Alezane's Diary Archive October 2005
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Red leavesSaturday 1 st October 2005
Two items today for the first of the month. I didn't get round to telling yesterday that SHE decided to put my rug on after putting Treg's on sometime last week. Treg has been wearing his mauve one which is nowhere near as bad as it sounds. He has two, this mauve one and a green fine white check one the same as I have. In addition I have two others but one is for wearing indoors when I am in my stable overnight. No, Treg's mauve one actually is rather smart and is not a bright mauve but a rather subtle shade that suits him. SHE put his on early as SHE has been putting a lot of effort into keeping the old boy's eight up and she didn't want to waste that by him losing it again in keeping himself warm now the worse weather has arrived. It was a forecast night of high wind and heavy rain that decided HER to put my coat on as well. As it was not going to be very cold, just windy, she decided to put my green-white check coat on as it is the lighter of my two. All our coats have just come back from being cleaned and repaired, an annual ritual that they have great need of after being out in the Dartmoor winter. Anyway, when SHE came to put my coat on, yesterday morning, SHE couldn't finish doing it up at the front because my head was deep into my breakfast bucket. So it was only when I had finished and came to HIM for my carrot that HE tried to fasten the front and decided (unkindly) that I had put on rather a lot of condition since last year. You probably know that ‘condition' is a human euphemism for fat! HE finally managed to get it done up by tugging it up from the back. I think in the end THEY both decided that it may have shrunk in the cleaners because although I may have put on a bit, it is not that much. I then walked with HER over to the bridle path gates where SHE gives me my treats and SHE first gave my rug a check over. As we walked back to the field shelter I heard HER call out to him that in the evening SHE would put MY rug on me. THEY had brought Treg's identical one along by mistake. No wonder it didn't fit! We are now both walking about together in our green-white check rugs and looking a very smart pair indeed.
The second item is a bit more sinister. I should have known HE was up to something when HE drove his jeep into the field mid morning. The trouble was we were right up in the top of the centre field so I couldn't see what he was up to. I found out tonight when we followed him in to the field shelter for our supper buckets. The shelter floor had gone all green and squishy and smelled of strange horses. Of course, I snorted very loudly and refused to go in. This made Treg stop and get ready to run (well walk very fast). I sniffed the green stuff and snorted some more until, in the end. THEY had to get a head collar on me and lead (drag) me in. I had to eat my supper with HER holding a lead rein. Once I was in, Treg allowed himself to be seduced in by the smell of his bucket but, once he had finished he was off, fast as you like, up the field out of danger. Of course I knew what it was all the time. Just rubber matting like I have in my stable. But you have to make a fuss, don't you, otherwise I would be letting my thoroughbred nature down, wouldn't I?

 



Sunday 2 nd October 2005
“Oh shut up, Wick, I'm just fed up and that's that!”
“Come on Tregony. THEY meant well, I'm sure THEY did.”
Green leaves“It's all very well for you to talk. Did THEY come and try and drag you out of bed just when you were having a wee rest? Did THEY come and tear our rug off you when you were nice and warm? Oh no, it was me, THEY set upon, wasn't it?"
“Oh, be reasonable laddie. It was breakfast time. You should have been up by then anyway, shouldn't you?”
“There's no such thing as ‘should' or ‘ought to' when you get to my age Wick. It's my old bones that tell me what to do, not THEM.”
“And you're not being the tiniest bit ‘cobby' about it?”
“Look. THEY come charging up the hill, waving that schooling whip and threatening me with GBH. Wouldn't you be a bit cobby, as you put it. Just ‘cause I'm a pensioner THEY've no right to bully me, have THEY?”
“But you had THEM worried, Treg. Very worried. THEY came along, how many times, to try and give you your breakfast. It's important you know, it's got your medicine in it. If you don't get that, your old bones will ache even more than they do now.”
“You would stick up for THEM. THEY bring your buckets, don't THEY. That's the only thing that's important in your life so you've got to be on THEIR side.”
“You're important to me too Treg. And to Alli. Didn't you see how worried she was. Wouldn't walk away and leave you. She just stood there with you all morning. She even got a runny tummy worrying about you.”
“Hmmph. She can get a runny tummy at the drop of a bridle, that one. Just worried she wont have anyone to boss around, that's all.”
“Now come on, Treg. You really are a grumpy old so and so today. You've had THEM, me and Alli all worrying about you, just because you fancied a really long lie in this morning. Admit it. You're just a selfish old git!”
“Hey, come back Wick. Don't walk off like that. I didn't want to upse …. Oh dear. Now he's gone off in a huff. Well, fancy that. He does really worry about me. I know THEY do but really that's the only power I have over them. Wont hurt them to be aware of me a little more. But I didn't mean to upset everyone so. Oh dear. I'd better go over to Alli and let her steer me around the field a bit. At least that will get her back to liking me again. I'll have to see about THEM. I've still not forgiven HIM for actually hitting me with that whip. At least SHE just waves it over my bum. Maybe HE was a bit worried as well. Still, when you get as old as me, you should be able to do as you like just a little bit, shouldn't you?”

Friends in a fieldMonday 3 rd October 2005
I'm feeling good today. The weather has turned dry and a bit warmer, although these is no sun only cloud. Anyway, because of that Treg and I have had our rugs taken off and we can get down to a spot of mutual grooming again. I must say, when I stand back and look at Treg's coat, I can't help feeling what a good job I have done. I am afraid though, Treg is not quite as enthusiastic about it as I am. If I don't keep on encouraging him, he will just stop and wander off. In fact, he is like that with most things. I have my work cut out, I can tell you, guiding him along the correct path. The trouble is , he won't concentrate. We will be walking along, quite nicely for him, when he gets one of his thoughts. It can be either one, it makes no difference. He just stops dead and gazes vacantly about. If I weren't there to give him a little nudge on the shoulder, he'd probably still be there now. ‘Oh, sorry. What is it Alli?', he'll mutter and then start off again. I never bother to answer, it would only confuse him further. Anyway, I don't think he expects an answer, he never repeats the question. Really he is a bit of a worry to me. I mean, what if I am ill? What will he do then, without me? It won't be long before I have to start going back to my stable in the evenings. What will he do all night without me to guide him? I know Wicky is there but so are thistles and he is about as much use. Yes, OK, he does give Treg the odd nip round the ankles now and again but, I fear, not in a very constructive (or instructive) way. More really out of spite, I think. I'll say this for Treg though. He never takes offence. He just seems to accept it all as part of life's rich pattern, so to speak. Wick is never really nasty to him, it's just that I'm not sure how much use he would be if Treg was in real trouble. You know, like needing someone to tell him which foot to put forward next. I can just see Wick telling him to lift two legs at the same time just for the fun of it. Mind you, even if Wick tried he couldn't do it so he would came to no harm there but I don't like the though of him being made a fool of.
Oh fetlocks! Isn't ‘of' a preposition. I shouldn't have said that should I? What should I have said? I don't like Wicky making a fool of Treg? Maybe grammatically more correct but somehow it doesn't convey the same meaning, does it? Mind you, I think I don't do bad considering English is only my third language after French and Equine. If you think it's easy just you sit down and write six hundred words in horse language if you think it is. There's a lot of us only ever learn a handful of things like ‘walk on', ‘canter', and , of course, ‘bucket'. I think that last one was the very first word that Wicky learned and it's still his favourite!

