal are together the foal can just top-up every five minutes — a woman with a husband, five daughters and a lot of other horses can’t really feed him on demand.

  3. Jill Says:

    That’s not the only thing on demand. This heroic woman needs a rather large club!

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