26 July 2011

Dealing With the Class Clown

Busy morning preparing for the vet's arrival. It's coggins day at the farm.

Clean barn, clean paddock, clean horses...well almost!

I tied everyone close by so I could rinse them one-by-one. Zig was slated last, which left him plenty of time to cook something up. I was working furiously, trying to get everyone finished and dried before the vet arrived. I wasn't paying any attention to Ziggy and you know what happens when you don't pay attention to the class clown, right? 

He stepped forward with purpose, right onto the hose, noting with great satisfaction how the powerful spray turned into a useless dribble. Busy, distracted, concentrating on my own goals, I gently asked him to back that foot off. Totally compliant, he moved his foot and encouraged me to continue.

In a hurry to get finished in time, I noticed a slight shift and I was back to a trickle. Looking over, Zig was wearing a huge grin, eyes bright, tongue curled out the side of his mouth, his right front foot firmly squishing the life from the hose. I stood up and matched his grin and asked him to move that foot back. Totally compliant, he did just as I asked and then watched the poorly aimed stream blast Berlin in the face.

Yeah, ha ha, very funny! Typical class clown.

I was almost finished with Berlin when the water was interrupted a third time. I wish I had my camera to capture the rapture on the little red horse's face. Of course he was doing this on purpose. Of course he was trying to gain my attention. Of course I could have gotten angry, but what's the point?

Instead, I turned the tables on him. I stood up and pointed the hose at him and then asked him to move that foot yet again. Watching me closely, he refused to comply. The game had escalated. Now Zig finally had my undivided attention. He really wanted to play. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind... I still needed to rinse him, I needed to sweep the isle way, I needed to run back into the house to change out of my dirty and wet barn chores clothing, I needed to grab the checkbook, brush my hair, get the manure off my muck boots. The list was endless. All this processing occurred during our little Mexican standoff. While Berlin stood quietly, Zig's foot remained on the hose, while I pointed the nozzle at him. No one moved.

Then I heard three car doors slam. Oh no! The vet walked into the barn just as Zig stepped off the hose. A huge blast splattered across his chest, drenching me and raining droplets down on Berlin. The vet took a step back, her smile vanished as she surveyed the scene - I'm sure we were a sight.

This is what it's like dealing with the class clown - his love and desire to be the center of attention made me laugh once again.

The vet, however, was not laughing. Oh well, so much for trying to make a good impression!

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