|Quite Obviously a Case of Rogaine Abuse|
Superstitions and Thoroughbreds...
Gotta Love it!
On this farm, I decided to wean the old-fashioned way. The first thing I do is check for the sign. The sign is an off-shoot of some long forgotten secret society of Kentucky horse breeders who were expelled from The Odd Fellows Society for hanging around seedy places like racetracks, which in itself probably wasn’t that odd – though what they did with the winnings evidently qualified. However, they could keep a secret it seems. All most people can remember is that it has something to do with astrology, Bourbon, black mysticism, animal bones and an albino buffalo. Nancy Reagan could explain it better than I can though I am willing to try. Here goes:
Now according to “The Farmer’s Almanac,” that frightfully right-wing manual for potato farmers, each part of the body (apparently this also applies to humans, including children. More on those possibilities later.), corresponds with a particular constellation – the 12 signs of the Zodiac. This occurs when the moon wanders into say, Capricorn’s neighborhood. However, since the moon’s orbital cycle is about 28 days and somebody just randomly decided to add a day or two to some of the months of the year, the system is kind of sloppy. That leads to all that rising and falling stuff you read about in your daily horrorscope.
This system was actually formulated about 2000 years ago, though the Almanac didn’t say by whom exactly. Plus, there is the small matter of the origin of Thoroughbreds, which only dates back to the 1700’s and was not only contentious, but pretty arbitrary as well. Thoroughbreds were derived from Arabian horses (well, one Turkish horse too, but nobody likes to talk about that one), and given British colonial policy, probably stolen on top of it. The British actually liked the Arabian horse overall, but wanted something with longer legs. Once they achieved their goal, they changed its name and pretended the whole thing was their idea. That’s really why oil is so expensive.
But who decided on the birthday presents? Obviously it was Aires. He got the head. Virgo – poor buggar, he got the bowels. And Libra? A kidney. Aquarius got the legs, but Aqua is the root word for aquarium so he should have gotten something like fins or a good face mask. Ah, but there is Scorpio. Nothing like having your loins rising or falling every 28 days or so. Everybody else got appendages. Thighs, arms or a foot.
So according to our 2000-year old anonymous soothsayer, young horses should be weaned when the sign is below the body. Why? Because we’re weaning the ‘body.’ No, I don’t know what good a body is without some legs attached, but who am I to argue with twelve constellations, the moon, Nancy Reagan or Aunt Bea’s favorite moonshine recipe. This is tradition talking. Oh, children should always be weaned in December. You have at least six good days and they all fall before Christmas. That’ll save a few bucks. And guys, be careful about May. The Almanac says it’s a good month for castrations.
Regardless of which system you choose to deny a young horse his/her rightful udder,
this is what follows:
Most new weanlings follow the same routine. I call it the weanie shuffle. The weanlings all run around crazy for the first hour. Then they congregate in a corner to choose a leader. The guy that gets the long straw picks out a path and head to tail, they march around the paddock like soldiers on a scavenger hunt. Every so often, a voice from the wilderness will cause the formation to break up into small, noisy groups that think they heard something important. After a few minutes, they all decide it was a wrong number and return to their treks, only stopping occasionally to see if one of the group happened to sprout a bag. A bag being an unattached mammary gland, preferably one that was both available and full of something close to 2% milk fat. Colts are the worst, as they assume, quite illogically, that another colt’s penis has a mystical power to convert urine into milk, leading to all sorts of crotch snatching and less than sincere apologies. Fillies join in of course, but they categorically fail to reciprocate the favor. Instead, they just kick the offender senseless.
I can only stand about an hour of this nonsense before I retreat into the house. Sure I feel guilty, but the best thing I can do is watch the “Wheel of Fortune” and let the boys and girls process the mess. Besides, this is going to go on for at least a week, which is about the length of time it takes for me to lose my hearing and them to lose their voices. Now if I could just lose my vision.
UPS Guy: “Sign here, sir…ah, what’s that horse doing…is he…?”
Me: “Nothing, nothing.”
UPS Guy: “Well, I just took over this route…Geez! Look what he’s doin’! Can I get a picture of this?”
Good thing there was no YouTube in the 80's