At ten o’clock this morning, I watched the source of half my fertilizer roll off down the driveway and into a new life. Venus is gone.
The lead up to this been has been a little weird. Ever since the pre-purchase exam on Tuesday, Venus has been doing a “dead-man walking” routine. Every time I lead her from one place to another, each step is slow and sad. Venus knows. Ophelia knows. And in truth, I am more worried about Ophelia. In the past two years, those two mares have rarely been separated and when they have been, Ophelia has gone out of her mind. She’ll race the fence line the whole time Venus is gone, working herself into a sweaty frenzy. Once we were stupid enough to put her in the barn, but she spent hours kicking at the walls and ended up breaking the stall and banging up her legs pretty badly.
After the vet left on Tuesday, we split the horses up, putting them in separate pastures, but still able to see each other. On Wednesday, Ophelia spent most of the day running the fence line trying to get back to her Venus. On Thursday, she was tired and sore and didn’t run the fence line. On Friday, she calmly grazed in her pasture.
After breakfast this morning, we put Ophelia in the small pasture that shares a fence line with my neighbors. Venus went on the trailer and down the driveway. For a few minutes, as the distance between the two friends grew and grew, they yelled their undying love for each other. Sad, desperate calls. Break your heart sounds. Then Venus was gone. Ophelia began running the fence lines.
Then a strange thing happened. All the neighbor’s horses came to the fence and stood quietly by as Ophelia complained and ran the fence line. After five minutes, Ophelia was trotting the fence lines. After ten minutes, she was standing in the corner, standing vigil with the neighbor’s horses. 20 minutes after Venus’ departure, all but one of the neighbor’s horses moved off to nibble at the stubble in their pasture. Only the ancient gelding remained and he stayed with Ophelia for an hour, before she just gave in and began to graze.
I am staying away right now, until I get past my own sense of loss. Anytime I stick my head at the door, Ophelia whinnies at me, demanding her Venus I presume. But if I am out of sight, she seems quite calm.
All in all, the first stage of Ophelia’s bachelorette-hood has gone well. But when the trailer comes back empty, well, we’ll see.
In the meantime, the insulated coop was 37 degrees inside this morning, just like the 37 degrees outside. How discouraging. Also, Moose has picked up an eye infection. I noticed it yesterday and let it go because I was so busy with the coop. This morning it seemed worse, so I started spraying it with Vetericyn. The white of her eye is very red and the whole thing is leaking goop.
Evening update: The empty trailer returned. Moose rejoiced at the return of her truck and her Michael. One would not know she is at all afflicted with eye problems. Ophelia, on the other hand, did not rejoice. She cried out but her calls went unanswered. The trailer was silent and empty.
She wanted no consolation from me. She went off and pouted until dinner time and then she was sort of. . . nice. Is she plotting her revenge or is she a changed woman?