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May 3, 2012: Overdue

Overdue – when I used to hear this term, I thought of library books returned after the due date. These books were late in being returned because they were (supposedly) lost. We’d get notices in the mail, and I’d begin the hunt. I’d usually find them tucked between couch cushions, buried under stacks of newspapers, or at the foot of my bed. The last place seen was usually the last place found.

I remember one overdue book in particular – it was called Horse on a Houseboat. The notice came in the mail. I could not find it. It was not in the above places. I got worried because I thought that unless I found it, I’d be sent to jail. All Mom would say is “find it!” A second notice came, and then a third. As it turned out, I’d left it behind in the school cafeteria, and another student walked off with it. When she was done with it, she gave it back to me.

Overdue – when I now hear this term, I think of mares foaling after their due date. I see pregnant mares, rotund, with full milk bags, flaccid vulvas, and dropping hindquarters. Then I see one, standing by a gate, expectant, healthy, and in the peak of condition.



Arrggh—what’s going on here? I have a sneaking suspicion that Signy would much prefer to give birth in an open space and that the prospect of her giving birth in a foaling stall is not to her liking.

I wish that I could click my heels together three times and after, have a lush, green pasture at my disposal. Alas, our squatters pasture is still snow covered. This is life in Alaska for you. And if I did click my heels, I’d probably end up in a feed lot in Kansas.

We are making do with what we have; however, this isn’t going over very well with Signy fra Dareag Dair, well-traveled mare extraordinaire. (She was, after all foaled in Ireland, most likely in a large open pasture.) She knows better. Even last summer, she, Siggi, and Raudi got to spend time in open spaces. All are now bored because they can’t go far. They recently had their shoes pulled. This was right before the road grader went through, leaving rocks and gravel in its wake. And we cannot yet take to the trails for we want to give them time to harden up. (This is something, by the way, that the ATVers refuse to consider.)

Final animal behavior class tomorrow. I’ve been providing students with progress reports for the past four weeks. It does not appear as though I’m going to end the semester with a glowing report, that is one in which I conclude “Hrimfari is a fine looking colt.” Rather, I will simply say “overdue.” Book and non-book readers will all know what I mean.

Next: 147. 05/4/12: Earth to Raudi, Earth to Alys