Alezane's Diary Archive August 2004
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Alli's bucketSunday 1 st August 2004
Oh, oh, big trouble! You know how I hate to be told off. Well, this morning, after I had finished my bucket I forgot that they were still around and went over to push Wick off his bucket as I have been doing lately, now that he has got so slow at eating. It all started when they got fed up waiting for him to finish so they would just gather up Treggy's and my buckets and go off and then collect his empty one when they came along next. Well, at first, Treg and I used to hang around and wait for him. We were waiting to go up to the top field and, being the nice guys we are, we thought it only polite to wait for Wick. Then the weather turned and the flies started to get very annoying while we had to hang around so, one day, I went back to Wick and asked him, very politely, if he wouldn't mind hurrying up as Treg and I were getting bitten to pieces by the flies. Well, do you know what he said? If I leave out all the bad words and that, it was basically that he felt sorry for the flies for they would all be feeling sick later, or words to that effect. Well, that did it! My ears went back and my teeth bared and I lunged for him. Of course, Wick dodged pout of my way and my head, accidentally ended up in his bucket. Somehow I couldn't keep my teeth together and the contents of the bucket started diminishing. At that point, Treg came along and started cheering and laughing. He thought it was a wonderful wheeze to hurry Wicky along. And, of course, after that, it started to become a habit. I'd finish my bucket and then go along with her for my treats while Treg finished his. And then, when they went off, I sort of helped old Wick along a bit with what he had left. To be honest, I don't think he really cared that much. It was only a few bits of carrot floating about in a lot of slobber. Still, as I told Treggy, it needed doing and somebody had to do it and so I had volunteered. It then took me a further ten minutes explaining to Treg that it was nothing to do with tears and crying. I think he got the idea in the end.
But then of course, I forgot myself and did it while she was watching. My eardrums nearly split when she shouted at me. Made me quite jump in the air. I just didn't know what to do. I hung my head (and pretended I couldn't hear Wicky chuckling) and slowly turned and backed out of the shelter. she changed then and started telling me that I was good for leaving it and I didn't like to tell her what I was going to do to Wicky later for that chuckle. Anyway, all ended well and we walked over to the bridle path gates for my treats. I really must learn to be more careful when she 's around.

The stable bunnyMonday 2 nd August 2004
”Treg, you seen that bunny around lately?”
“No, Wick. You gone and done it all wrong. It's supposed to start with me saying ‘ere, wick'. You can't just go and make up your own conventions like that, you know.”
“Good lord, Treg. You're sounding very clever, today. Where'd you hear a word like ‘conventions'?”
“Same place as you got ‘bunny' I suppose. Anyway, no.”
“No? No what, Treg. You are being particularly difficult today my son. What do you mean ‘no'?”
“No, I've not seen that bunny around lately.”
“Oh. Right. No, I've not seen him either. I do hope he's alright. It seems very strange that he came for breakfast all the time the kids were here and then, when they go, he vanishes.”
“You don't think … do you. They don't really eat rab…?”
“Don't say it, Treg. Don't even think it. They never would kill and eat a sweet little fellow like that. However…. They might have taken him home with them. I did here them say that they used to look after a rabbit once. Maybe they offered this one a home and he went off with them.”
“Be a bit silly to leave Dartmoor though. Where do they live? Is it as nice as here?”
“Not really sure, son. But it couldn't be as nice as this, could it?”
“Well, silly bunny. That's all I can say. Fancy going off like that.”
“There is a third possibility, I'm afraid Treg.”
“You don't mean?”
“Yes. The buzzard. That new baby bird has been flying around an awful lot lately, making that pitiful mewing sound. It could have got our little friend in one of its practice runs.”
“I know what I like to think, Wick. Our bunny has heard that baby buzzard and has gone into hiding until it goes away. He probably just nips out for a bite to eat at night when the buzzard is sleeping or whatever buzzards do.”
“That'd be nice, Treg. I hope that too. Let's keep a look out for him tonight, when we go out. Although, thinking about it, we go right up the hill and I expect he would come out down here, if he does.”
“I had another thought. He's only a little chap. Maybe his mother is keeping him in. Maybe he's been naughty or something and his mum said he can't go out until he starts being better.”
“That sounds like you are talking from experience there, Treg. Did you mum say that to you?”
“You want me to be honest, Wick? It was so long ago, I can't remember. But, I wouldn't be at all surprised. How about you? Were you a naughty little foal?”
“Me, Treg. How could you think that? If I had been a naughty foal how could I grow up in to such a serious and respectable gentleman that I am today?.
“That does rather answer my question, Wick. Don't you think?”

Off for my treatsTuesday 3 rd August 2004
I must tell Tregony. When they came along with breakfast this morning, that rabbit was hopping along down by the steam. I guess he just got tired of eating rolled oats and has branched out to something more adventurous. Anyway, Treg will be pleased. I think he got quite attached to the little chap.. I say, ‘I think' because I have to admit that when Treg rushes down to her to get his extra treats in the morning, he quite often nearly trod on the bunny as he went. I'm sure it was not deliberate but it doesn't show a lot of friendly consideration, does it? Wicky is just as bad. Whenever they arrive with the buckets, Wick always goes to meet them at the gate. Then, he runs (not walks, or trots or canters – runs) along side of him all the way up to the field shelter. And you know Wicky and food. Nothing gets in the way. I've noticed several times that the poor little rabbit has had to run for its life so that Wick doesn't trample all over it. I'm sure they are both genuinely fond of the little chap, it's just they are not very sensitive to other creatures feelings. I know for a fact that they don't care about mine. Often I will come across them talking about me and instead of going quiet until I've gone away, as a normal person would, I'm sure they talk all the louder so that I will hear them. I'm afraid that they just cant help being jealous of my breeding, being only common non thoroughbreds. It makes them a bit like that. But, of course, I am above all that. If they want to act like silly children, let them. I just ignore it. At least, I do on the surface. But underneath I store it all up. And sometimes I get a chance to get my own back, like when Wick takes so long over his bucket. I know the one thing Wicky holds more sacred than anything else – his food. So, if no-one is watching I go over to him with his head deep in his bucket and I just push him off. Then he has to watch as I finish his food up all by myself. Each mouthful I remember a time when he has been rude or mean about me and when I see the look on his face as the food goes down, I just smile to myself. It's a bit different with Treg. He is so easy to boss around anyway that there is really very little I can do that he wont help me with. If I push him and say ‘get over there, Tregony' he just moves away and says ‘is this far enough, Alli. Would you like me to go a little further'. If I tell him that I never want to see him again, he goes and stands behind me and say' is this alright, Alli. You can't see me now, can you?'. And, the thing with Treg anyway is that he may talk about me with Wicky but he only does it to make Wicky happy. There is really not one single nasty bone in Treg's body. I think that's why I fell in love with him when we first met. He really is such a sweetie.

Treg has an eye to the carrotsWednesday 4 th August 2004
”I ain't standing for it. No more I aint. I been pushed around for long enough. There comes a time in the affairs of horses when one has to stand up and be counted. Ere, who said that Wick?”
“I believe you did Treg, I wasn't listening.”
“No, I was quoting someone, I think. You know, it's strange how things just pop into my head sometimes.”
“I think it strange that anything should want to pop into you hear, Treg. Unless, of course, they just want to be alone.”
“That's it, Wick. It's happening to you too. No who was it that said that they wanted to be alone? Someone famous, I'm sure.”
“They didn't need to be famous, Treg. Just standing next to you will do it, most times.”
“And, who's Toby?”
“I have no idea who Toby is Treg. What has that got to do with things?”
“It's this voice in my head, Wick. You know, the one I was telling you about. He keeps saying ‘Toby or not Toby?'. I really wish he would make his mind up and give Toby a call. Then maybe I could get a bit of peace.”
“You know, Treg, never in the field of equine endeavour ha…..”
“Don't go on, Wick. He's said that as well. And then he goes on for ages after that. I have tried humming to drown out the noise but then I find that he just sings the words along with me.”
“Have you thought of a psychiatrist, Treg? No, I haven't Wick. Do you think it might be him. Tell me where he lives and I'll go along and ask him to get out of my head. It's not a very big brain and there is only room in there for me, not him as well. What was his name again, Sy who?”
“Tell you what, Treg. How about we try a bit of relaxation therapy. I heard somewhere about this thing, I think she found out about it at Paignton Zoo. It's a way of letting yourself go all limp and floppity and then all your problems go away. It's worth a try anyway. If it's good enough for the wild animals then it should take your little voices away, Treg.”
“OK Wick. I'll give it a go. What do I have to do?”
“To be honest, I'm not really sure. Have to ask Alli, she'll know. she tells her everything.”
“So what do I say to her, Wick? You know all these clever things.”
“Just ask about she at zoo, that should do it.”
“What if I forget, Wick. You know my memories like a sieve. I'm quite likely to get up to her and then forget what I was going to say.”
“Tell you what, Treg. Just say the first thing that comes into your head. That should do it!”