The sun breaks throughTuesday 4 th October 2005
“Ere, Wick?”
“Aye Treg, what now?”
“I was pondering, just now. I looked up in the sky and wondered what it was like.”
“You wondered what the sky was like? My goodness Treg, you are going senile.”
“No, not the sky Wick. I was wondering what it was like to live in a place where there weren't no grass.”
“I know I shouldn't get into this but OK. Right Treg. Which bit shall we look at first – the no grass bit or why you looked at the sky?”
“I don't really mind Wick. Which bit would you prefer to look at?”
“I'd prefer to look at my bucket but as it doesn't seem to be on it's way in the foreseeable future …. Oh, alright Treg, why the sky?”
“It's just that I think better looking at the sky. If I look at the ground, I find that what I can mainly see is my feet and that worries me.”
“Why does looking at your feet worry you Treg?”
“Well, I look down and I look ever so hard but all I can see is two feet. And that worries me because I think maybe I am turning into a human. But then, I often get my arthritis in lots of legs so I think I must have more. And that worries me. You see Wick, if I do have more then I'm not turning into a human but I must be going blind.”
“Oh, right. I see Treg. You do have a lot of worries, don't you?”
“But that's why I have worked out this system of looking at the sky when I want to think.”
“You don't look up there and worry because you have no legs then?”
“Don't be silly Wick. You're not taking this seriously are you?”
“Believe me Treg. I think anything that is keeping me from my dinner is very serious indeed. Anyway, let's leave the sky. What made you think that there are such places as grassless ones. Ugh! What a terrible thought. Are you having nightmares?”
“Oh no, Wick. Nothing like that. I've been sellybut for years now. In fact it might even be for ever, I forget.”
“Nightmares are not what you assume they are old man. You really do forget, don't you? They are just bad dreams.”
“I don't know about that Wick. I was just looking at the road and wondered why it was such a funny colour. Then it came to me. It aint got no grass. So then I thought, what if there were places what were all road and no grass? What would it be like? And I thought, if anyone knows the answer to that it will be my great friend Wicked with his great coolinary knowledge and that. But then, you weren't there at the time so I looked up into the sky and, do you know what?”
“Your nose had vanished?”
“Oh, I don't know. I didn't look. Anyway, just as I was thinking that, you came along.”
“Wasn't I the lucky one. Tell you what, Treg. How about we go to a place where there is a lot of grass. Then we can fill our mouths right full and stare up into the sky for ages and ages until we need another mouthful.”
“Yeah, alright Wick. And while I am doing that, you can look at my legs and count them for me, can't you?

Passing 'The Stores' South ZealWednesday 5 th October 2005
Do you ever get the feeling that you have lost a day? Well, that has just happened to me. And, as it was 26 day ago, I really couldn't tell you where it has gone. Let me explain.
If you are reading this as any normal person would then you have arrived here after reading the diary entry for October 4 th , right? So now you are reading what I had to say on October 5 th , right again? No, sorry, wrong! You see, these days I don't put my diary on the web daily (as most bloggers do) nor do I publish weekly, as I used to do. So, after a long month taken up mainly for the first part by worrying about Tregony and the second half waiting for and then adjusting to Mimms, I settle down at the end of the month to get HIM to find some photos for illustration. It was then that I found that there was no entry for Wednesday 5 th October. Why? I have no idea. I am not conscious of having missed that day. HE says that HE is sure HE would have typed it up, if I had dictated it to him. So, there is always that other possibility – computer error. Yes, that's it. Either that or HE forgot to save it. Whatever way, it has allowed you to time travel. To read what happens in 26 days time now. Isn't that something?

 

 

 

Thursday 6 th October 2005
Sorry if I start with a weather item this evening. It's just that where we live on Dartmoor is not quite the same as other places in the area. HE tells me that the weather forecast for our area today was cloudy with some breaks of sunshine all day. Well, we had no sunshine but that doesn't matter. But what for other places in our area at a lower altitude was cloudy was, for us, living in a cloud and that means wet. It is a very strange feeling to get wet all over without it actually raining. Nothing comes down from above, it is all around you. Not that it is at all bad. There is no wind and the temperature is mild. It's just funny to get wet all over for no apparent reason.
Stream in winterWe had the usual Tregony trouble this morning. I don't know if the weather had anything to do with it but it was lie in time again. But this time, with a difference. SHE had promised HERSELF that the next time Treg was having a lie down, SHE would leave him alone and not try and make him get up and come and eat his breakfast (it's always breakfast, for some reason. He never lies in, in the afternoon). THEY both went over to him and gave him a few treats and a bit of a cuddle (aren't humans funny the way they feel the need always to be tactile?). But then, THEY just walked away and left him alone. After sitting up and trying to be polite, Treg was very relieved at that and just went flop right back on the ground and tried to get on with his interrupted sleep. However, THEY did turn up once more during the morning just to check if he was up. But, of course he wasn't, it was far too early for that. So, away THEY went and vanished for the morning. The good news was that THEY turned up again just after THEY had had lunch and this time Treg was up and grazing with us. And why was that good news? Because THEY decided that Treg could have his morning's bucket but not all of it as it was too close to supper time. This meant that Wicky and I had to help out which we were only too willing to do. For Tregony's sake, of course. I must say, a little snack in the middle of the day is an excellent thing and I must see if I can encourage Treg to lie in more often.
And that's about it for today. One final last silly bit of news. I was down at the bridle path gates having my treats from HER after supper and Treg was mopping up my left -overs as usual. Wicky was standing with his head in his bucket just inside the field shelter and his back end outside as he normally does. Our now resident Jay came down to partake of the peanuts and, whether the flash of colour just caught Wick's eye or what, we don't know but suddenly Wick just dashed right into the shelter, swivelling round as he did so. Well, if you thought Tregony was too old to move fast you would have been proved wrong then. He was out of the shelter in just a couple of seconds and breathing hard. And Wicky? He just put his head back in his bucket and continued eating!

Friday 7 th October 2005
There are some times when you just have to get away from the humdrum everyday incidents that we live our lives by and take a wider view of things. THEY were going to the seaside tomorrow to visit my daughter Mimms but that has now been put off until next week. It's funny but it is so long since I have seen her that I don't even know if I would recognise her now. Of course, that's silly because just one scent of her and I would know her. I suppose what I am saying is that I don't know what she looks like now. I hear she looks quite a lot like me but she is not so tall. Takes after her father for that. My Pony on Dartmoorgoodness, that was a lifetime away in another world. I was a lot younger then and really didn't know what was going on. It was only a couple of years since my whole raison d'etre was to run as fast as I could with a bunch of horses that I didn't know. I must qualify that because you did get to recognise a few, who, like myself, used to turn up at the same races. But I didn't really know them as such. We were just on nodding terms and a little bit of racing chatter while we were waiting for things to happen. Then, suddenly, it was all over and I found myself moving on from my familiar surroundings and way of life to live with strangers and become a mother twice over. I did enjoy having my daughters with me. To look at me you probably find it hard to imagine me all mumsy. But it really was good. The bad times came when they took my girls away from me, first one and then the other. I was just settling down to making a life with them and then everything changes again.
The time I spent in the riding school was not a happy one. No one was unkind to me, not the humans nor the horses. It was just that I didn't fit in. I had gone from being ridden by lightweight professionals who only needed me to walk or gallop to having to try and respond to a variety of riders, most of whom were as unfamiliar with the riding aids as I was. Now my nature is to please people whenever I can and when I couldn't do this because I didn't know what they wanted and they didn't know how to tell me was very depressing. It didn't help that most of the other horses had been trained for that sort of life. They just couldn't understand why I was so apparently clumsy. Some even thought I was a bit snobbish and maybe they were right because I often fell back on my past as a way defending myself.
Then THEY came along and my life took another turn. At first I wasn't sure if it was for the better or worse because I was taken to live, all alone, with no other horses around me. I did have a view of some cows across the courtyard and THEY came along to be with me quite a lot. SHE took me out riding and taught me how to behave on the roads and how to respond to her aids and we gradually got to know and trust each other. When the spring came, I went and shared the field with the cows which was better than nothing, I suppose. But the real joy came when I moved to Ninefields and not long afterwards I was joined by Tregony and Wicked. I know they are both getting on now but it seems to me as if that was when my life really began – oh, and the weather has not been bad today!

