A: So you are getting your share of food.
H: Yes. Siggi, who is my best friend, makes sure of this.
A: Are the others your friends?
H: Yes. Raudhetta likes me, although she didn’t at first. And Tinni, he was grumpy up until a few days ago when you started giving him glucosamine again. Yesterday he told me all about growing up in Iceland. Seems to me that it’s a lot like here in the winter, cold and windy. The one difference is that they don’t have many trees there. I like trees, and how they go creak, creak, creak in the wind.
A: So life is treating you well here?
H: Well, I miss my mother.
A: She’s right over there, in the foaling stall. We’re keeping here there until you both are weaned.
H: (Stomping her foot) I want her with me, here, now. I don’t know why you separated us. You have many good ideas, but this was not one of them.
A: I did this so that you would stop nursing.
H: But ohh, her milk is so good – always thick and creamy. You should try some. You take one teat and I’ll take the other.
A: I don’t think Signy would appreciate this. Look – she’s getting thin because you’re sucking the life out of her.
H: Just give her more hay.
A: But I’m already feeding her around the clock.
H: Get another clock.
A: Uhh Uhh.
H: What does Uhh Uhh mean?
A: It means no.
H: No is a word that I don’t understand.
A: No means no.
H: And uhh uhh means no?
H: I understand what yes means.
A: It’s the opposite of no.
H: I like yes better.
A: We all do.
H: Then why use the word no?
A: Because sometimes little horses do things they ought not do and need to be told this.
H: Well, you need to be more clear about this.
A: Okay. So when you are in my space and I want you out of my space, I’m going to say so.
H: Okay. Can I have some more hay.
H: Can you be more specific?
A: You cannot have any more hay.
H: All right then, I will go and eat with Mr. Siggi. He has plenty.
A: Hrimmi, if all your herd-mates jumped off a bridge, would you follow?
H: I don’t know what I’d do. I’ve been trained to follow. I now go over logs and around ice flows, and up steep hills. I am not fearless. I am very, very careful. Rainbow and Jenna often stay with me because Signy, she’s my mom, she barrels on ahead. But you know, she always tells me that I have the makings of a great trail horse.
A: What else has Signy told you?
H: She says that we have it very good here and that you and Pete are really nice people. She even told me once that she loves you both.
A: Do you know what love is?
A: I’m afraid I don’t know what no means.
H: Neither do I.
A: Back to your mother.
H: Yes, my mother, she told me all about your big trip. She badly wants to do another one. She really enjoyed herself, and would enjoy herself again if she wasn’t pregnant.
A: But you won’t be able to do such a trip until you’re 4 or 5.
H: I think you should wait until I’m old enough to go along, and then do another trip.
A: What if someone else cares for you while we’re away?
H: It would not be the same. I’d be very, very lonely.
A: Well, it’s not going to happen for a while. What’s your favorite thing to do?
H: Besides eating?
H: I love to run around in the woods – I ab-so-lute-ly love it. I do not like being ponied. Having a lead attached makes no sense at all to me. I know to follow the other horses and this is what I do. Someday you may need to put me on a line, but you don’t need to do this now.
R: (Coming over to the fence) Notice how Hrimmi has my coat color?
A: Yes. She’s a chestnut.
R: And notice how she has my soft, gentle eyes?
A: Yes. They’re also almond shaped.
R: And notice how she has my short back.
A: (Sighing) Yes.
R: And my wonderful disposition?
A: Yes. Raudi, does this mean that you’ve now accepted Hrimmi as being one of the Squalor Holler herd?
R: Yes. I, in particular have been teaching her what she needs to know, which is mainly to let me eat first.
A: I’m concerned that she might not be getting enough food.
R: You needn’t worry. We Icelandic horses don’t let our kind go hungry.
A: Are you sure?
R: Ever see a thin Icelandic yearling?
H: What does no mean?
R: Little horses should be seen and not heard.
A: So Hrimmi, everything IS going okay here?
H: Yes. I could actually use some more of that corn oats barley stuff you’ve been giving my mom, if you can spare it.
H: I don’t know what no means. So this means I’m getting just a bit more, right?
R: And me too?
A: (Sighing) I guess.
Next: 362. 12/8/12: Loss