StooksThursday 5 th August 2004
”Ere Wick ?”
“Hello, Tregony, my old mate. What can I do for you this morning?”
“Wassa stook, Wick?”
“A stook, Treg. Do you say stook?”
“Yeah, Wick. Stook. I'm sure that's how he said it.”
“Well, what about it, laddie?”
“Do you know what it is? he said he was going to take some pictures of the stooks. I thought maybe it was them birds what bring babies and it got me a bit worried. We've got enough of them kids with Ben and Rachel. We don't need no more, do we Wick?”
“I'm no' sure that he meant ‘storks' Treg. If he said ‘stooks' then he probably meant it. Tell you what. Let's ask Alli.”
“You sure that's a good idea, Wick. You know she'll only laugh at us for not knowing what it means.”
“She laughs at us anyway, Treg. She's so stuck up that she thinks we don't know anything anyway. Come on. If you really want to know then there's no option. Unless, of course, you want to ask him ?”
“Oh no, Wick. he thinks I am silly enough, as it is. If I ask him he'll probably put it up on Alli's diary and then the whole world (and Ecuador ) will know that I didn't know the word.”
“Right then, Treg. No time like the present. Alli! Alli, can you come over here? Treg wants to ask you something.”
“And you, Wick. You don't know the word either, do you?”
“Shhsh, Treg, here she is. Oh, Alli. Treg was just wondering what a stook was and I thought you could probably explain it better than me.”
“Oh, did you Wick? Well, tell you what. You tell him and I'll come in if you seem to be getting into difficulties. How about that?”
“Er, um, well, Alli. I wouldn't want to compete with you. I'm sure you can tell it better than me.”
“Well, that's just where you are wrong, Wick. I know I am a French princess and all that but I've never heard of the word ‘stook'. So you had better give Treg your version.”
“Oh, Frogs! Alright, Alli, I'll own up. I've never heard of the word either. I just thought ….”
“You just thought you would brave it out and get me to explain it and then say that was what you were going to say, eh Wick? Well tough. You've been caught out. What do you think of your old pal now, Treg? Treg? Where's he gone?”
“I think he just wandered off, Alli, while we were talking. look, he's down there, talking to that rabbit by the stream. Hey, Treg old son. What are you doing?”
“Thanks Mr Bunny. Now I know. That was very interesting. I'd better get back to my friends now. At least I know what a stook is now.”
“What were you talking to that rabbit about, Treg?”
“Oh, nothing, Wick. Just passing the time of day, you know.”
“Well, it looks like Alli doesn't know what a stook is, after all. Who shall we try next?”
“Oh, never mind about that now, Wick. Forget it. Let's get some lunch, eh?”

'Ere Wicky?Friday 6 th August 2004
We should have known, this morning, when she put me on a head collar and took me up to the Throwleigh Road field for my treats, instead of down to the bridle path gates, we should have know something odd was going to happen. Not that anything did all morning. he had put the bar across, so we couldn't get back into the field shelter to get away from the flies and no-one came all morning so we had to shelter under the trees, particularly Treg's favourite one, down by the stream. We spent quite a bit of time talking about why we thought we had been shut in the TR field. I was sure it meant that Mark the farrier was coming. I don't think it is really time for him yet but, as she says. our clenches have risen already, so it could have been him. Treggy was much more pessimistic (although not very logical). He was sue it must be wormer time and he just kept shuddering and making ugh sounds. When I explained that, if that was the case, he would have done it when he brought our breakfast, Treg just said ‘maybe he forgot'. Wicky then said ‘so why did he remember to shut us in this field then?' but Treg just said Ugh again and rolled his eyes.
Finally, at about 12.30, they drove up and parked in the field. A few moments later, Phil the vet appeared and the first thing they did was to put Wick on a head collar and lead him into the field shelter. I didn't quite see what happened next but Phil squatted down in front of Wick and he had a needle in his hand. After that, WICK seemed to go dopey, just standing there with his head down and rocking gently on his toes. Then it all became clear. It was dentist time! I don't remember if I told you the bad behaviour that we had the last time they tried to do Wicky's teeth? You must have seen the photos. Wick has not got the best set of teeth in the equine world. Most of them are worn and mal formed and one sticks out of his mouth at a very funny angle. A series of vets have attempted to do something about it but the last time Wick bucked and jumped so badly that, when he was short tied to the gate, he lifted it of its hinges so they just gave up defeated. Anyway, for some reason, Wick made very little fuss this time and Phil was able to give his teeth a good old rasp and seeing to. He said that there was little point in doing much to the sticking out one as it would make no difference to Wick, it would only be for cosmetic purposes. Now, the thought of Wick and cosmetics just don't go together at all. I'm sure he quite enjoys looking like that. Makes him appear macho and makes up for his small stature.
Anyway, I was next and very brave I was too. I did pull away a bit when he went to work on that tooth that has caused a sore place on my gum but both he and she told me what a courageous girl I was being and by the time I had used up all that flattery, it was all over. And guess where Treg was? Hiding behind the field shelter. Why he thought that they wouldn't think to look there I don't know. But, give him his due, once caught he gives in gracefully and just stands there stoically and lets Phil get on with it. When it was all over we all had some mints. Wick was still acting strangely. He took his but didn't push forward or anything. In fact, he was funny for a few hours afterwards. When he finally got back to normal, he said to me. ‘Alli, I had the funniest dream. I dreamed that you moved over and left me half of you supper to eat'. I just looked at him and ‘Wick. Dream on, sonny' and walked away.

Tum-de-tum-de-tum!Saturday 7 th August 2004
“Tum – de – tum – de –tum –de tum, Tum – de – tum – de –tum –de …..”
“For goodness sakes, Treg. Will you no' put a stop to it? What on earth has got into you today?”
“Tum – de – tum – de –tum –de….what's that Wick? Tum – diddle, tum …”
“SHUT UP Treg! Just be quiet. You are, what Eastenders would call ‘doing my ead in' with you tum de tiddleum and all that. What is it laddie? Are you not feeling very well?”
“S'foke, innit, Wick. Foke Festival time. We've all got to go Tum de tum for the next few days.”
”You may have to go tumdetum, old man but I certainly do not have to. What is Foke, anyway. It cant be a new make of horse nuts, can it?”
“I expected more from you than that, Wick. You a Dartmoor Hill pony and all that. It's what all the Dartmoor people do once a year. You know – jumping about and bomp te bomping and sleeping in tents and stuff. Don't you remember last year. That big bearded one, James, came along to it with his unmusical instrument. He did all that. And another thing, that just reminded me. You have to drink a lot.”
“No wonder the stream is getting a bit low, Treg. Do you mean that all of Dartmoor are coming along here to drink our stream?”
“ Dartmoor and Birmingham , Wick. It seems as if the idea of going boomp de boom and drinking a lot has caught on there too. Except they don't have a stream up there so they have to come and drink ours.”
“Well, I could accept that, I suppose, if it's a matter of helping folks out what have no stream of their own but couldn't they do all the dum te dum and boom de boom back there first and then come down here?”
“Aint you never heard of writual, Wick. It wouldn't be the same unless they did the dum to boomity and the drinking all at the same time. Its sort of what they call a writual reality, I think. Anyway, it just has to be. So I think, alright, if you cant beat ‘em then start doing the tum diddle tumity along with them. It's sort of catchy in the end. You find it's hard not to do it.”
“I find it very easy not to do it Treg. And I'm sure with a little knee biting and some general spiritual guidance, you'll find it easy to stop as well.”
“Er … well, alright, Wick, if you put it like that. But it still worries me what's so special about our water.” Clop, clippedy, clop, clop.
“For goodness sake, Treg. Now what's the matter. Has a fly bitten you?”
Cloppedy, clip, clip. “No, Wick, I'm fine.” Clip, clop, clip, clop, clippedy. “No flies, just a bit of Maurice.”
“Maurice has bitten you, Treg? Who on earth is Maurice? And anyway, I didn't see anyone. Stand still man, stop jerking about like that.”
“That's not jerking, Wick. It's dancing. Maurice dancing. It's all part of the Foke. I thought if you didn't want me singing, then I could do a bit of Maurice instead.”
“Now look here, Treg, if you …. Oh, what's the use. It is only once a year, after all. Tell you what, Treg. You see that corner of the top field, way up over there. I heard that it was part of the festival and the best place for dum te dumming and clippedy clopping. How about you go and pay it a visit?”
“Oh, great, Wick, I will. Do you want to come along too. It'll be lots of fun.”
“I'm sure it will, laddie, but you'll have to excuse me this time. I've got to go and have a little chat with Alli about you!”

