The skies have opened up and dumped buckets of rain in the northwest today. It was dark and black this morning with a cloud cover that allowed no sunrise, and the southeast winds started picking up early, gusting up to 50 miles an hour in some places in our county. So when I went out to the barn this morning, I informed my seven resident Haflingers that they were stuck indoors for the day, and none of them objected as long as they had a pile of hay to munch, a comfy clean bed of shavings and fresh water. Contentment reigneth as I closed up the doors and headed to work.
By the time I made it home from work tonight, got dinner started in the house and headed down to the barn through sheets of blowing horizontal rain, I was assaulted by seven excited voices that greeted my opening the barn door. The deep bass from our stallion Waldheer, the tenor from Wheaton, the alto of Noblesse, Belinda, and Weissach, and the high soprano nicker of our yearling BriarRose. But nothing compares with the shrill piccolo squeal that comes from Marlee–heard above all and frankly, ear piercing! I realized as I walked in the barn that their chorus was only the melody line for the constant din of rain drumming on the metal roof and the banging of the sliding doors as the wind buffeted them. It was truly a concert out there, and I’m sure the Haflingers had heard plenty of noise from the storm all day and enough was enough. They wanted some relief, like, ah, food, like– you know–right now, to take their minds off of it.
I moved quickly to fetch grain and vitamins to them in record time, throwing hay flakes in their stalls and freshening up their water. They settled into the rhythmic chewing that I always find as comforting as a lullaby as I cleaned and prepared their beds.
Five more days of rain and wind are predicted. This could be a long confinement for the Haflingers if the weather stays this soppy and nasty the whole time. They may even compose a complete symphony before it is over. Rehearsals scheduled at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM with performances daily at stall cleaning time, attended by one grateful lady farmer.
I’ll be asking for an encore.