Cat Flap and boxSaturday 8 th October 2005
“ … and pulled him by his mane before getting his whip raised up above his head. Zarife was too quick for him, however. He turned and bucked and the soldier lost his grip and fell backwards to the ground. Zarife wasted no time. In a flash he was away and galloping over the hard sand, out of the compound and on to the open desert. Behind him he could hear the shouts and crashes of the soldiers, slowly dying away behind him, as they realised that he had escaped. He didn't stop. He was only too aware that they were capable of mounting up and riding after him. However, he had the advantage of carrying no weight. Also he knew his old friends would deliberately go slower than they were capable of to assist his bid for freedom. As he galloped along, Zarife kept his eyes busy searching for some sign of vegetation in the distance, some sign of a direction in which he should head to be able to stop for a much needed rest. After what seemed to him a very long while, he caught the scent of moisture in the air, coming from the west. He altered his course to head in the direction where he knew he would find a spring or river and be able to quench his thirst. Soon he sighted the tops of some palm trees on the horizon and he allowed his pace to slacken slightly. He didn't want to rush headlong into another danger. There could well be humans there who would recognise his fine breeding and try to capture him so they could profit by his sale. They might even recognise him as one of the horses from the military fort and take him back for the reward. Fortunately, the sun was behind him and would be in the eyes of anyone who might look in his direction. He couldn't smell any humans, only cool thirst quenching water. He slowed to a trot and then a walk. Now, he could see that it was a river, winding its way along tree lined banks with even some scrubby tufts of grass bordering its edges as well. No sign of any human, nor even of any other animal. He stood quite still and pricked his ears, ready to gallop on at the slightest sign of danger. There was none. Relaxing, he walked calmly and quietly down to the water's edge and started to drink.
‘Who are you. What are you doing at my river?' Zarife started, legs splayed, ready to run. Yet something in the voice gave him some assurance. It was not a harsh or cruel voice, it was small and what, even sweet. He stood perfectly still and looked around him. Down beneath his feet, hidden from view in the most part by a shallow in the bank, was a young human girl of about ten or eleven years old. Her skin was very brown, blending very well in the sand and she wore a ragged t-shirt and shorts but had no shoes on her feet. ‘I asked you a question, horse. This is my river and you need my permission to drink here.' ‘But I …' started Zarife and then stopped himself realising that it silly to think that he could talk to a human like that. ‘But you what?', the girl demanded. ‘Don't start a sentence and then stop in mid air.' ‘Sorry', Zarife replied, ‘I didn't mean to be rude. It's just that ….' Hey, he was doing it again. Having a conversation with a human. It must be the heat, he thought. I should have my drink and find somewhere to rest. ‘You are a very silent horse', the girl said, standing up and brushing the dust of her clothes. ‘Haven't you got anything to say for yourself?'

And that's about it for tonight, Treg”
“Oh, Alli. You can't stop there. I was really enjoying that.”
“Sorry old lad. Look, it's bucket time now.”
“Promise you'll finish it later, Alli, please?”
“We'll see, Treg. We'll see!”

Cows on DartmoorSunday 9 th October 2005
“What's all this about Alli telling you stories, laddie?”
“I was feeling a bit gloomy and she said it would cheer me up.”
“And did it?”
“Well, er .. yes… I think so. I mean it was interesting and all that. But the trouble with Alli is that she never finishes anything. You just get into something and are waiting to find out what happens next and then she just stops with some excuse like it's supper time or something.”
“So what did happen next?”
“That's just it. She never told me. Every time I ask her to carry on with the story she says ‘Oh, you don't want to hear all that old rubbish, Treg', but I do.”
“So tell me laddie, what was the story about. Maybe it's one that I know and I can finish it for you.”
“Oh, would you Wick. That would be very kind. Well, it was about this Arab stallion called Sapphire or something. And he was trained for a life in the French military in the foreign legion in Africa . But when he got to his posting at a fort in the desert, he was very badly treated so he escaped and galloped away across the desert until he came to a river and there he met a little girl and that's all I know.”
“Oh, that old story. Well, you're in luck there laddie. It so happens that I told Alli that story so I can finish it for you, if you'd like?”
“Oh would you, Wick. How lovely.”
“Right lad, prick your ears and listen.

‘Where have you come from my fine bonny steed', said wee lassie. ‘You look as if you have run all the way from Glasgow with all that sweat on you.' Samfire looked at the wee girlie and recognised a fellow countryman. ‘You're from Scotland too?' he asked. ‘Fancy meeting you so far away from home.' The pair looked at each other and laughed. Then the girlie jumped up on Sammy's back and dug her heels into his sides. ‘Time we were heading back, laddie' she smiled. And away then went, like the wind, galloping through the heather and the bracken and …..”
“Wick. Wait. Wick. I don't think that is the same story. You see, Alli's story was in Africa in the desert and it was all sand and that. They weren't no heather or bracken or anything.”
“Do you want this story or not, Tregony?”
“Well, I know you mean well Wick but you don't really tell it like Alli does. Maybe I better wait until she is in the mood again.”
“Please yourself old boy. But don't say I didn't offer. Alright then, what shall we do now?”
“You could tell me another story Wick. Maybe one about when you were a young colt on Dartmoor . You used to tell me some good ones about that.”
“Nah. Not in the mood Treg. Brings back too many sad memories. Then I might get sad and have to go to Alli and ask her to tell me a story.”
“Oh, I don't want to make you sad Wick. How about let's … er … lets, let's make up some poems.”
“What about?”
“Oh, just about one or two.”
“Eejit!”
“Who's going first?”
“I got one. ‘Tregony walked and he stepped on a weed, He wondered if it was nearly time for a feed. Wicky was clever, looked down at his feet, He saw lovely grass there and started to eat'. Right. Now your turn Treg.”
“Er … ‘Wicky likes to eat a lot, He'll eat his own and what I've got. Treggy is kind and says he doesn't care but Alli gets mad, waves her leg in the air.' Ere, Wick. We're even better than poets, we can do smack.”
“Do what? Oh, I see. I think you mean ‘rap' Treg. You must learn to be a bit more careful with words son. Come on, let's eat.!”

ClownMonday 10 th October 2005
Very strange today. THEY were going to visit my daughter Mimms today and I was waiting for news of her. And what happens? Instead THEY come along at supper time with two little girls, Beth and Elsa, and instead of telling me all about my daughter, Treg and I spend our supper with a little girl on our backs, allegedly grooming but actually just pushing a brush about and then, after we had finished, instead of going down to the bridle path gate for my treats, we were put on head collars and taken along up the field above the shelter to give the girls a ride. Not that they were any trouble. In fact, they were very good. They rode well without fidgeting or squealing and even said how nice it was to ride. The other good thing was that when we got back to the shelter, they dismounted and then gave us carrots and polo mints as a thank you for the ride. All in all, very nice children. They even joined in the ‘flying carrot' routine that we have taught THEM and mostly got the carrots to land in the right place in front of us. However, I do like my routine and after THEY and the girls had gone I found myself wandering over to the bridle path out of habit. Wick did very well out of the treats but I am not sure Treg knew what was going on. Treg was actually quite hungry as he was having one of his lie downs this morning and missed breakfast again. They did come back once at mid morning but, although SHE took the schooling whip along and then bounced up and down on his backside, Treg was getting up for no-one. So, of course, when supper buckets turned up, he was feeling pretty peckish which probably accounts for him not talking a lot of notice of the girls.

However, now the fuss is all over, I do wonder what happened when they say Mimms. Maybe THEY will tell me tomorrow. I expect that HE took some photos so, at least I should find out what she looks like now. I think I will just cut this short tonight and go up to the top field and relive my memories.

Tuesday 11 th October 2005
THEY tell me that THEY really don't know much more than me in terms of what will happen in the future. We will have to wait and see. What happened is the lady who now looks after my daughter Mimms and who once looked after me came on a visit a couple of weeks ago. You may remember I mentioned it at the time. Well, when she was here she and HER had a conversation about Mimms future and SHE had said that if ever Carol (the lady) could no longer care for her, SHE would have her to live with us. They then went on to talk about the possibility of Mimms coming here for a holiday and also of THEM going over to look at her and take some photos. And that is what THEY did yesterday.
Mims meets HIMApparently Mimms is very lovely. Of course I knew that but THEY had only seen photos of her when she was a foal. She was not much larger when I last saw her. But it was not her physical beauty they were talking of, it is her nature. She (THEY say) is as kind natured as I am (of course) and doesn't appear to have a bad bone in her body. She does have problems though. She is accident prone and, although she has been backed, she hasn't done any real work at all. She is eleven years old and spears full of energy. She was in a field with other horses when THEY went to see her and THEY gather her best friend is a horse called Molly, a large black cob.
HE told me that while THEY were there and HE was busy taking photos and taking Mimms for a little walk up and down in the yard, somehow the conversation swung round to Mimms future again and, by the time that HE tuned into it again, it appeared that there is a strong possibility that she might come and live with us very soon. However, before I should get excited, this idea could well be scrapped as Carol (the lady) has to talk it over with her son and it is quite possible that he won't agree.

To be honest, none of us knows how things will turn out. Even if she does come here, it will be on a trial basis at first as she may not get along with us or us with her. Just because she is my daughter doesn't automatically mean that I will like her. In fact, because I am her mother she may well not get along with me. On the other hand, it would be lovely to have someone to run around with for a change. Poor old Treg's legs don't allow him to do much more than a fast walk away from a wormer now. Changing the subject slightly, this evening it started to rain very heavily. Naturally, I was in the field shelter in a shot and didn't get more than two drops on me which soon dried off. Wicky ambled in and out but, with his thick coat (even though it is trimmed now), his doesn't take any notice at all of the weather. But Treggy is a funny old stick. I don't keep him out of the shelter, honest. SHE has proof of that because when it is hot and sunny Treg does come in to get away from the flies and midges. But, in the rain, he just stands slightly outside, very close to the entrance and gets soaking wet. And tonight, when THEY turned up with our supper, Treg had got fixed somehow and had an awful job turning round to come in and eat. THEY had to work on him very hard with cloths and sacking to get him a bit dry before he could have his rug on. We all had our treats in the shelter but as THEY walked away, Treg had reversed a couple of metres so that his head was dry still but his rear end was stuck out in the rain.