Enjoying the rainSunday 8 th August 2004
Strange how Wicky worries about Tregony. A lot of the time you see them bickering and arguing and you would think that they didn't get along at all well. And now, here Wicky is, coming up to me and worrying about his friend's mental condition. Funny really, especially as Tregony has never been anything else than how he is now. He is not going senile, he has nowhere to go. It is a bit like saying Treggy's going to Ninefields. He has always been a simple soul. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean that he's an idiot, far from it. Treggy can be as wise and the next cob. It's just that his whole basic approach to life is on a more elementary level than your average ant. He is a nature lover and all for the simple life. Little things both please him and worry him. The sight of a wormer will make him run in panic and yet, at the same time, he will try to avoid trading on any pretty flowers in his flight. He has a coltlike approach to most things. I don't know if it has to do with any lack of short term memory but he seems to approach everything as if it's a new concept. He was like this last year when the folk festival was on. He enjoyed every minute of it. You could see him standing in the high fields with his ears cocked trying to catch the sounds of the music drifting this way on the breeze. And, if he thought no one was watching, you could catch his feet moving about in time with the music. The only thing that is different this year is that he seems to have lost that coyness about his singing and dancing. Has even got a bit braver, you could say. I think, if anything, it is Wicky who has changed. He seems to get more and more concerned about his old friend. Maybe Wick is starting to feel his own age a little and transfers his fears to Tregony subconsciously. They have always come as a package, those two and they do really care for each other.
As for the folk festival, we are all hoping that the weather holds out for them. They have had two glorious days of sun and blue skies but all the forecasts for today are pessimistic and threatening heavy rain and high winds. So far this morning it has been a bit cloudy and we have had one light and very short shower. If they manage to get through to midnight before the really bad weather comes then everyone will be happy. Somehow it's not so bad packing up and going home in the rain. It's sometimes worse if you have to leave the sunshine behind you and go back to work. To be perfectly honest though, we horses don't really care. If it rains too much we just stand in the field shelter and watch. Makes one a bit sorry for humans, really.

Oh, fetlocks!Monday 9 th August 2004
”Fetlocks! Froggin' fetlocks! It aint fair!”
“Whoa, hold on Treg. What's up old boy?”
“It's not as if I asked for much. Just aint right and I'm real fed up. That's what!”
“Fed up about what, mate. Tell your old pal, Wicky, all about it.”
“If there's one thing I can't stand, it's stealing. At least, stealing from me, that is.”
“Quite right too, laddie. Who's been stealing from you? What have you lost?”
“If I knew who it was, I'd … I'd … well, I would, that's all.”
“I'm sure you would, Treg. Now, laddie. What have they taken, tell me that?”
“My tree, that's froggin' what.”
“Someone's stolen a tree? Are you sure, Treg? Was it a big tree?”
“Not a whole tree, Wick, don't be silly. You know, my tree.”
“The one you always use to scratch your back on? The one you make all those tram lines along your back with? Is that he one? Look, no one's taken it, it's still over there by the stream, see. Everything's alright my man.”
“Not my back scratcher, Wick. My EATING tree. That's what. Someone's bin eating my eating tree!”
“Oh, that one. The one in the Throwleigh Road field that you nibble the leaves from, while Alli and I are getting minty sweets out of him ? That tree?”
“Of course that fetlocking tree, Wick. And someone has been eating all my leaves. That's what's the matter. Do you understand now?”
“Well, this is very serious Treg. When di you notice it?”
“When I stirrupin' went to eat it, of course. When do you think I spavined noticed it?”
“All this bad language won't get you anywhere, Treg. Let's approach it rationally and logically. Now who on earth could have done such a thing?”
“It don't need no fetlockin' rationing or logic Allis to sort this out. What it needs is for someone to get a whopping great kick up the b… “
“I can see we're not going to get very far until you cool down a bit, laddie. How about we take a little stroll up there and have a look at the damage. Maybe we can find some clues.”
“Oh, alright then. But I warn you. It will probably make me angry again when I see it. This has really upset me good and proper, it has.”
“Come along then Treg. Let's go and see, shall we.”
“I'm coming. ‘Ere, what you going that way for? I thought we was going to look at this froggin' tree.”
“We are, Treg, we are. It's this way, isn't it?”
“Er, no, …er, yes, well er.. maybe. It's just that I thought … Oh, right, of course it is. I'm coming.”
“It's about here, isn't it Treg? Is it that tree over there by the wall along the bridle path?”
“Yeah, that's the one. Now look … Ooh! ‘Ere, Wick, you know what. They've gone an' put the leaves back. It's just how I left it. Oh, I'm so relieved. My tree. My lovely scrummy tree. Now, who would do a thing like that, Wick, eh?”
“This is the tree, Treg?”
“Yeah, I know my tree, don't I?”
“And this is where you went before, when you found it missing?”
“How do you mean ‘found it missing' Wick? Isn't that what you call an oxymoron?”
“Oh no, Treg, oh no. If anything's a fetlockin' moron round here …..”

once a sucker, always ....Tuesday 10 th August 2004
You know, sometimes I get to thinking about things. I must admit that it's not always comfortable when I do, either. The old boys were off in the rain having a bite to eat this morning and I was standing, sheltering in the field shelter – I mean, there's no point in getting soaked through, now is there? Anyway, as I was saying, I was standing there when my thoughts turned to him . I have to admit that it gave me a sort of warm glow at first, you know, just thinking about him and his buckets and pockets full of carrots and mint sweets and apple biscuits and stuff. I stood there quite a long while thinking that, at least, about the buckets and pocket bit. Then I realised what I was doing and, do you know what, I started to feel a bit ashamed. Slowly I started to realise that he didn't have to do all that. I think it must have been the sight of him this morning, as he walked down the field. he is looking a lot older than when I first knew him and he was looking a bit tired even though he was trying to call out to us as if he was very cheerful. I think what made me start to feel really bad was when I remembered how I bully him for those treats. Especially in the evening when there is only him and he is trying to be fair and make sure both Treg and Wick get their share as well. I know I'm doing it. I do it on purpose to try and get as much as possible, even when my mouth is so full that you would think I couldn't take another drop. And all the while, he is telling me what a good girl I am and so on. I just cant help it. I nudge and push and crowd him and keep on at him , even when he says ‘that all, no more'. First, I know he is fibbing, he thinks I cant see his pockets bulging and second, well, second, that's what I am, I suppose. I get this dreadful urge to do something and then move on, as quick as I can, to the next thing. I do it when I am being tacked up, with the farrier and, of course, when I am eating. he says that I am really like a collie dog, always wanting to do things but I think it just goes back to my breeding and training. I am a race horse, bred to go fast and trained to go as fast as I possibly can. So I am given a carrot and I gulp it down and am then ready for the next one. It's not that I am hungry, with all these acres of grass between just the three (well really, two and a half) of us and then regular extra food buckets morning and night, it would be really difficult to get hungry. No, it's just that I am bred for speed. The biggest pity is that Wicky isn't. he has to stand and wait until Wick has finished his bucket and that is when I bully him . I am afraid Wicky's problems are that he loves his food and so wants to savour every morsel while, at the same time, he is a bit lacking in the tooth department so that eating takes him longer than anyone else.
So, while I stood there and pondered, I decided to turn over a new leaf and try to not bully him any more. I will be calm and reasonable and never try to chase thi …., oh, excuse me, that looks like our buckets arriving. Cant stop now, got to rush, talk to you later, bye!”

