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September 24, 2021: A Conversation with Chinook Winds Sastrugi

Alys: Hey Sassy, how are you doing?
Sassy: I’m doing okay.
A: Just okay?
S: Just okay.
A: Why just okay?
S: Today I am homesick.
A: What do you miss?
S: I miss my herd mates. I miss Mike. I miss Suzy. I miss the nice warm weather.
A: Well, you now have new herd mates.
S: But these ones are older and uninterested in playing with me.
A: And you now have Pete and I to tend to your every wish and need.
S: Neither of you are paying much attention to me.
A: Not so. Pete is really busy. But I’ve been taking you out with me when I do the barn chores, three times a day.
S: But I used to hang out with Mike all day long.
A: As for the warm weather, it’s now cold and wet where you came from too. You were born in the spring and lived through the summer, which are the warmer months of the year. Fall is generally wet and cold. This early winter weather caught us by surprise.

Alys and Sassy

S: How long is it going to be cold and wet?
A: Eight months.
S: What’s a month?
A: You are four months old. Take that amount of time and double it.
S: Owww, eight months is a long, long time.
A: But you now have a nice warm pen inside the shed, and in addition, fresh hay and water.
S: But I am alone.
A: I feel bad about this, and in fact, Pete and I talked about sending you back to where you came from. We thought that Ranger and Swampy would be more gracious.
S: Why didn’t you send me back to Cottonwood Creek Farm?
A: Because we are smitten with you.
S: What does smitten mean?
A: It means that we think you are quite wonderful and want you to continue to live here.
S: What’s with all the larger animals?
A: They’re Icelandic ponies. Once in a great while they’ll chase you away from their hay pile, but in time they’ll enjoy having you around.
S: And what’s with the black and white dog? She keeps staring at me. This is making me very nervous.
A: That dog is named Ryder. She is a border collie. They stalk prey animals.
S: But the black one with the tan above her eyebrows doesn’t do this.
A: This is because she’s an Australian Shepherd. They don’t have the border collie stocking mechanism.
S: Nevertheless, I am going to be careful around her, too.
A: Any more questions?
S: Yes. Are you going to breed me and after I have babies, milk me?
A: I’m not sure. What I most want to do is train you to carry a pack and also to pull a cart.
S: Me?
A: Yes, you. I’ll put books in the cart and have Shadow sit in the front seat. We’ll then go to schools and public events.
S: Really?
A: Yes, really. Is this worth sticking around for?
S: Yes, most definitely, yes.

Next: 265. 9/25/21: End of Hunting Season

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