Alys: Good day, Hrimmi, how are you doing?
Hrimmi: Fine. You got a treat for me?
Alys: In a minute. I’m exchanging greetings with you. This indicates that I respect you.
H: Got a treat for me?
H: Either you do or you do not. I think you do. I smell it on you. Treat’s in your coat pocket.
A: You have to work in order to get a treat.
H: Okay, what do you want me to do?
H: How about I raise my head and wrinkle my nose?
A: That’s cute. But I want you to stand still.
Raudi: (Stepping in front of Hrimmi) I know from past experience that you don’t get a treat unless you first do as you’re told.
H: I don’t like this game.
R: It’s not a game.
A: No, it’s a part of the day’s lesson.
H: (Stomping her left front foot) Oww, a part of the day’s lesson. Sounds like work to me.
A and R (Simultaneously): Exactly.
A: Raudi, do you remember when you were Hrimmi’s age?
R: Yes I do. I was nearly three, just like she is. I behaved perfectly.
Tinni (stepping into the picture) Memory is subjective.
A: How do you know this?
T: I listen when you’re talking with your friends. You chatter endlessly when we’re out on trail rides.
A: Tinni, what else do you know?
T: I know that you have treats in your pockets.
A: How do you know this?
T: I saw you go up into the shed reach into the bucket, pull forth a handful, and put them where they are now.
R: I also saw this.
H: And so did I.
A: Well, today you all seem to be reminded that horses must first earn their treats.
T: Raudi, since when did you buy into the company line?
R: Tinni, I have matured.
T: (Ignoring Raudi, and talking directly to Alys): We outnumber you. So hand over the goods.
A: Raudi, put your ears up.
R: Hrimmi is in my space. I want her out of it. I get the first, second, and third treats.
A: Raudi, back.
Raudi takes four steps backwards, and is given a treat. She stands quietly, staying in place as the conversation continues. Alys then turns to Hrimmi, who is now standing still.
A: Hrimmi, your lower lip is trembling.
T: For gosh sake, just give her the damn treat.
R: She has to earn it.
A: Tinni, head down.
T: I haven’t the faintest idea what you are asking me to do.
Alys puts her hand on Tinni’s head, and Tinni lowers it. Alys then gives Tinni a treat.
T: That was easy.
A: Yes it was.
H: I want another treat.
A: That’s it for now.
H: Can I have another later.
R: Promises, promises.
T: Enough of this nonsense girls. There’s a whole pile of hay by the fence line. Best we all eat what’s over there. Otherwise, we’ll starve to death.
H: Starve to death?
T: Yeah, starve to death. Can’t depend on the treat lady to fulfill your nutritional needs.
H: What are nutritional needs?
T: I’ll explain it to you later, kid.
R: Let’s go eat.
Alys watches all the horses walk off, then exits their pen area. Her pockets empty, she pulls a peppermint out of her pocket, and pops it in her mouth. This is her own way of rewarding herself for a job well done.
Next: 68. 3/13/15: Blogging Sustainably