Bet you can't guess what Wick is doing?Wednesday 11 th August 2004
”'Ere, Wicky?”
“Hmmm? What was that Treg?”
“You alright, Wick? You've got a sort of far away look. Not feeling ill I hope?”
“Hmmm, oh no Treg. Never felt better. Lovely in fact. I was remembering this lovely dream I had the other day when Phil the vet came.”
“Oh, that time when you went all funny and started rocking back and forth on your little wobbly legs? Was you dreaming then, Wick?”
“It felt so real, Treg. It was wonderful. You see, there was this great big bucket, standing there right in the middle of the field. I don't know how it got there. I didn't see anyone bring it. In fact, it was so big I don't know who could have brought it. But, there it was, right in the middle of the grass. A great big yellow bucket.”
“Yellow eh? That's your colour bucket, isn't it Wick?”
“That's right Treg. I knew it must be for me because it was yellow. And the smell! Oh, it was glorious. Sort of warm short feed with overtones of sugar beet. You know, like we used to have when we first came here.”
“Cor, yeah! I remember them. They was loverly, wasn't they Wick? And, you say, that was what you could smell coming from this great big yellow bucket?”
“That's right, laddie. No mistaking it. I stood there for just a moment longer, savouring it. Then, I couldn't stand it any longer, I went running across the field right up to it. And, funny. The nearer I got, the bigger the bucket got as well. By the time I was right up to it, it was towering up way above my head.”
“Oh no, Wick. So what did you do?”
“You're right, Treg. It certainly was ‘oh no!'. The delicious smell was driving me mad. I was almost certain as well that there were sweet minty overtones as well. I was trembling all over. In fact I was shaking. Harder and harder I shook until the vibrations started making me rise up in the air. just like those birds do when they are milling around the oats he throws out for them. Up, up, up I went. I could see the rim of the bucket getting closer and closer, the sweet smell getting stronger and stronger. And then, just as I was level with the top and I could see …”
“Yes, Wick. What could you see? What happened?”
“I could see piles and piles of lovely short feed. Mountains and mountains of sugar beet all mixed up with apples, carrots, mint sweets, biscuits, sugar lumps, …”
“Sugar lumps. You didn't say sugar lumps before. I like sugar lumps!”
“Shuttup Treg, this is my dream! Yes, sugar lumps. Hundreds of them. And I waggled my legs and flew up over the brim and right over the middle of the bucket. Then, I just stopped shaking and, sure enough, I fell right into the middle of all that food.”
“Oh, Wicky. You never, did you? How wonderful!”
“Yes, and then, of course, I opened my mouth and took a bite.”
“Don't tell me. It all vanished?”
“No, it didn't. It was wonderful. The taste was like nothing you've ever tasted in your life. It was just heaven, Treg.”
“Just heaven? Wow, Wick, you're so lucky. Then what happened?”
“Oh, the usual. I ate and ate and ate and then felt so full up that I went and lay down for a little rest. And when I woke up, the bucket was gone but I didn't mind, I felt so sort of peaceful inside. There was just one thing though.”
“And what was that, Wick?”
“I just found myself wondering if it was time for him to come along with our supper as I was feeling a bit peckish.”

Oke showThursday 12 th August 2004
I had a chat with him this evening when I went along to the gate for my final treats of the evening. We had our bit of a cuddle as we always do and then I asked him what he had been up to today. he said he had been along to the Okehampton Agricultural Show to take some photos for that other website that he is involved with. I don't envy him, it poured with rain all this morning. We even had a thunderstorm, right overhead. I asked him if he had got very wet. Yes, he said, he did get wet and so did everyone else there but that hadn't stopped people from going which had made him very pleased. Everyone puts in so much work for the show, he said. All the farm animals – the bulls, the cows, the pigs and the sheep had all been brought to the peak of condition and groomed to perfection. You could see that even if they were all dripping with rain. There were some funny animals there too. There were llamas and alpaccas which I am sure are not native to Okehampton (must have been brought in from Hatherleigh or even possibly Cornwall – I must ask Treg about them!). There were also some ducks which, strangely, were covered up to keep the rain off. Apparently he told someone there that he knew about this and they didn't find it strange at all. They have ducks who won't go out in the rain, just sit in their house muttering until it stops. There were also some animals indoors – rabbits and some funny pigeons, other pigs, chickens and other fowl. There were some wonderful owls, apparently, who just stood silently still on the log they were tethered to until the stallholder fetched them to stand on a child's hand. And, what else? Oh, of course there were tractors and diggers and quad bikes and, he says, the most wonderful machine a ‘car wash' thing for cows. Then there was a display of old farm machinery – steam engines and the like – with some classic cars and tractors as well.
he had gone on like this for quite some time, when he noticed that I had gone quiet. ‘Am I boring you?' he asked and then he realised what had upset me. ‘Oh, of course, there were horses there too' he said. In fact, apart from displays of heavy horses and miniature ponies there was a large part of the show given over to equestrian competitions and show jumping. ‘Did you take any pictures of them?', I asked. ‘Of course', He said. ‘And did you see any horse more beautiful than me?', I demanded. he gave me a lovely smile, kissed me on my muzzle and said ‘Never, my lovely Alezane, never!'

The thought that nearly wasFriday 13 th August 2004

“Is that you, Treg? What can I do for you?”
“Alli. What was you and him talking about last night, down by the gate?”
“Oh, just things, you know Treg. Just telling him things to put in my diary.”
“Oh. Your diary? Alli, why can't I have a diary?”
“You, Treg, a diary? Well, er .. but, you have Treg. You've got your log, haven't you?”
“Is that what a diary is, Alli. Just a log?”
“A sort of log, Treg. It's just that it doesn't need to be only about official things, you can put other things in it as well.”
“What, like minty sweets and carrots and things. Like that?”
“Er, not quite like that, Treg. Although you can talk about carrots and things. Just not put real carrots and apples in the diary.”
“Ha! So it's not that good then. My log, you can put real things in – or at least, on. I have been working on that squirrel to dig a hole in it for me but, so far, he's been too busy.”
“Quite, Treg. What a good idea. So you see, you don't really need a diary, do you?”
“Well, still, it would be nice. You know Alli. I sometimes get a little bit jealous of the way you and him always seem to be cuddling up together and whispering. he is our friend as well, you know.”
“Jealous, Treg? Jealous? That is silly. It's nothing but a business relationship, you know. he has got fingers to be able to type my diary (well, two, at least) and so I need him and have to butter up to him and keep him sweet. Nothing more than that.”
“You sure, Alli. It's not a way to get better treatment than us. A way to make sure he gives you bigger dinners and more carrots?”
“Silly, Treg, as if I would! And, anyway, he doesn't do the dinners, she does. If I wanted to try and get bigger dinners I would need to get in with her not him . And it wouldn't do me any good, I've tried. Hard as horseshoes, she is. You might just as well try getting Wick to go on a diet as get extra rations out of her . Now, what were you saying?”
“Well, as long as I know. You wouldn't fib to me, would you Alli. There really is no advantage in having a diary?”
“Treg, they're more trouble than they're worth. Believe me, old son. I often wish I hadn't started it. I spend all my time finding things for him to write about and half the time he is ‘too busy' he says to type it up for me.”
“Maybe he 's too busy because he is doing things for us, like getting our food, clearing up after us, looking after our rugs and stuff like that?”
“Don't you believe it, Treg. he 's off having a good time, roaming all over the place to shows and fetes and folk festivals and the like. Oh no, he 's not busy at all!”

Sticklepath dog showSaturday 14 th August 2004
”'Ere, Wick?”
“Aye, Treg, I'm her, laddie.”
“D'you know where he went today?”
“Amaze me, Treg. Where did he go today?”
“ he went to the Sticklepath Flower Show and Dog Show and Village Fete to get some photographs.”
“I thought he had some photographs, Treg. What does he want some more for?”
“Dunno Wick, now you come to mention it. But he does. It sort of seems he can never get enough. You know, like you and food.”
“Ah, right, now I understand Treg. But, why on earth a Dog Show ? What have they got to show, after all. Just a lot of silly panting creatures without a brain cell in their ugly looking heads. Why would he want a photo of that?”
“I don't think they are all like Michael's collies, Wick.”
“Nonsense, Treg. I've seen hundreds of them. It's not just collies. They are all the same. Run this way, run that way, huh, huh, huh, pant, pant, pant then bark, bark, bark. Just a waste of space and good food. I mean, what do they do? Nothing, just act silly.”
“Well, Wick, whatever, he went there today. And, do you know what? They had a food display there as well.”
“Oh, well, that's more like it. I expect the people of Sticklepath need some sort of reward for putting up with all those canines.”
“That's them sticks to grow their runner beans on, aint it Wick. That's why there were such good beans at the show, I expect. I'll ask him when I see him in the morning.”
“What are you talking about now, Treg? What sticks?”
“Glue, Wick.”
“Joke, Wick. I just thought of a joke.”
“You do keep changing the subject. It's hard to keep up with you, Treg. Oh, alright, go on, tell me your joke if you must.”
“That was it, Wick. Glue, gettit? Glue sticks!”
“I'm sorry, Treg, I really don't see what is funny about glue sticks. Just forget it and tell me more about the food. That is much more interesting.”
“I'm not sure that you would find it very interesting, Wick. According to him it was all home made jam, home made bread and cakes and home grown onions and stuff. But when I asked him about home grown carrots, he says he cant remember seeing one.”
“And this is a show he wastes his time going too? All dogs and no carrots? Must be mad.”
“Well, Wick, it takes all sorts, as they say.”
“No Treg, it takes minty sweets and carrots. And don't you forget it my son.”