So that's it. You can expect me to twitter on about nothing until I find out what is going to happen about my daughter. Maybe I should just give the diary over to the old guys until I can think straight again?

Mims meets HERWednesday 12 th October 2005
“That Alli's been in a funny mood all day, ain't she Wick?”
“You mean even more than usual?”
“Oh come on. Normally she's OK. A bit bossy maybe but not so edgy as she has been all day today.”
“Aye, I suppose you're right laddie. It's all that about her daughter. The not knowing what's going on. Bound to be a bit unsettling I should think.”
“I never had a daughter, did you Wick?”
“Not really sure Treg. Not that I know of anyway. Wouldn't know what to do with one if I had one.”
“Can't really see any advantages myself. Just more competition for the treats. And what would we get out of it? Probably cut down our rations to help pay for her. No, can't say I'm for it.”
“But look at it another way, Treg. It would get Alli off your back. No more chasing you around the field ‘go this way Treg, no don't do that', all that. You'd be your own man again. Lie in all morning if you wanted. Stand around and think instead of steaming up the field. Sounds like heaven to me.”
“There is the other possibility. What if it's ‘like mother, like daughter'? What if I gets two of ‘em chasing me and bossing me about? No, I'm not really one for change, things are alright as they are, thank you.”
“Well, we'll just have to wait and see, Treg. Nothing we an do about it old lad. Just wait and see!”

Thursday 13 th October 2005
“Ere Wick. I just had a great idea.”
“Er .. yes .. Treg. And what might that be?”
“Wings, Wick. Wings!”
“Right Treg. Very good. Any more or is that it?”
“No, I think that is enough for one day, don't you? I mean, it's a pretty good idea isn't it?”
“Well Treg, yes it's a good idea. But you see, it's already been thought of.”
“What? You sure? Who though that then?”
“Tell you what Treg. Let's go back to the beginning. What were you thinking about when you came up with the idea ‘wings'?”
“Oh, that's easy Wick. I was thinking about wings. Course I was.”
“Ye – es. I expect you were Treg. But what made you think of wings?”
“Ah, well, if I knew that I'd be really clever, wouldn't I? No, I was just standing here, looking out of the shelter door and watching the jays flying up into that tree over there. And I thought ‘wouldn't it be good if I could do that'. Then I thought ‘why not. What do I need so that I could do what that jay does'. And then I thought ….”
“ …. Wings! Yes I know Treg. I see it all now. What a jolly good idea. And what are you going to do about it then?”
Buzzard“Yes, well, that's the next bit of the puzzle. Probably the hardest bit, don't you think?”

“I think you're right there Treg. Mind you, you didn't go for the obvious answer, did you? You could have thought ‘helicopter' or ‘space ship' or ‘jumbo jet'. But no, you went for a much more inventive solution, didn't you old lad. Wings eh! Whatever next?”
“Oh, I think I'll just give it all a bit of a rest now Wick. It is all a bit tiring you know and I don't want to over tax myself now, do I?”
“Certainly not Treg. Tell me. How you getting on with Alli now? She any quieter?”
“I took your advice Wick and let it all wash over me. I sort of got the feeling she is calming down a bit but I've been too preoccupied with my thinking to worry vry much.”
“Quite right laddie. Mustn't let your brain go to waste now, must we? Tell me about these wings again. Were you thinking of growing them or maybe making them out of something?”
“Er, I hadn't really got that far yet. I s'pose you can't just go and buy them somewhere? I could ask Alli to get HIM to check up un the internet. You know …

Wings
Buy it. Sell it. Love it. eBay
www.ebay.co.uk “
… something like that.”
“But even if you could buy them Treg, how you going to fix them on? You see, it's alright for the jays and all those other birds. They sort of grow out of their feathers. They start with an advantage and they learn to use them right from birth. You would be right back behind the tiniest chick in expertise.”
“You're putting me off the whole idea now Wick. It all seems a lot of hard work if you ask me.”
“Tell me something Treg. Why did you want to go up into the trees anyway. There's not a bit of grass up there.”
“There's not? Then why do the birds go up there?”
“Tell you what Treg. We'll never know. And, I'll tell you something else. It doesn't really matter does it?”
“Now that you put it like that Wick, I suppose not. Pity though. It was quite a good idea for me, wasn't it?”
“For you, Treg, yes. For you!”

Treg rests at NinefieldsFriday 14 th October 2005
We all makes jokes about Tregony. We like to make out he is not very clever and put him in the role of a simpleton. In some ones this is somewhere near the truth. Treg is a simple soul in the way that simple means straightforward and uncomplicated. He is also very old, in human terms he would be in his nineties now. This tends to make him slow and deliberate in his movements for he lacks the agility of his youth. The fact that he is, by breeding, a cob and therefore has the stubborn, unyielding and brave characteristics of his type also tend to make him an easy target for humour. But, whatever Treg is, he is a lovely warm and lovable character and my very best friend.
Why am I saying all this? It is because I am terribly worried about him this evening. He started the morning lying in and not coming down for breakfast. That has been fairly standard these days and we didn't take much notice. The only thing a bit different this morning was that he chose to lie down in the very top field and, when he is lying flat, he is not very visible and SHE walked all the way to the tTMop field before he sat up and SHE found him.

This afternoon, after HE had had his lunch, HE decided to come along to Ninefields to make sure that Treg had got up and found all three of us grazing just above the field shelter. Wick and I came down to meet HIM (and see if there were any treats going) but Treg just stood there and looked at HIM. As Treg didn't come down, HE decided to go and get Treg's breakfast bucket and, after giving Wick and I a handful each in the shelter, went and took Treg's breakfast up to him. He had nearly finished it all by the time Wick and I came back up the hill and we got a small handful each before the bucket was empty. HE then went away, pleased that Treg had eaten most of his breakfast as it has his medicine in it and also the weather today has been a bit wet, cold and miserable.
When THEY came along with supper, I followed Wicky into the field shelter after HIM carrying the buckets but Treg just stood where he was grazing next to the stream. It took HER to get hold of his mane and guide him up to the shelter before he started in on his supper. Now normally, when Treg has finished his bucket he either ambles over to my place to mop up any bits of food I may have left n he floor or, if not, he turns and goes over to HIM to get some treats. Tonight, when he finished his bucket, he just stood there as if he didn't know what to do. I came back from the bridle path where SHE had been giving me my treats and still Treg just stood there. Now, normally if Treg won't hurry down to her for his sugar lumps, HE gets me to go in behind him and the Treg very swiftly moves out of the way. Tonight when I went behind him, he still just stood there. THEY left with Treg still standing in the field shelter.
We are all worried that Treg has finally lost the way. It's either that or he was feeling sleepy again after having two buckets so close together. I know I am a worrier by nature but I really don't know what to do tonight. Only time will tell!

