Each of my days starts exactly the same way… in the barn doing the morning barn chores. It makes me happy to start each day with my “boys” Murphy and Tucker, we have nice little talks in the morning and I never get tired of the rich warm barn sights, sounds, and smells.
Here is a peak into my morning…
Murphy waiting at the gate… as soon as he sees me he starts pawing the ground to make sure there is NO doubt in my mind that he is hungry… No matter how early I go out to feed, in his mind I’m always “late”.
With his ground pawing message delivered, he heads towards the barn… sure that I will follow and feed him. Tucker usually hangs around a little longer being sociable… but then he too heads towards the barn.
More ground pawing, this time in his stall… This morning, when I didn’t feed Murphy right away, and took some pictures instead, he started moving his hay bucket from side to side with his head, banging the big empty bucket on the stall walls. He communicates quite well despite his lack of words…
The ground pawing, hay bucket rattling and banging both stop the instant the first flake of hay lands in Murphy’s feeder… He’s happy now, I’ve done my job (and I’m free to go, thankyouverymuch!).
Tucker’s hay gets tossed into the feeder in his stall next, but he waits… I’m acting differently this morning… I’m taking pictures. Tucker doesn’t like “different”. He waits outside, looking away from me and the different thing I’m doing but with his ears pointed towards me… he’s not looking at me but he’s acutely aware of what I’m doing. Just a moment after I took this picture he looked back over his shoulder at me… unable to look away any longer, too curious about what I might be doing with the strange little flashing box I brought to the barn.
A look back at the barn. I love the way the warm light makes the barn glow in the dim early morning…
Next I fill the water troughs… Tucker also stays well clear of that process, he hates water and would rather go hungry than chance getting wet. Murphy, on the other hand, lets nothing keep him from his breakfast….
By the time I’m closing up the barn, Murphy has already scattered his hay looking for and gobbling down the “best” parts… Tucker’s hay is still untouched, and if he doesn’t hurry Murphy will (after eating all of the “best” parts of his own hay) head next door to Tucker’s stall and eat the best parts of his.
Morning work done, I head back to the house… As soon as I start walking back, Tucker heads into his stall to finally eat his breakfast. Such a creature of habit, he always takes that first bite of hay then turns around and stands in the stall door, looking out while he chews. (Surveying “his” pasture… he’s all about keeping track of everything that happens there.) I knew if I waited by the fence he would look out…
It didn’t take long.
I love early mornings… it’s so beautiful outside and is such a blessing to have the grounding of taking care of the animals each day, keeping me in tune to their wants and needs, their gentle strength, the quirkiness of their personalities, the way they live entirely in the moment. They waste no energy in worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow, or even 10 minutes from now. They both just trust that hay will land in their feeder, water will be refilled, and they will be taken care of.
It kind of puts things into perspective… you know?