foal at showSunday 15 th August 2004
Never still for a moment, those two. they went to SWEP again today. Apparently there were some things she needed to clear up for the SWEP website and he thought he might just as well take his camera along as well. Just in case, you understand. they were lucky. Had a good morning for it. The weather is so very changeable these days, not like summer at all. Or, at least, it is. But it shouldn't be. Anyway, they had sunshine for the trip. I make it sound like they were going for a long journey. It's really not so very far but it is right on the other side of Dartmoor , as far as you can get diagonally. Except, of course, you cant. Diagonally, I mean. You have to go in a square right round the moor because there is no road that runs across the moor north east to south west. They have to drive down to Tavistock and then along the side of the moor to just past Yelverton. Coming back they do take the road across the moor from Yelverton to Princetown and then on to Moreton but then again, there is the long run alongside the moor back from Moreton to South Zeal. Now, if you are reading this in another country (like Cornwall ) then you wont know the places I'm talking about. But then, neither do I. I have only his word for it and, as he is the one who will have to type this up, I don't argue with him. Anyway, I was telling you about their visit. Apparently, when they were there, there were several foals being looked after, one with its dam but the others, orphans. As he told me I felt my knees go all wobbly and I felt gooey all over. I love foals and I could look after one for them. It made me remember my girls all over again. I think if I hadn't been born to be a racehorse I would have loved to be a professional mother. My dream life would be living in a great big green field, in spring with no flies with a permanent foal running about and coming back to me for reassurance and food. I don't believe I would need anything else – no farrier, no vet (except to ensure my foals were OK), not even any extra carrots. I gather that this South West Equine charity is always looking for loan homes for the horses and ponies they rescue. I wonder if I could persuade them ……?”

Coming and goingMonday 16 th August 2004
I've noticed that she doesn't come along to see us in the evening any more. It does mean that I can get away with a lot more than I could if he were not on his own but it did worry me that she might be losing interest in us or something. I mean, for goodness sake, she is the one who makes the buckets ( he just carries them) and the amount that he knows about horses you could write on one of Treggy's brain cells (although what you would write on the other one, goodness only knows). Anyway, I asked him what the problem was and apparently there is no problem. She just is either busy with her SWEP website just at the time he is going out or she is feeling a bit tired or the weather is bad or whatever. she is neither going off us or getting progressively more unwell, so that is good news. The even better news is that it means I will still be able to bull.. erm .. coax him into giving more treats than I would get if she was there to supervise.
It's really almost like a ballet the way we all move around in the field shelter when we have our evening buckets. First, the outdoor bit. Wicky always waits (like the little creep he is) by the gate to get his mouthful of sugar cubes to walk down the field with. It used to be apple biscuits until he noticed that the trot down the field tended to jog them out of Wicky's mouth round the numerous gaps in his teeth. he felt so sorry for Wicky that he now brings him sugar lumps instead which dissolve instead of falling out. Then I usually make my way up to the gate, flattening my ears and pretending to bite the rump of any male equine who is foolish enough to be standing in my way. In practice this is Wicky because Treg has more sense than to try to go where I am going. When I get to the gate he gives me the end of a carrot and then I move back to let him open the gate (I'm good like that – and it speeds things up a bit). When he walks in, carrying the buckets, he always makes a point of walking up to Treg, wherever he may be skulking, and giving him a carrot end equal to mine. In fact, I sometimes suspect that he gives Treg a bigger one than me because he feels sorry for him. Then starts the walk down to the stream, over it and up to the field shelter. Wicky usually tries to walk alongside him , putting him between me and himself to avoid any more rump nipping. Wicky and him get to the field shelter first because I usually go off deeper into the field and do a bit of a detour. But no matter how late I am, Treg always waits outside until I have made my way in, by which time Wicky has his nose buried in his bucket and mine has been placed (temporarily) in an old rubber car tyre on the floor. After I have my head down, he always walks behind me to allow Treg safe passage to his bucket. Then there is a few moments sile .., well, I was going to say silence but to be truthful, we are not the quietest of eaters. I cant help it, I like to toss my bucket around. And if the car tyre gets in the way it gets thrown around as well. It sure helps to separate the bucket contents that he has been at such pains to mix up. And when I finish my bucket, my treats begin – right up to the time when old Wick either finishes or gives in. It's not a bad life, when you think about it!

harriet close upTuesday 17 th August 2004
he was very worried today, they both were. It's that brown female cat Harriet again, coughing and spluttering, just when they thought she was over it. You may remember how they nearly lost Harriet not so long ago, how she lost all that weight, went off her food and kept coughing. after a lot of vet intervention including blood tests, x-rays and even suggested acupuncture, Andrew (who has now left the vet practice) hit upon steroids and this seemed to do the trick. Apparently it's amazing how Harriet changed from being a cat who was terrible to try to give a pill to, who would fight and squirm, scratch and bite and generally cause havoc has now changed into a cat who comes along and asks for her regular half pill a day in the mornings. How much it has to do with the fact that she recognised that the pills were doing her good and how much had to do with the fact that she always gave Harriet a special food treat immediately afterwards is not altogether clear. Whatever the reason, Harriet has put all her weight back on and seemed to be doing very well until now.
So, this morning it was back to the vets. Now this is another thing that Harriet has got used to. Unlike other cats who have to be put into a basket to go to the vets, Harriet just makes herself comfortable or roams around the inside of the car quite freely. She even seems to know when she gets there. She then condescends to be carried in and likes to walk about and check out the surgery's latest computers and so on. She will allow them to pick her up if a particularly obnoxious canine comes in and to be carried in to see whoever is on duty. This time is was a lady vet whose name they don't know but who was very good and understanding and came up with a reassuring diagnosis. ‘What time of the year is it?' she asked. Apparently, with all the pollen and seeds about, they can only expect Harriet's condition to get worse. ‘Make a note of when she is bad', the vet said ‘and then you will know when to increase her steroid dose'. And that was that – apart from a thermometer ‘you know where' and a booster in the vein to start her off again. Harriet came home, running about in the car and, this time, she knew immediately when she was home (and not just stopped for traffic lights) and jumped straight out, as soon as the door was opened. She may not be the fittest cat in the world but she sure ranks as one of the smartest!

Wednesday 18 th August 2004
”'Ere, Wicky, me ol' love. How're you old mate? everything awlright?”
“Hic. Wassat, Tregs? Is everfing what?”
“'Ere Wick? Know what? I think you're sozzled”.
“Was sozzled, Treg? ‘zat very, very clever? ‘cos I am.”
“What was that wot we was eatin' up there Wick? Was ever so good, wonnit?”
'Oos that, Wick?“Waz eversogoodwonnit? Wassat, Treg?”
“You're not makin' a lotta sense, Wick.”
“You never make a lotta sense, Treg. But that doesn't stop you, does it?”
“'Ere Wick, I feel a liddle bit whoozie. D'you reckon it was that stuff wot we ate?”
“If you can eat it, Treg, there's nothing a matter with it, mate.”
“'S'true, Wick, but I do feel a little strange. Like what I didn't feel before we ate it.”
“'Zat good or bad, mate? I wooda thought that you'd feel strange all the time.”
“Don't be mean Wick or I'll let his typing mistakes keep calling you Wiock.”
“Wiock? That's silly, Treg. Where'd you get that from?”
“It's his fingers Wick. The o is near the k and when he gets too condifent he types an o as well as a k.”
“A minute my friend. Did you say condifent?”
“'Course I did, Wick, I'm condifent I did.”
“But that's not right, Treg, it's confedent, fetlocks, wassamatter with this keyboard?”
“'Ere, Wick, I've started to get serious again. Shall we go back up the field and have some more of that stuff?”
“You mean, eat some of that stuff wot makes us talk all silly? Nah, I shouldn't think so, Treg. What if Alli caught us?”
“We could let her have some as well, couldn't we Wick?”
“But you know what a goody goody she is. I bet she'd tell them about us. Anything to get a few extra treats, you know what she's like.”
“But she's alright really, Wick, isn't she?”
“'Course she is, Treg. Alright but a bit bossy and big and … well .. alright!”
“Ssh, Wick, I think she's coming.”
“Right. Pretend everthing alright, Treg. Gottit. Not a word about the youknowwhat.”
“OK Wick. About what?”
“Sshh! Quiet, Not a word.”
“Hello boys, how's everything? All alright?”
“Giggle, giggle, smirk.”
“Mumble, sorry Alli, ha, ha, ‘s Wicky's fault!”
“You've not been up in the top field eating that …. “
… and the rest is giggles …