Gorse flowersSaturday 15 th October 2005
“What? WHAT? What's everyone going on about?”
“Tregony, you'll drive me crazy, you old ratbag.”
“Wassa matter Alli? What have I done?”
“You tell him Wick, I'll bite him in a minute.”
“Go ahead lassie. Give him a good hard one from me too. Don't you know you've had everyone worrit sick laddie? Even THEY were crying. We all thought that you were a gonner for sure, yesterday. I think SHE was working out where to have the hole dug.”
“And now, you old so and so, it turns out that you were just a bit lame, that's all!”
“A bit lame? A BIT! I like that. I'm crippled and all you can think of is yourselves. You should be on the other end of this leg, Alli. It hurts like mad.”
“Even after the pain killer the vet gave you?”
“Well, it hurt like mad then. And I don't know what you are laughing at Wicky. You should know what it's like with a bad foot, you used to have enough of them.”
“I was just remembering all the fuss you made when the vet was sorting your foot out. Kept trying to pull it back as if he was going to hurt you.”
“I wasn't trying to pull it back, just keeping my balance while I was trying to get a mint sweet from HIM. I noticed you were much more intent on eating treats than worrying about me.”
“We did all our worrying last night, Treg. Me, Alli and THEM. We watched you standing still in the field shelter as if your brain had finally stopped functioning, with that vacant look on your face. We all really thought it was time to put you out of your misery. Not just with a pain killer but for good.”
“And then all the trouble I had with you last night. I tried to get you to walk out and come and graze and all you did was stand there for ages.”
“Yeah, sorry about that Alli but the pain was so bad that it was all I could think of.”
“I tell you what was funny though. When THEY turned up this morning and saw that you were only lame and not dead you should have seen the relief on their faces. I've never seen humans so pleased to build up a nice big vets bill before. THEY were actually happy that you had a bad foot.”
“Did you notice THEM both shed a tear or two and give each other a hug while we were eating Alli? Maybe THEY were sorry that you hadn't died after all Treg.”
“Ere, Wick. I think it's time we all changed the subject don't you. How about we hobble up the hill and do a spot of serious grazing.”
“You sure you can make it with that poultice on your foot Treg? I wouldn't want anything to happen to you, you know.”
“Alli. I've had a night of terrible pain. I've had a vet poking around in my foot with a knife. I've had a couple of injections and I've had my foot bound up and covered with sticky tape. I think it's a bit late to worry if anything is going to happen to me. Oh, and Wicky chased me off when I was mopping up your left overs tonight. What more could happen?”
“Er, Treg. I forgot to tell you what SHE whispered to me tonight.”
“Wassat Alli?”
“My daughter Mimms is coming to live with us next week!”
“Oh Fetlocks! Fetlocks, fetlocks, fetlocks!”

treg over the fenceSunday 16 th October 2005
After having told Treg about Mimms yesterday, I find that THEY still know no more as yet. There was supposed to be a phone call on Friday with details about when Mimms could come but, as THEY have heard nothing so far, THEY are unable to arrange the transport to bring her here as yet. So, all I can do is wait in anticipation.
As if that weren't bad enough, the weather has been warm and wet and that means – midges! I hate them, Treg hates them and even Wicky, who is usually so placid, has been swishing his tail and stamping his feet. And, when THEY come, to bring our buckets, THEY find themselves itching and scratching as THEIR faces get bitten all over. The best thing is to hide as far in the back of the field shelter as possible but, as Wicky points out, there's not a lot of grass there so we can't do that for long.
The good news is Treg's foot appears to be far, far better. He is striding out now with no apparent problems at all. Partly it would be the pain killer, at least at first, but that must have worn off by now so maybe the foot really is getting better. SHE is giving him injections still but that is an anti biotic not a pain killer. This morning his fetlock swelling had gone right down and he even seemed brighter in himself although, of course, that can't be hard. I just thought. You can tell we are getting less worried about him now because we a start to make jokes about his simple nature again.
That reminds me (although I don't know why). I was in trouble this morning. I don't mean I don't know why I was in trouble. I do. The midges were being annoying and I had still been worrying about Treg and so I was in a bit of a mood this morning. It's also quite possible that my hormones may have had something to do with it as well but I won't mention that as it would probably be un PC (pony club rules). Anyway, I was a bit pushy and shovey this morning when I went over to where SHE was giving Treg his sugar lumps and that made HER quite angry. SHE not only shouted but SHE waved HER arms as well so I had to canter off well out of HER way. Even Treg got worried to see me go off like that so he ran and joined me. Well, at least we got up the hill earlier this morning although I did miss the flying carrots routine.

Monday 17 th October 2005
Another of those very mixed and (for me) very worrying days. HE told me this morning that THEY had not been able to get on the internet all day yesterday. Just as they were getting ready to bring us our breakfast the electricity in the house dimmed a couple of times and then came back on. All seemed OK until THEY tried to use the internet after THEY got home. All THEY got was a message from the phone company saying that the link to the service provider was down. Anyway, this morning, as soon as the firm was back to work (they were closed the week end), HE phoned and was taken through a little routine of ‘flushing the DNS' which HE had to perform on all three of their machines. I still don't know why HE didn't do it to the fourth one. Maybe I'll ask him later.
CarnivalThen THEY had to rush out to get more needles for Treg's injections and bandages for his foot. I say rush because THEY had to be back to get Wicky for his regular coat trim. Before THEY went, SHE had phoned Mimms; keeper to find out what was going on and was told that either today or Wednesday would be a good time to move her. So, on the way to the farm shop, THEY called in to the transport place that moved me and the other two, only to find out that the firm had stopped transporting horses now. At the farm shop THEY asked around to see if anyone knew of a horse transporter and got a few names and suggestions but no sure things.
All of this I was told tonight. The first I knew was when I heard the Throwleigh Road gate bang and saw HIM walking across the field with a head collar in HIS hands. We were right up in the top field (much to HIS delight) and it took HIM quite a while to reach us. When HE did, HE put the head collar on Wicky and started off down the hill. It took me a few moments to realise what HE was doing. Then I panicked. HE was taking Wicky away. I called out. I galloped down the field to HIM and put myself between HIM and Wicky. But HE wasn't to be stopped. I had to gallop back to Treg to see he was alright and then back down the hill, fast as the wind. I was just in time to get between them and the gate but this time HE was firm with me and told me not to worry, Wick would be back soon. Well, I'm sorry, I am built to worry. I kept calling out, long after they had gone off down the road. I was still calling when Maxwell's human came past to bring him out to the field.
Finally, after lunchtime, they reappeared walking up the hill, at least HE was walking, Wick was trotting. When he got to the gate, Wick gave a great big shout to me and both me and Maxwell answered back. I will admit Wick looked very smart but I do wish I didn't have to go through all that each time. I gather THEY have decided on every 8 weeks now.
And finally, HE tells me, it looks like Thursday that Mimms will be coming here. SHE found someone who is willing to do it but that is the first he can manage. It now all depends on making sure that the arrangements suit everyone so, after a few phone calls tonight, THEY should be in a position to let me know tomorrow morning.

Dartmoor roadTuesday 18 th October 2005
It's on for Thursday afternoon. I think SHE has just to tell the transport man the exact details of where Mimms is stabled at present and then just stand back and wait. Apparently last night was a bit of a nail biter. The driver was going off to Wales and had said he would phone when he got there. When SHE heard nothing, SHE phoned him again and he had just arrived with his load of animals and told her he just had to clean out the lorry and would ring her back in 20 minutes. Well, twenty minutes came and went and no phone call so, as SHE has just got a new computer game, SHE decided to wait up longer for him to call. When nothing happened after an hour, SHE phoned him again, only to find that he was so tired after his journey that he had made himself a cup of tea and fallen asleep. He said he was not thinking very clearly so he would ring back this morning, which he did. And so, Thursday afternoon is arranged.
I would be really excited but I have got mixed feelings. Not about Mimms but, as usual, about Tregony. This morning was the darkest we have had yet this year. The skies were full of dark clouds and the heavens opened. It poured very very hard. And what does Tregony do? Yes, that's right. He lays down. When THEY brought breakfast it was obvious that he was just not going to get up. Fortunately he wasn't far from the field shelter so he had a good view of Wick and I having our breakfast but he, for one, was just going to lie there, in the pouring rain. As has become a habit, THEY left his breakfast bucket in the field shelter, covered up and then THEY went away. HE had to go and see someone about some changes she wanted to her web site and, on HIS way back, HE called in to see what was happening with Treg. HE was delighted to find that he had finally got up and so we all had some lunch, Wick and I having a handful each out of Treg's bucket and the old boy having the rest. You should have seen THEIR faces when THEY turned up this evening with our suppers, only to find that Treg had decided to lay down again, this time high up in the middle field. And I share THEIR consternation. Although Treg looks OK in himself, we are all worried that his leg joints are finally giving up. I know we have had Treg dead many, many times in the last year and he has proved us wrong every time but still you can't help worrying. He is after all, as someone said the other day, over a hundred years old in human terms if the guesses at his horse age are anywhere near correct. For my part, I was feeling very lonely this evening and I know THEY looked at me, all alone without Treg to ‘guide' and THEY both felt sorry for me too. If Mimms comes she will give me some companionship again but it could never replace my feelings for my best friend.

