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April 19, 2022: A Conversation with Ryder

Alys: Great weather, aye Ryder?
Ryder: Finally. It was a long, cold winter.
A: But you did not have to deal with cold.
R: I beg to differ. I had to go outside to pee and poop.
A: So did I. I used the outhouse.
R: When it was really cold, you used the inhouse.
A: Busted.
R: The worst was the windstorm. The trees were creaking. I was afraid that when I went outside, a branch was going to hit me.
A: But there are no branches in the upper quadrant.
R: The wind was so strong, that some branches were flying through the air.
A: True. But most of the time you were inside, upstairs, lying on the bed.

Ryder herding the goats

R: True.
A: And it was warm enough.
R: But not as warm as it is now. I most enjoy lying upstairs on the bed as the sun streams through the window.
A: You sure look comfortable then.
R: I suppose.
A: For years I’ve been telling you about the sled dogs, the ones that live outside, in dog houses, and are chained to their kennels.
R: Oh, the one’s that pull the sleds long distances.
A: Yes. There are those that don’t make the team. They just hang out in their dog houses.
R: I don’t know if they are lucky or not. Pulling a sled long distances is a lot of work.
A: How do you know this?
R: There was a dog team over on Ridge Runner this winter. It went past our place a few times.
A: And?
R: They told me that pulling a sled is very tiring.
A: Directly?
R: Well no. The birds, they told Tyra and Tyra told me.
A: You have got to be kidding.
R: No. All of us know that Tyra, who gets her information from the birds, knows just about everything.
A: Do you believe her?
R: I have no reason to not believe her.
A: So, you suspend disbelief.
R: In a manner of speaking, yes. I mean, I see the birds outside the pen. Tyra is up at the fence. They talk to her. And she listens.
A: And the other horses?
R: They don’t communicate with the birds. It’s easier to get what they want to know right from the horses’ mouth.
A: But it’s second hand information when you or the others get it.
R: I think that Tyra is reliable.
A: Is she your favorite horse?
R: She’s my least favorite on the trail, when she runs loose. She chases Shadow and me.
A: But around the barn?
R: Well, a horse is a horse.
A: And a goat is a goat.
R: And a chicken is a chicken.
A: The goats. . .
R: Let’s not go there.
A: We must.
R: You don’t understand. It’s my job to herd them. If they refuse to listen, it’s my job to sink my teeth into them.
A: Okay. Why is it then that Shadow does not see this as her job?
R: Because I am bred to herd. It’s in my DNA.
A: And it’s not in Shadow’s DNA?
R: Nope.
A: What is in her DNA?
R: The desire to please you and Pete.
A: And this isn’t in your DNA?
R: It is. But at the same time. . .
A: Also, is the desire to herd livestock.
R: Bingo.

Next: 108. 4/20/22: It’s about the Process

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