Wher's she off to now?Thursday 19 th August 2004
The trouble with Alli is she will hang about after they've gone, in the mornings. I do sometimes let her corner me into a bout of mutual grooming – the mutual is me giving her a good old nibbling on the shoulder and she slobbers a bit near my ear and then forgets what she's doing! But other times, well, she just messes about. Now, when you are an active chap like myself, that just isn't good enough.; I say to myself ‘Treg must be about it' and I want to go charging up the hill. And then I look around and see that she is still messing around by the gate, watching them go. Well, there are times when a chap can mess around and others when you've just got to do your own thing. After all, one can only do so much for the good of his herd then he's got to do what he can for himself. It's funny because it used to be the other way around. There was a time when Alli was always wanting to be up and doing and I was a bit slow of foot. I don't know what it is but lately I have had so much energy I just cant contain myself. Often these days I say to Alli or Wick ‘let's go for a good old gallop up the hill to the top field'. And, do you know what? They just look at me and then look at each other as if to say ‘poor old boy's passed it' and then just carry on grazing. I don't know why, they just won't take me seriously any more. Either that or they are slowing down themselves and just have to go on pretending that it's me that's the slow one.
Of course, I suppose it's different if you're in the force, like me. I've got a reason to be up and doing whilst they are just retired. I have to patrol the perimeter of my beat and inspect everywhere to ensure that all's in order. You just never know when you might come across a clue or some missing person. I have to keep my wits about me for the good reputation of the Watch. I know that the others laugh at me sometimes behind my back but really I know there is a bit of jealousy involved there. Some of us have important jobs and others have nothing to do but mess around all day. It would be no good my sending in a report saying that I missed a vital clue because I was waiting around until Alli had decided it was time to go up the hill. I mean, what would it look like to my superiors? Not only would I be a laughing stock among my fellow officers but worse, they would probably cort marshall me or something. So, next time you see me trotting up the hill, all on my own, remember I'm doing it out of devotion to duty and not just out of pure youthful exhooberance!

Horizan sheepFriday 20 th August 2004
Will we never learn? We are so trustful that we always fall for their nasty little traps. After breakfast this morning, she walked across the stream and up into the Throwleigh Road field actually calling out for us to follow her. We would have gone anyway but the fact that she was waving a carrot in her hand should have given us some sort of warning. I mean, she never waves a carrot fore us. We get what she is going to give us in the home field and then that is it. Normally she is off up and out of the filed and into her car while we are still busy mugging him . But, as I said, we fell for it again and followed up after her . No sooner had Treg, last as usual, crossed the stream than he went behind him and closed the gate so we couldn't get back. There we were – trapped. I will admit that we didn't have anywhere particular to go but the thought of being trapped in the road field brought on all kinds of fears like dentists and vets and whatever. And there we were trapped for an hour or so until the familiar sight of Mark the farrier's van drew up. Well, that reassured me but I was not at all sure the same could be said for Tregony. As soon as he saw our head collars being got ready he was off. At least, he was off as far as he could go, which of course wasn't very far. It's funny, for none of us minds the farrier. The only problem in having ones shoes done (or feet in Wicky's case) is the length of time it takes. Admittedly the other two can graze to their hearts content while one of us is being seen to so really even that isn't too bad. My problem is that when I am being shod, if he is holding me, I like to be drip fed those minty sweets. This means that when it is Tregony's turn, I cant stand it if he is getting the sweets and not me, so I tend to go over and make a nuisance of myself. Well, today she decided (as she often is known to do) that it was time for us all and me in particular to learn some good manners. As I was still wearing my head collar after being shod, I guess that there was not a lot I could do about it. So, there was old Treg getting the occasional but constant stream of peppermint and there was me being held firmly by the lead rein learning to be a ‘good girl'. Well, I could have told her that I had learnt that after a minute or so and now I was ready to be set loose. But, no, she wasn't having any and I had to stand and be good all the while Treg was being shod. she did let me go while Wicky had his feet trimmed but, by then, he was busy with other things and the treat supply had dried up. Next time in October. I wonder if we will have forgotten again by then?

Comb hereSaturday 21st August 2004
he was sitting working on his other web site today when he got a phone call from his friend Roy in the village. Roy is one of the local bee keepers and he was phoning to say that there was going to be a meeting of all the bee keepers in the area to discuss ways that they can identify and control a particularly nasty mite, which has grown resistant to the usual chemical controls and is causing havoc throughout the region's hives (and worldwide). Roy was letting him know so that he could go and take some photos. That'll make a change, I thought. Anyway, I was telling the old boys about this, not that I thought they would be particularly interested but we were trapped in the field shelter at the time by a particularly heavy rain downpour. Anyway, Treggy said ‘what's a bee?' and Wicky and I laughed at him. When we explained he said ‘I really knew all the time, I misheard and thought you said beemze.'. Well we knew he was fibbing but we let it go. There's only so many times that you can pull Treggy up in an hour. ‘So why do they need keepers?' was his next question. Now, I have to admit I hadn't really thought about it. I mean, I know in some ways you could think that we had ‘keepers' in as much as we have people that we have trained to bring our food and otherwise cater for our needs. But bees? Whenever I see them they are quite happily and freely going about their business, flying from flower to flower and humming to themselves. They always seem such jolly chaps. Always humming and in a good mood. So Wick and I discussed this for a little while and he couldn't think of any reason either. He had heard tell of some bees who do lose their temper and then sting someone but he had never known it personally. He suggested it was these bad tempered bees who were given a keeper to make sure that they kept their tempers under control. He said maybe they shut them up and wouldn't let them go and eat all those flowers if they had been bad. Well, here I do know a bit about bees and I explained that they do not eat the flowers that they visit when they are flying about but that they were collecting the nectar from the flowers to take home and make honey. So, of course, Treggy asked ‘what's honey?' and when I explained that it was a kind of liquid sugar you should have seen the look of wonder and admiration that came into Wicked's eyes. ‘You mean that those little buzzy creatures actually know how to make liquid sugar?' ‘That's right', I said. By this time the rain had stopped and I started to go outside again. When I looked back, there was Wicky and Treg deep in conversation, hatching up a scheme where they could become bee keepers too. Well, as they say, you live and learn!

Another fine daySunday 22nd August 2004
Enough is enough. I know he has been very busy lately but it's a question of priorities after all. It's now two weeks since he has put up my diary on the web site. What on earth is the point of me wasting my time dictating to him every day if he doesn't bother to type it up and publish it on my website? What about all the thousands of my fans worldwide? I know that they are tolerant of anything that I do but that isn't the point. It's not fair to them having to wait to find out what I have been doing. I say what I have been doing but I strongly suspect that old Treg has a fan or two out there among the more feeble minded and Wicky's name is very well known among the connoisseurs of fine food. So, it's not just me and my fans who are being deprived and I let him know this. What possible reason can you have this month, I asked him. Last month it was because the family were coming up and you had to get you own monthly web site ready to publish before they came. Now what's the reason? And, do you know what he said? SWEP! SWEP! If I'm not mistaken that stands for South West Equine Protection not Equine Passover. Don't Treg, Wick and I live in the South West then, I asked him. Don't we need looking out for as well. And what's so special that SWEP's interests come before ours. Well, I could see that I had made a point and that he was feeling really guilty. What he said was that they were going down to Cornwall to a parade of a lot of the ponies that SWEP had rescued right at the end of the month when he needed to get his new monthly web site issue out, so he had been working, like last month, to get as much ready as possible beforehand. The way he said it made it sound almost reasonable. But only almost. It still didn't get my diary up and published. I can remember when he used to do it every day. Never let a day go by without publishing what I told him . Then he reminded me that the length of each day's entry has doubled or even trebled from what it used to be. The other problem is that some days, to be honest, nothing much happens and it is not too easy to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Now, I don't know what on earth he was talking about then. I certainly hadn't mentioned pigs. In the end I got him to faithfully promise to publish the whole of the backlog in the next few days at the latest. I will be watching him and, if he likes to ask Wicky, he 'll find out just what a nip on the bum from me can feel like. He has been warned!