Sheep on the looseWednesday 19 th October 2005
‘You are a very silent horse', the girl said, standing up and brushing the dust of her clothes. ‘Haven't you got anything to say for yourself?'
Zarife knew now that the girl was really talking to him. And not in human but in a language that he could understand and answer back in. He looked down at her again and tried to gather his thoughts. ‘I didn't know rivers were owned by anyone', he said, ‘they just are like the air or the sand'.
‘Well, that's a lot you know then my fine steed. You may be handsome but I'm not sure you'd rate very high on an IQ test.'
‘Well, that's because I've never been on one', Zarife replied, rather heatedly. ‘But I could learn. I'm a very quick learner.'
The girl looked thoughtfully into Zarife's eyes. ‘Yes, I expect you are sir, I expect you are. Tell me, what's your name?'
‘Zarife son of Sahara . I am of noble blood from a long line of princes.'
‘Lost are you?', said the girl, looking very unimpressed. ‘My name's Talitha. I'm named after a star. Third leap of the gazelle, north. I think you'll find stars are more important than princes.'
‘I believe you Talitha. May I have my drink now? I've been running a very long way in the heat and I am very, very thirsty.'
‘Of course you can Zarife. I was only playing. It's not my river it's everybody's. And I don't really care about stars or princes, it's just that you sounded rather stuffy and I wanted to bring you down a little.'
Talitha continued to chatter away while Zarife quenched his thirst. He did manage to get one or two words in, in between mouthfuls and he learnt that, like him, she too was running away from something. When he had finished drinking, Talitha asked if he would give her a ride as her feet were burning in the desert sand. She leapt up onto his back and started to guide him.
‘I know of a rather nice part of the land where there is water and grass in plenty and no other humans apart from a passing camel train or two whom we can easily hide from. Let me show you where and then we can rest and decide what we are going to do after that.'
Zarife readily agreed, particularly on hearing about the grass. He hadn't see any of that for very many months now, since he was taken to the soldier's fort.

“What? Not seen grass for months, Alli, how terrible. Poor horse. I hope this is not going to turn into one of those horror stories?”
“I'm afraid Treg, it's going to turn into one of those serial stories. I really am too tired to tell you any more tonight. It's the excitement, I think. You know Mimms. HE told me tonight that it's definitely on for tomorrow afternoon. THEY are going over to her stables at Shaldon at two o'clock and waiting for the transport to arrive. Then THEY will pick up her tack and drive back in front of the lorry to bring her here. So tomorrow evening it will be four buckets instead of three. You better promise to stay away and greet her when she arrives, poor dear. She will be in a strange place and probably very nervous. You and Wick had better be on your best behaviour.”
“OK Alli. I'll do my best – unless I get too tired, of course!”

Waiting at the gateThursday 20 th October 2005
Would you believe it? In Devon , of all places! The “professional” horse transporter let us down. He phoned last night and called it off. So – no Mimms today!

However, all is not lost. SHE did today what any wise person living in this part of the world does. SHE ignored the so called professionals and turned to HER friends. In the space of a couple of hours, SHE had three offers of help from private individuals so now we are just waiting for the new arrangements to be made. I use the word waiting advisedly because it is Devon , after all. Here things get done ‘dreckly' which does have it's equivalents in other parts of the world like manana and so on. Although it is a joke in these parts, it is, in fact, part of it's charm. This is the country and the life we choose to lead and, while it can become infuriating if you want something urgently, it does lead to a very comfortable, east going sort of life style. A Tregony sort of lifestyle in fact!

“Now, where was I Treg?”
“They was going somewhere to look at some grass, wasn't they?”
“Oh yes, I remember.”
Zafire, with Talitha on his back, made there way along the river bank until it turned and headed east. They then left the shady ways and continued northwards over the bare desert sands. While they had been walking and then trotting, enjoying the journey along the river, Zafire now broke into an easy canter to cover the ground more quickly, to reach their destination before nightfall. There was nothing to see, no trees, no birds, no buildings – nothing but sand dunes as far as the eye could see so Zafire just concentrated on maintaining an easy pace and Talitha ceased to make conversation, just dozing in the saddle.
After about three hours, the light started to change. It wasn't late enough for night to be the reason, it was more the quality and colour of the light that changed rather than the intensity. Talitha grew more alert and stared into the horizon. Zafire felt her body tense up and then she shouted to him. ‘It's there, Zafire, ahead of us. Well be there in another quarter of an hour.' Heartened now, Zafire put more effort into his stride and it was, in fact, only about ten minutes before they were heading off the sandy ground onto grass and approaching a gathering of trees just ahead of them. Finally, they were in the small wood and Zafire slowed to a walk.
‘Where do we stop, young one?' he asked. ‘Just a little further', Talitha told him. ‘We'll come to a lake'. And sure enough, round the next bend they saw the sunlight shimmering on the water surface. Talitha slid down from Zafire's back and ran and dived into the cooling water. Zafire approached the edge and bent down for a long, much needed drink. When Talitha re-emerged from her bathe, Zafire asked her whatthey should do next. ‘First', she said, ‘we should get some rest. We've been riding for ages in the heat of the day and should now sleep before doing anything else. It will be cooler here but wont get too cold when night falls and when we awake we will be able to see by the light of the moon. Then we will think about food.'
And, that's what they did. Talitha just made herself a sort of nest in the grass, curled up and was asleep in a moment. Zafire locked his legs, shut his eyes and drowsed, keeping just one ear open in case they needed to wake in a hurry.

“Just like you, really, Treg. Only you lay right down and let me do the guarding.”
“Privilege of age, Alli, privilege of age”.

mottled leavesFriday 21 st October 2005
Well, now it's Monday – Mimms that is. Brian, whom I've known since I used to live at Wood is picking them up and driving down there with a horse box and land rover about ten in the morning so, with a bit of luck, she should turn up around lunch time and have plenty of light to settle in by. It also means that, now I know, I can relax a little until Monday and then get all excited again.
HE has started a new routine with Treg's buckets. What was happening was that HE would mix Treg's food and medicine and come along to the field, only to find Treg was laying down and HE had to throw the food away. Well, HE didn't have to. Both Wick and I offered to eat it up for HIM but somehow HE didn't take us up on our generous offer. So, now what HE does is bring along the bucket with Treg's short feed in it together with his medicine sachet unopened, his vegetables to mix in wrapped up in a bag, his sugar beet mix in another bag and a bottle of water to mix it all up with if Treg is on his feet. Which he has been ever since HE started this new routine. What it now means is that we all have to wait that much longer for our breakfast and supper while he mixes Treg's all up in the boot of the car. THEY have decided that it is the best way yet of insuring that Treg stays standing up until he has eaten.
The Jays have become more and more daring. I mentioned before how they are supposed to be very wary of humans and only rarely put in a flashing appearance when humans are around. Well, our lot are just ignoring that and just flying right down as soon as HE has thrown the peanuts out for the squirrels. We now get our Billy Bunter fat squirrel sitting stuffing peanuts into his face as fast as he can while at least two and often four Jays come swooping down, one after another, and filling their throats with anything up to thirteen peanuts in one go before they fly up into the big tree above the stream. If one of THEM does stand a bit too near or happens to move too suddenly, the Jay may only manage to gulp down two or three and then flies off with the most dreadful cursing squawks you ever heard. They are big and graceful birds when they glide down but they would never win a singing competition.
We are now in real autumn weather (I am allowed to mention the weather as I have not done so for days now). The nights are brightly moonlit with fairly frequent heavy showers and the days ar sunny and quite warm mid day but cold morning and evening. These last few days have been quite windy too. I hate the wind.
And that's about it for today as I have to go. Treg keeps on and on about me finishing a story I am telling him so we are off up the hill to the top of the top field where we can stand and watch the world going about it's business and I can make sure that we move, safely and surely, towards a happy ending. Treg loves happy endings!

