Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches > Local Dispatch #361

Friday December 7, 2012: Hrimmi, today seven months old, weighs in

I had the following conversation with Hrimmi this morning, as I was grooming her. She was eating her third breakfast, and unusually conversant.

Alys: Happy Birthday Hrimfara. You’re now seven months old. What do you have to say for yourself?

Hrimfara: I think being seven months old is a good thing.

A: Do you?

H: Oh yes. This here hay, you know, it’s way better than the other stuff you feed us.

A: This is brome Hrimmi. The other stuff is a brome/timothy mix.

H: We all have to pick through the brome/timothy mix to get the brome.

A: What’s wrong with that?

H: It takes time. Raudhetta over there gets impatient and sometimes comes over to my pile and pushes me away. She thinks that my pile might contain more of the good stuff.

R: (From the distance) “It does!”

A: But are you getting your share? You look a little plump.

H: I’m getting my share, but I could use more. I look plump because I’m an Icelandic and Icelandics look plump. I also have a very thick coat. Feel it. Have you ever felt such a thick coat? I’m glad it’s been on the cold side. This coat of mine is mighty warm.

At first we mistook this photo for Raudi

Hrimmi and Raudi

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?

A: Yes.

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.

A: No.

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?

H: No.

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?

A: Yes.

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?

A: No.

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.

A: No.

H: I don’t know what no means. So this means I’m getting just a bit more, right?

A: Right.

R: And me too?

A: (Sighing) I guess.

Next: 362. 12/8/12: Loss