Where did I put that comb?Monday 23 rd August 2004
I wanted to call this entry “Treggy's big bang”. You see, last night was a terrible one as far as weather is concerned. We did wonder when they put our coats back on this morning. They've done that a few times lately and it seems to be a sure fire way of ensuring a really hot sunny day without a drop of rain. So, when they did it this morning, I asked him what was going on. ‘It's the weather forecast' he said. ‘They say we are in for heavy rain and strong winds'. Now, I don't mind the rain so much (I can always hide under a tree or in the field shelter) but I do dislike strong winds. However, I reminded him that he had put our coats on other times lately. ‘Did the weather forecast tell you to that as well?' I asked him and he sheepishly had to admit that it had. So, it wasn't with a lot of faith that we spent the morning, boiling hot in our coats in the sunshine. However, the change came in the afternoon and, last night, about 2.30 am the heavens opened and we had the most almighty thunderstorm lasting for well over a couple of hours.
When the morning came it had all blown over and the sun came out again. Somehow getting through the night with all its bangs and crashes and fierce lightening flashes and then breakfast and the sun shining through put old Tregs in a really good mood. Not only good but playful with it. So, when they went up to their car after breakfast, we all trooped up after them and after we had had some treats, Treg decided to have a roll. Fair enough, he was feeling good. Why Not? Well, for a start, he decided to do this half way down the sort of steep bit in the field, with his head about a metre lower than his tail but then, to crown it all, after he had rolled he decided to have a bit of a lay down and so that everyone would know how contented he was feeling he gave a sort of a smile. Now, the effect of this was not quite what he had in mind, I fear. Treg is quite a weight and, as I said, his head was quite a bit lower than the rest of him. It sort of fell rather than sank to the ground and the sight of an upside down Treg smile combined with the grunt he made when his head hit the ground did rather look as if he might have had a heart attack. Or so it seemed to them . Both leapt out of the car, she went to cradle Tregs head, in his last few dying moments and he was sent off to get the head collar (for some reason?). Treg couldn't fail to notice this and you know Treg and head collars, always thinks something bad might happen. Up he leapt like a very Lazarus himself. You should have seen the look on their faces. It kept us all amused all day.

Tuesday 24 th August 2004
Now I feel rotten about what I said about yesterday with Treggy and the thunderstorm. We just heard that one of the horses that Mathew looks after just a couple of fields away from us was killed by a Securitylightening strike in that storm. We didn't know the horse although we may have see it passing by when Mathew takes them out for exercise. Even so it is a very sobering thought. A few hundred yards and it could have been one (or all) of us. he told us that a farmer not so far away had lost a herd of fifteen cows all struck by the same bolt of lightening, only a few nights ago. The only good thing (if there can be a good thing about it) is that it was instantaneous and the horse and cows had no idea. One minute they were there and the next they were not. It is far more shocking for those who are left behind. It's strange really. he was telling me that he picked up a leaflet about a course to help desensitise horses to the noise and flash of fireworks. he jokingly said it was a course I should go on and really he wasn't wrong. I hate the things, hate and detest them and, of course, am frightened by them. And yet storms with thunder and lightening are no more than an inconvenience. Even after hearing about that poor horse next door. I suppose it is because they are a natural occurrence. Rather like why I can just ignore a deer jumping out in front of me but will shy like crazy at a plastic bag. I will admit that I was telling her only today that I get scared by things that go bump in the night. But really that was just a bit of a joke we were playing. she pretended that I said nightie not night and she said that I was to keep my nightie buttoned up and we had a real good laugh about it. There are certain things that do make me wary. After all, horses are flight creatures and I am true to my nature. But these things that put me on edge are things that I cant explain. If a hedge moves with no obvious cause, no wind, no human cutting it, no cow or sheep pushing at it – then I get tense. If there is a noise, loud or quiet that I can see no explanation for – then I get ready to run. It's not how loud it is. It's not how violent it is. It's how unexplained it is. Of course, if it is a real danger to me that I can see, hear, smell or sense, then I will run too. But, strangely those things don't worry me like an unexplained event does. I wouldn't like to be struck by lightening but there is very little I can do to stop it, it's natural, explainable so I just carry on and don't worry. Treg is the opposite. If he can understand something then he starts to worry. It's a funny old world!

Wild Sweet peaWednesday 25 th August 2004
“Wicky, what's the matter with Alli?”
”Hold on Treg, just got to clean this bit of food Alli left on the floor. Ah, that's better, I do hate a messy field shelter, don't you? Now, laddie, what was it you were saying?”
“I was just wondering if you knew what was wrong with Alli?”
“Well, Treg, it takes all sorts you know. You shouldn't be so intolerant.”
“I don't mean, well, you know, not always. Just lately. She seams a bit preoccupied or something.”
“That's a big word, Treg. Preoccupied! You mean someone's got inside her or what?”
“maybe that's not the right word then. She's … well, not grumpy or anything, just.. sort of … not there when you speak to her.”
“Where is she then? Bit silly talking to thin air, Treg. Can't you wait until she walks up?”
“I think you are deliberately being unhelpful, Wicky. I'm sure you must have noticed it too. She's just not her old self. Anyway, no sense in talking to you either, in this mood. I think I'll just go up and see if my tree has got any nice new juicy leaves.”
“Oooh! Look at that. He's just wandered off. Not even asking if I wanted to go with him or anything. He certainly is acting strange these days. I better have a word with Alli about him. Now, where's she to? Oh yes, there she is. Alli? Alli?”
“Hold on Wick. I was just cleaning up the field shelter floor. You know how I can't stand a messy field shelter. Well? What was it you wanted?”
“I was wondering if you knew what was wrong with Treggy?”
“Oh, come on Wick. Have a little tolerance. It takes all kinds. He's just a cob you know. That's have they are.”
“No, Alli, I didn't mean in general. It's just he's acting a bit strange these days. Haven't you noticed?”
“What? Notice that Treg's acting strange? How would we tell the difference?”
“Are you being deliberately obtuse, woman? I ask you a perfectly straightforward question and …..”
“Oh, there you go again, Wick. It must be the heat. You can be an irritable old pony sometimes, you know. I'm not going to stay around until you get in a better mood. See you later, you old misery.”
“Oh, hi Treg. I've just had to get away from Wicky. Do you know what's the matter with him?”
“Alli, I thought you, if anyone, would show a little compassion. He never has had very long legs and it's not nice to keep on picking on him like that.”
“I didn't mean his legs, you old fool. Just lately he's been a bit grumpy, that's all.”
“Oh, you've noticed that? I expect it's nothing. Probably just the thundery weather. It's depressing us all, don't you think?”

froggin' fliesThursday 26 th August 2004
I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I'd heard Treg talking about his days with the riding school but I can't remember the last time I saw him canter.
It was like this. We had been up in the top fields all night, trying to keep the autumn grass flush down and when we came down in the morning, we were all feeling a little bit full and a little bit sleepy. Wick and I had decided to try and keep awake until after breakfast but Treg said that he just couldn't (or wouldn't – you know what cobs are like) wait and he was just going to have a few minutes of his hooves, so to speak. So, he just sank gracefully to the ground and was just regarding the world around him with a sort of silly smile on his face, when we heard the sound of their car drawing up. Well, Wick and I went up to the stream to greet them but Treg just gave them one look and decided to lay flat out on the ground. I would swear he deliberately clamped his eyes shut to pretend that he was fast asleep. Either that or he just didn't want to look at them as they came into the field. Anyway, he carried our buckets up into the field shelter and put them down, by which time she had approached old Treg and was calling out to him to wake up. he came over with Treg's carrot treat, which he always brings when he brings our buckets. By this time Treg couldn't pretend any longer and was sitting up with his eyes open. He was quite capable of taking the carrot and was going to leave things like that. However, she had other ideas. The thought of trying to pull the old man up just seemed an impossible task, so she looked around for something to shake at him to rouse him into action. Well, the only thing available was a very thin, pliable reed. Not really enough to frighten a rabbit. It was very hard for her to stop the reed from bending or breaking but whether Treg was really still a bit asleep or if he really is that stupid, I just don't know. Whatever it was, it galvanised him into jumping up and cantering, yes – CANTERING up the field. He went so fast that he completely missed the entrance to the field shelter, where his bucket was, and had to grind to a halt and come back.
When I asked him about it afterwards, Treg had a bit of a twinkle in his eye. ‘It was just a bit of fun' he grinned. ‘Keeps ‘em on their toes, dunnit?'

Some cats are not brownFriday 27 th August 2004
'll make up their minds soon. One minute it's out in the field in the pouring rain, the next they put a coat on you and the sun comes out. It's been like that for the last couple of days. I know they mean well but I consider they are definitely a bit confused. I say they are, of course, we are too. I asked him about it and he said it's all the fault of someone called ‘ the weather forecast'. Apparently this chap keeps telling them how bad the weather is going to be but he never gets it right. Either he gets the kind of weather wrong or, if that is right, he gets the timing of it wrong. Why they take any notice of him, I don't know. It's not as if he had a record of accuracy. I think the problem is that they are optimists. It's not that they believe the weather is always going to be good. No, their problem is that they think that the next prediction will definitely be a correct one. We Horses are not so silly as to try and predict the weather further than we know what is going to happen. That is quite a bit in advance but I wouldn't claim it to be a prediction. That is really just another name for a guess. As I say we KNOW up to a certain point and after that, it will be what it will be when we get to know about it. I hope that makes sense to humans but I have learned from experience, you never can tell. Rather like the weather really! Hey, how about that, I made a joke and at long range too.
Like I said they keep putting our rugs on. At least, mine and Tregs. I don't think that they consider that Wicky needs one and there, I must agree. He is so well covered with his thick waterproof coat that he can stand outside all day long in the rain and not even seem to notice it's raining. He's really lucky for those coats we have to wear make you all hot and itchy and when you lay down and roll, you cant really get to the spot. I am grateful for mine in the winter, as my natural coat is a bit fine. But I really have toughened up since I have been here on Dartmoor . And my coat now grows a bit heavier than it used to. I wonder if that is some sort of proof of natural selection?