HE talks to MimsSaturday 22 nd October 2005
“You're looking good, Treg, really good. What is it, all that nice food SHE's giving you?”
“Oh, ‘ello Wick. Yeah, ‘andsome, aint I? Dunno what it is really. Something to do with the weather maybe, I never did get on very well with heat.”
“Well, whatever it is, it suits you, laddie. Tell me, are you looking forward to this other female that's coming here on Monday? I'm not at all sure myself.”
“Wait and see, Wick, wait and see. That's what I think. You see, she might well take Alli off my back a bit. I mean, she's good and means well but a chap needs his rest occasionally and with her, it's all go. She's such a worry.”
“Know what you mean Treg. She's her own worst enemy sometimes. Just doesn't know how to relax and just let things happen.”
“Yeah. I had thought we would be getting some peace before now. Usually she goes back to her stable at nights this time of year. In fact, she's about a month late. I know why though.”
“Because she thinks she's become a real hardy Dartmoor horse now? Don't make me laugh. Her coat's so thin, she wouldn't last a week if the real Dartmoor winter comes.”
“No, Wick, I don't think it's that. I think THEY are leaving her out so she can settle Mimms in. Then she will go back in at nights.”
“Well, that's a laugh, for a start. If it's her daughter, she won't have any more coat than her mother. I heard THEM talking only this evening saying her tail makes Alli's look long. We know who her mother was. I'm wondering if her father was a rabbit or something if she's got a shorter tail than Alli.”
“They do say that they have their tails cut short if they go to stud. Maybe that's why. Maybe it's not natural but something that humans have done.”
“Aye, Treg, wouldn't surprise me. Humans are capable of all sorts of funny things. Look at me.”
“Oh, I don't know Wick. Bit on the short side maybe. Funny teeth. Scruffy coa …”
“Thank you Treg. I didn't me that. When I said ‘look at me', I meant ‘look at what THEY've done to me'.”
“Oh, you mean having your coat trimmed. I though that was a fashion statement. I thought you liked it.”
“It's not the trim, it's what THEY did after. I mean, how many horses or ponies do you know wearing two rugs at the same time?”
“I did wonder about that Wick. Didn't like to say anything. You know how it is. Thought you might just be getting a bit absent minded about getting dressed. You know. What they call ‘a senior moment'.”
“If it is a senior moment, Treg, it's not mine, it's THEIRS. Given my ay, I wouldn't bother with a rug at all. At least, not until it got cold. No, the reason THEY have given me two rugs is that they are too big for me. At least, that's what THEY say.”
“But, if one rug is too big for you, surely the other one is also too big for you, so two rugs won't make any difference, will it?”
“Search me, Treg. As I said before, humans, who understands them?”

“Still, THEY are good at one thing, aren't THEY?”
“Aye laddie, you're right. It is very nearly bucket time. Come on, put on a pleasant face. Make them think you are pleased to see them!”

MaxwellSunday 23 rd October 2005
“I've lain down all day today. Don't know why. At least, I do, I think. At first, it was just because I was tired. Alli and I had been walking up the hills most of the night and, even when you are not climbing, it is very hard to find a piece of ground that is level so either your front or your back end is up and the other down or one side is up and the other down. Now, when you have very old joints as I have, this can get quite wearying, so when we reached the nice flat bit, just above the field shelter, I told Alli that I was just going to have a little lie down. She knew what I meant, of course, and once she was sure that I ws fast asleep (which didn't take long, I assure you), she wandered off down to the home paddock top wait for THEM to bring our breakfast.
I do vaguely remember HER coming up to look at me when THEY arrived but I made no pretence at getting up and SHE knew it and went away again.
It must have been mid morning before my mind cleared enough for me to think of getting up. I looked around and Alli, dear soul, was just grazing a few metres away from me, watching out that I was alright. When she saw that I was sitting up, she came over and enquired if I was getting up yet and I told her I was ‘thinking about it'. I recognised the resigned look she gave me as she walked away again so I decided it would be wise to give it a try. But, of course, my poor old legs just weren't up to it yet and I just rolled over again. The sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm in the spot where I lay so it must have been nearer lunch time when I recognised the sound of HIS car, at the entrance to Maxwell's field, a little bit along the Throwleigh Road from us. My first instinct was to make a show of getting up but then it came to me that it might be wisest to act as if I hadn't heard HIM. This must have worked for I heard the car driving away and I lay down again.
By mid afternoon, I was feeling pretty hungry. The trouble with having a lie in is that you miss breakfast. But, not only that, you miss wandering around and grazing as well. It's alright for a while because you have quite a load stored in your tummy from before but when that has adjusted, the old hungry feeling kicks in. Now, here is where the catch comes in. At first you lie down because your legs are tired and need a rest. But if you lie there too long, your limbs start to ache (at first) and then actually hurt from where all that weight is resting on them. Finally you reach a stage where your legs wont work any more because of the pain and so, try as you might, you just can't get up. And, by supper time, that is the stage I had reached. I had tried and tried to get up but my legs had gone numb and just would support me so I just rolled over and fell down again. I must have moved about fifteen metres from where I first lay down just rising and tumbling in my efforts.
And when you are that far gone, there is only one thing that will get you up again – adrenaline! And who knew it – SHE did. When they came with the buckets, SHE came straight up to me and then proceeded to work on me. And, in about five minutes, I was up, shaky and achy but I was up. I staggered to my feet and, considering how stiff and sore I was, ran quickly away from her threats. Then I was given loads of treats and praise and led gently down to my supper. I tell you something. It was lovely to have my bucket to eat but it was even better to be able to go to the toilet. What a relief! Now all I've got to do is to take Alli's nagging as she chases me up the hill again!”

Clear streamMonday 24 th October 2005
Guess what? Mimms didn't come today after all. It was all something to do with timing. The guy who was going to get her had to be back by midday to take his wife somewhere and Mimms' human got a letter telling her she had to be somewhere this morning and couldn't be back until midday. So, there we were. SHE was very unhappy, to say the least and made it clear that SHE didn't like letting other people down. This must have done some good because SHE got a phone call later in the day saying that someone else had been organised to fetch Mimms tomorrow. (Hold on a minute, I've got to put Mimms into the spell checker if she is going to be a feature in this diary from now on otherwise I will keep getting red lines under her name every time I say it – and that worries HIM). Right, that's better, all the red lines have gone. Now, what was I saying? Oh yes, tomorrow. I'm not really sure what time and it probably is best just to let things happen and believe it when I see it. As it was, THEY put the gate back across the stream so that THEY could unbox Mimms (Oh s**t! Now HE got a red line under unbox although Mimms was alright. You can't win). Anyway, the idea was that THEY could un-box (that works) Mimms without Tregony and Wicky getting in the way. Of course, THEY knew I wouldn't but THEY had to keep us all out to prevent jealousy. But then, when it all fell through, THEY just left the gate there anyway although THEY had to move it to bring our supper buckets tonight. Isn't life complicated?
I'm going to keep today's entry brief because I hope to have lots to say tomorrow. Just want to finish by saying what an atrocious weather day it has been today. And yet, funnily enough, SHE took one of Wick's coats off a few days ago and he is now drier and warmer than he was before. SHE reckons it was sweat not rain that was keeping him moist before. Anyway, Wick takes no notice of the rain. He was just grazing as usual while Treg and I had to shelter under a tree. Ponies are a real funny lot, aren't they?



Tuesday 25 th October 2005
Wicky
We were grazing quietly this afternoon, right up in the topmost west field, at about two thirty, when a white car drove up outside the Throwleigh Road gate. A lady got out and stood looking up at us. Next, HIS old jeep drove up and parked down the road from hers and THEY got out and came into the field. We all heard them but Alli said to keep our heads down so we pretended not to notice. Next, however, a horse box drew up outside the gate and out walked this gorgeous red filly. By this time, SHE was calling to us and Alli had seen the lassie and was galloping down the field to investigate. However, when she got to the top field entrance, she remembered Tregony who, of course, hadn't budged as he was trying to work out what was going on. By the time she got back to Treg and got him moving and I had also reached the top field gate, this new lassie had been brought down outside the field shelter and had been loosed from her lead rein. Alli and I went charging down the hill and Alli and the newcomer met head to head in the home paddock. There was a lot of sniffing and snorting and then I joined them and we all ran round and round. To cut my story short, things between Alli and the new lassie who's name I now know is Mimms, took a bit of an ugly turn. From what I can tell it was all to do with a spot of jealousy over Treg of all people. Anyway, I saw how this could be turned to my own advantage, and later, after the disaster which THEY called supper, I decided to chase Mimms off which would both give me an opportunity to strike up an acquaintance with the pretty young thing while getting into Alli's good books for being her hero.

Alezane meets her daughter Mims after ten yearsTregony
Who would have thought it? At my age. Being fought over by two lovely females. To be honest I wouldn't really care who won me. I mean I love Alli but this new Minny or whatever she's called is rather lovely. Don't half bring back memories. Tell you what, I don't reckon I'll be sleeping much tonight. Funny really. At supper time it was only Wicky and me what ate all our buckets up. Alli just couldn't settle to eat hers. She even kicked out at the back of the stable once. In a right old mood she was. HE kept trying to give her her bucket but she just pulled her head out and glared at Mimmsy. She were just as bad. First she wouldn't come in the shelter next to me to have her supper and when HE put it down out side, she struck out with her front foot and kicked her bucket over, spilling all the contents around on the ground. Now I would have been quite happy to help clear that up but Alli came storming out and rushed me up the hill above the shelter before I even had a chance to have any treats. I should have guessed, Wicky finished all that up (except the large veggies which he doesn't eat, well, at least unless there is nothing else) and then went off chasing after Wimsy.

