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November 10, 2012: Raudi’s Story—Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

This morning I suggested to Alys that she let me compose today’s dispatch. Her response was a low grunt. She was too busy trying to figure out a way in which she might clear the stall mats of snow, manure, and urine. She finally decided to use the snow scooper and push it to the side before shoveling it into the sled. The one difference between us is that she has thumbs, which means that she’s able to do more around the place. I’m okay with this. Otherwise I’d have to give her a hand with clean up. I, who Alys now calls Princess Chub Chubs, have no interest in cleaning up after this crew. All, including Baby Hrimmi, shit where they may, leaving messes everywhere. I’m okay with the

Raudi eats and Signy works

large numbers around here, just so long as Alys keeps up the good work.

I asked, and Alys, before taking another load of manure out of the pen, told me that my book is nearly finished. Chris Romano, the illustrator, has completed the illustrations, and Pete’s now formatting the book for e-book publication. Alys also said that she’d do another read before the book goes to press. She added that she’d consult with me if anything appeared to her to be unclear.

I must say, this has been quite the collaboration. We began working on this project when I was being boarded at Katie and Bill Long’s Moose Creek Ranch. Alys would often sit by my stall and take notes. Then she’d later write them up. She says she has boxes full of notes and drafts in her cabin. I asked her if they are edible, and she said no.

The book has since become a collaborative effort. About a year ago, Alys mentioned that she found an illustrator for the book, to which I jokingly said that I thought that Siggi was going to do this. Previously, she’d shown us both an article about a horse that paints—the owner puts a brush, canvas, and paints before him, and he paints. I kid you not. The horse, who has no thumbs, paints. Siggi, who got visibly excited upon hearing about this, is still waiting for Alys to set him up. I told him that maybe she’ll give him an art kit for Christmas.

As I understood it, “our” illustrator, Chris Romano, is a friend of Alys’s who in the past has collaborated with her on work that’s appeared in The Icelandic Horse Quarterly. The best article of all was the one about my bolting. Gosh, that was such a long time ago. I have since learned that it’s a waste of energy to take off like that because it only makes a horse more hungry later in. Anyhow, the two worked well together, sharing ideas and drafts of the text and illustration.

Pete’s also given us a much-needed assist. The first draft of Raudi’s Story had Alys and my points of view. Then Alys decided to take out the parts in which I spoke. Pete saved the day, by telling Alys that he thought that my story was very interesting. So she took it out of the original text, and began working on it. In time, it became the book that you will soon have in hand. Alys also has very poor vision, so Pete again saved the day by proofreading my book several times. Alys is also not very computer savvy, and so Pete began working with Chris on formatting.

“Pete, Pete, Pete, isn’t he a wonderful guy?” Siggi often says. I have often told him that even though Alys has her limitations, that I love her dearly. This is because she loves me.

It’s looking like today’s going to be a pretty good day. I saw Alys glance over at the shed wall where the halters are hanging. This means that she’s planning on getting us all out. (It’s usually an all or none deal around here.) My favorite part of the day is when she gets me out and takes me over to the hitching post area. She puts a bucket of hay in front of me and before saddling me up, grooms me. Then we go for a ride.

Alys said that if the book sells, that she’ll take the money and buy me a new saddle. I replied “this is fine, just as long as the hay shed stays filled.”

Next: 336. 11/11/12: Rainbow Weighs In