There'll be a change in the weatherSaturday 28 th August 2004
Treggy got a lovely surprise today. Well, we all did really. What happened, Treg and Wick's old mum, Michele got in tough with them and sent a lovely photo of Tregony in his riding school days. I said Treg got a lovely surprise but I have to tell you he was really quite embarrassed. You see, the photo shows him with a load of flowers in his main and, worse, he has a cottage on his back! That's right, I did say a cottage. Not a real one, you understand, something far sillier than that. It is a human dressed up as a cottage. Really, there are no limits of silliness that they won't get up to, are there? Wicky and I told Treg that he had nothing to be embarrassed about. It was certainly not his fault that the silly human dressed like that. Treg explained that it was some sort of competition or game or something. He wasn't quite sure because his memory isn't what it used to be. And, to be honest, no one is really sure what it used to be! It turns out that Treg used to enjoy these competitions and games and joined in all the fun, having a great old time. ‘Of course', he said, ‘I had a lot more puff then'. Wicky said it was either that or someone was standing behind him with one of those great big reed sticks, but Treg was not amused at that and almost went into a sulk until I told him how much I admired his photo. ‘Yes', he grinned, ‘I do look a bit of a lad, don't I?' What made him even more pleased though was when he told him that Michele had said she had seen his photos on the web and she was really pleased at how well he was looking. ‘I used to really like her', he said. In fact, Treg never used to like men, at all because they were nothing like his (human) mum. Other women he would tolerate but he had a great suspicion of men. He still does, if they are vets! So, anyway, that made our day and we all stood around and swapped stories from our past until very late into the night. Even when we had to go off up the hill on grazing duty, old Treg kept giving a little skip and giggling to himself, as he remembered the old times. ‘Ere, Wick', he turned and said, ‘I did look a bit of a charlie with that great big house on my back, didn't I?' And he stumbled away up the hill as happy as a foal in milk.

Evening skySunday 29 th August 2004
he had me quite worried when he came along tonight with our buckets. ‘Bullocks' he said, in my ear, as he handed me my bit of carrots. I must have looked quite startled or at least shocked for he stood for a moment and then laughed. ‘You know, Alli,' he said, ‘sort of colty cows'. And, of course, then I fell in. While I was having my supper, he told me that he had been over to Belstone to get some more photos. Goodness knows what he does with them all. I mean, there must be only so much of Belstone before you have to start taking pictures of the same places all over again. Anyway, he seemed to think that there were parts of the place that he did not yet have on fil … er… hard disk, I suppose. Hadn't thought about that before. There are such a lot of sayings that have no meaning to the next generation. And I'm only in my twenties. What must it be like for him at his age. I expect people just look blankly at him when he says he must go off to sharpen his quill so that he can write some more. Where was I? Oh yes. Bullocks!
But before I get on to bullocks, there was the other thing that happened to him . As he was driving along the Throwleigh Road , a fox ran across his path. Not that that is a big deal in itself (although it is always nice to see something unexpected like that) but it was very nearly the place on Ramsley Common where they let the fox go a few years back. Apparently this looked a youngster so there is no chance it was the same one. But, it brought back memories. Now, oh yes. Bullocks!
Yes, he drove off with his camera and drove through the central Belstone village and out along the road towards the moor which has various other outlying houses along it. he parked the car and walked up the road taking photos of anything that interested him , particularly a very old tractor that had a bucket over it's vertical exhaust pipe. As he had said that he wouldn't be out long, he started back and was rather taken by an old stone staircase on the outside of a building that didn't lead to anywhere. This just has to be photographed so he stopped outside the house in a very narrow part of the road. As he turned back up the road, he first heard and then saw this herd of bullocks running towards him . There was nowhere to go so he just made the most of it and turned his camera towards them. The funny thing was that these great big animals turned out to be scared of him and were very wary of passing.. Several stopped and eyed him very suspiciously. It was only when the farmer, on horseback, and a younger man on a quad bike came up behind them that they plucked up courage and ran past. It all goes to show you cant judge by appearances!

pony and trapMonday 30 th August 2004
they went to Cornwall today. That made old Treg jealous until they told him it was the north of Cornwall for, of course, he comes from the south. they went along to the Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge where SWEP were putting on their ‘Parade of Rescues'. Twenty three of the one hundred and eighty horses and ponies that they have rescued came along with the humans from the new homes that they have been ‘loaned' to. The idea was to show people how well these animals turn out with a little bit (actually a lot) of love and care. Some had been mistreated, some abandoned, some starving, some unwell and some casualties of road traffic accidents. All had been rescued by SWEP, given vetinary attention, rehabilitated to trust humans again and trained to the head collar after which SWEP had found them loan homes where their new humans cared for them and gave them further training. Those that came to the Parade were ridden apart from one who was driven with a buggy. For many it was their very first public appearance and even (apart from their rescue and re-homing) their first ride any distance, in a horsebox. she got to meet some other SWEP people and some of the ‘loanees'. Everyone hates that word but can't think of a better one. In the end it becomes a bit of a joke – Loanees and Ponies! While she was doing that, guess what he was doing? No, no being sociable… no, not just wandering about enjoying the occasion … oh, you guessed, that's right – he was taking photographs. Two hundred and fifty of them to be exact. It's all the fault of the one who invented the digital camera. he only stops now when his storage card is full and he does carry a spare as well. he told me the whole idea is that you just lose off a load of shots so that you can pick out the best and chuck the rest. That's the theory. But, remember, we're talking about a person who has a shed full of jars, bottles, cans, old broken tools and god knows what else that ‘might come in useful' one day! So, no doubt he will come boasting to me that he has deleted three maybe four of the two hundred and fifty shots and has carried on filling up his fourth hard disk that he added on for video editing. However, I expect a good few of them will find their way onto SWEP's web site so, in the end, its for a good cause.

View from the wheat fieldTuesday 31 st August 2004
Remember the other day I told you about Treggy doing a spot of cantering when she chased up behind him with a reed ‘stick'? Well, that was nothing compared with what happened today. they had been along and brought our breakfast. Everything was normal there. I walked away with her for some treats and a bit of a ‘girlie' chat before going back and helping Wicky and Treggy with their treats. All nice and normal. Then they made their was back up to the Throwleigh Road pursued by us, of course. Wicky usually does particularly well there as she is a bit slower getting up to the gate. Anyway, they both got to the other side of the gate and were leaning over it, I expect to admire me, when along the Throwleigh Road came first Roger on his quad bike, then a herd of cows followed by Clarence coming up behind them with his collie dog. they turned to watch the herd, well, we all did. I was at the gate, Wicky was a little behind but Treg was right down by the stream. We often see cows go past, in fact we often see these cows go past as they seem to enjoy changing fields, although I suspect they just eat up all the grass wherever they are and need to move on to eat. Well, this time, they were just about to come up to them and their car, outside our gate when one of the herd took against what she saw. I don't know if it was the old rusty Suzuki jeep or if it was the sight of them ? Whatever, the cow decided that it would be safer to turn off up the bridle path than to risk passing this obstacle. And, of course, where one cow leads the rest follow, don't they? It took a few moments for what had happened to sink in. Then Clarence let out a shout and ordered his collie dog to go and bring them back. Now, the bridle path is very narrow, just room for a couple of riders to go along comfortably. This time it was jammed with a load of, pardon the expression, silly cows. The poor collie tried but their was no way that he could get to the front to head them off. But Clarence was shouting and collies, for all their faults, do try to please so this one hurled himself over the wall between the bridle path and our field and ran to cross the stream, jump back over the wall ahead of the cows and bring them back. Well, here we will leave the cows. Suffice to say that Clarence turned his Land Rover around and drove back to go up the next connecting bridle path and so stop them before they got to the top of Cosdon. No, we will leave the cows. What we need to observe is the twin effects of Clarence shouting and a black and white collie missile hurtling towards Tregony. If we thought he cantered the other day then today he virtually galloped. One minute he was down by the stream having a leisurely near thought and the next he was standing erect and very young looking just a little lower than us. And his eyes! They were just staring in the direction of this sudden terrible danger and no carrot, mint sweet or even sweet words could get him to look away. Don't ever let anyone say that the old man has had it now. Given the right stimulus he could probably give me a reasonable race over a short distance!

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