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April 14, 2020: A Conversation with Raudi who today turned 17 years old

The following conversation took place as I was brushing Raudi prior to riding her, and then as I was riding her. This was later in the day, after dinner.

Alys: Raudhetta, today you are 17 years old.
Raudi: So what?
A: This is a milestone.
R: What’s a milestone?
A: It’s a big moment in one’s life.
R: There are many milestones in my day. They occur when I’m fed.
A: Oh. How come your being so cynical?
R: How come your getting me ready to go out at such a late hour?
A: Because I had a very busy day. I had to go by the recycling center and sort books, and then, as you saw, I had to clean up around here.
R: You did a good job cleaning up.
A: And I brushed you.
R: Yes, you worked at getting the dander off my back.
A: Okay. Look. Pete is taking your photo.
R: Why?
A: Because we do this every year. Last year you were 16. I held a bucket supplement lid with a 16 on it. This year I am holding a bucket supplement lid with a 17 on it.
R: And next year?
A: I will hold a bucket supplement lid with an 18.

Raudi's 17th birthday photo
Raudi's 17th birthday photo

R: Why do you do this?
A: Because it’s a way of marking milestones.
R: What if you forgot to do this?
A: We’d just skip a year. But we always remember.
R: Some time I’d like to see all the photos.
A: They go back a ways. I began taking them when I first started riding you. You were then four.
R: I don’t remember that far back.
A: I do. Do you remember being born?
R: I have some very specific memories. I remember standing for the first time. Virginia, she was my owner, she lifted me up and I then collapsed. Gergen, she was my dam, she looked at me with considerable concern and told me to get up. This scared me. I got right up. Gergen with her nose pushed me in the direction of her teat and I grabbed her teat and began nursing. That first gulp of milk, it tasted so good.
A: And then?
R: I laid down and went back to sleep. This was my first real sleep outside the womb. I woke thinking that now I was going to have to work to stay alive. Gergen, as if reading my mind, said that I was a very strong horse and that every time I got up and nursed, I’d get stronger.
A: And this is what happened.
R: Yes, this is what happened.
A: I was there for your first birthday and all the birthdays following.
R: Yes.
A: It’s been a good 16 years, you think?
R: Yes, except for one thing.
A: What’s that?
R: I still have not had a baby. I’m not getting any younger.
A: We need a bigger place for this to happen.
R: Will it happen if we have a bigger place?
A: Yes.
R: Really?
A: Yes.
R: You promise?
A: Absolutely.
R: That’s a good seventeenth birthday present.
A: Yes, Happy Birthday Raudhetta.

Next: 105. 4/15/20: A Conversation with Mr. Tinni

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