Mimms
Bit of a funny day this. First I am led up a ramp to talk to Monty, who was in a sort of stall at the top, and the next thing I know, they are closing a half door on me and then closing the ramp up so I only had a small crack to look out of. Then the whole thing started moving off and I spent nearly an hour being rattled and bumped in this box. When the thing stopped, the back was opened and everywhere was green all around. Hedges, trees, hills and loads of lovely grass. I was led out and into a field and I caught a scent of other horses not far away. I walked down and had to cross a wet stream and then I was let off. Next thing this great big thundering female came hurtling down the hill towards me. I've leaned later that it was my mum, but at the time, she was just a bit frightening and not at all welcoming. I felt the need to defend myself and we ran around for a while. Then things seemed to quieten down. This little grey midget joined her and run around getting under everyone's legs and then the trouble started. An old chap came ambling along and he looked a really kindly sort so I went over to say hello. Next minute – wham! That female came hurtling between us and made him canter off with her. I have to say, things have not started well. She is
so jealous that I can't even come near them. So what, who needs ‘em, I thought and went up into one of the several fields to graze on my own. And that was alright until the male human came and took me down to the shelter to eat and it all started over again. I lashed out and got shouted at but worse than that, after all the food thing was over, I got chased all over the fields by that midget. I mean, it was no problem keeping ahead of him with his tiny legs but he kept calling out something like ‘come here lassie, let' you and I get better acquainted'. Ugh! Now the old feller, that's a different matter!

Alezane
My worst nightmare. And I thought HE was joking when he said my daughter was coming to live with me. Ten years! Ten years I've been free of her. There I was happily thinking I'd never see her again and then she comes waltzing back into my life and the first thing she does is try to steal my man. At least Wicky has got the right idea. He keeps chasing her and calling out the most horrible threats (I think. With his accent I don't quite understand what he is saying but it sounds horrible). And worse still, I'm sure Tregony would have gone with her. I know she is not even ten years old yet and I am a little mature but then Treg is also less than a youngster. Typical man! After all I've done for him as well. She's off now in the top field. Let her stay there all alone tonight and let's see if she can learn to behave herself. I don't suppose I have much choice if THEY really mean it. But at least I can set out a few ground rules so we can all learn to live together in some sort of harmony.

Mims meets the herdWednesday 26 th October 2005
After the very long entry, yesterday, just a brief progress report today. We have now moved into a period of adjustment while I attempt to teach Mimms some elementary manners. OK I know it is partly may fault. I should have taught her when she was young. The trouble was, she was taken away from me at a very early age and I just didn't have time for it. I must also admit that I am maybe not the best of mothers in that once they are born, I do tend to lose a bit of interest. I am definitely not a very mumsy sort but then, we are what we are.
Mimms is proving a bit of a headache in that she will tease so. She will deliberately do something to arouse me and then just gaily run off when I come after her. Really though, it's not bad at all and we have made enormous progress. We now share the same field, she goes where we go only keeping about fifteen metres or more away from us. I am a little worries about Wicky. I am not at all sure that he is not falling for her. While Treg and I stand shoulder to shoulder facing her, Wick tends to stand somewhere in the middle as if he would like her to join him. It may not be true love however as she is rather a lot like me and tends to eat her vegetables and leave her short feed and Wick is very quick to go to her aid and eat it for her.
Well, tomorrow is another day as some famous mare once said, so off we go up the hill for another night of manners training. At least it is keeping Treg awake!

Thursday 27 th October 2005
“So, where is it exactly that you come from, Mitts?”
“Mimms! M-I-M-M-S, Mimms.”
“Oh, where's that. Near Chagford?”
“What are you, daft or something? Mimms is my name, you old fool.”
“Oh! Funny, we had someone else here with a name like that. I think. Not sure though. It's my memory. Getting a bit creaky now.”
“Yeah, like the rest of you, eh?”
MIMS and HER“Er, probably. Really, if you have a lot of questions you're better to ask Alli. She know everything.”
“Yeah, I know. Wicked, eh?”
“Oh no. Wicked is the shorter one. Alli is that one there, the ginger lady. She's ever so nice.”
“Look old man. When I say wicked, I am not referring to your pet midget, it's just a saying, right?”
“My pet midge …. Oh, Wicky you mean. He's not mine, he's Alli's. We all are. You are too now, aren't you?”
“I'm afraid I always was. She's my mum. And her name's not Alli, whatever she might have told you, she's Special.”
“Yeah, we think so too. She's my special friend. We got on right from the start when … well, when … something happened.”
“What happened? What made you so close?”
“Er, dunno. But it did. Listen whatsyourname, where do you come from?”
“Cloth ears. You asked that once already.”
“Only once? You sure? I usually have to ask things quite a lot before I remember them – sometimes. Anyway, look, we can keep chatting like this if I don't know your name. What do they call you?”
“Are you ready? Mimms. That's my name. Mimms.”
“Never mind, THEY can always change it. Fancy being named after a place. Is it South Mimms or North Mimms ?”
“You really are a banana, aren't you? But you're sorta cute. What's your name?”
“Tregony.”
“That's a strange name, where did THEY get that from?”
“Oh, it's a town in Cornwall .”
“A town? You mean a place. Fancy being named after a place! Is it South Tregony or North Tregony ?”
“No, no. There's only one Tregony. It's in Cornwall .”
“Listen old man. Do you ever get the feeling that you are going round in circles?”
“Only when I try to get up. Do you have that rouble too. It does worry HER. SHE thinks I'm stuck when it's only that I fall over and roll several times before my legs can hear what my brain is telling them.”
“Are you trying to tell me you've got a brain? Listen. It's a wonder your legs hear anything at all. Right?”
“Is it? Oh, maybe that's the problem then. Ere, tell me Tims, where do you come from?”
“I think I will call you Tregs. Right? Now Tregs, I don't expect you've heard of it but I come from Teignmouth. At the seaside. OK?”
“I remember them. When they put that metal thing in between your teeth and give you a tin mouth. Must be a real horsey place Tin Mouth? I bet you're sorry you left it?”
“I'm beginning to think so. Only oldies and fruitcakes to talk to. Aint there any young horses around here anywhere? What is this anyway, some sort of retirement home?”
“What a good idea. I'll have to tell Alli that. Well, it's been nice talking to you young lady. Gotta go now, Alli's looking at me like that and you know what that means. Anyway, see you around. Pity about the name .”

Mims and meFriday 28 th October 2005
Treg and Mimi are getting on a treat now. I would have thought the generation gap might have made it difficult, but no.
I think she finds him rather sweet, a sort of granddad figure. And him, well, I think he is a bit smitten, to tell the truth. Mimi? Oh yes, I heard Treg asking her what she was called. First she rolled her eyes as if he might have asked her before. Then I saw a sort of smile on her face and she told him ‘THEY call me Mimi, I don't know why. I wanted to be called Lucia but SHE chose Mimi'. And, for some reason it stuck with Treggy. Her real name is still Mimms, of course but if Treg can remember Mimi then that's alright with me. I gather Mimms come from some wicked witch called Madame Mim. To be honest, for the first couple of days that was just about how I saw her. There we were, the three of us, getting along really well as a family unit when this pushy kid comes along and tries to barge in on us. Well, I mean, I'm as open minded as the next one but there are rules of etiquette to be observed. Her speech didn't endear me to her either. ‘Cool' this and ‘wicked' that. I would at least have expected her to have grown out of that by now. She's hardly a teenager any more she's coming up ten.
Still, that was then, but now I've really taken to her. Lots of rough edges naturally that I've got to sort out but deep down, I think, we are very much alike. I know HE has told me that sometimes, if HE is not thinking, and is stroking or grooming her, HE forgets and thinks it is me! In many ways we do look rather alike and yet, in others, we are quite dissimilar. I am taller, with longer legs whereas she is squarer and stockier. Treg says shapelier and I intend to make him pay for that one day. Just wait until he wants to have a lie down again. Our natures do seem to be very much alike. She will eat up all her veggies but leave the short feed in the bucket. If THEY start to groom her without her head collar on, she will hastily walk away, just like me. She has my awareness (Treg calls it nerves, Wicky calls it hormones) and she is always ready to run if need be. Of course, she has a lot to learn about Ninefields and Dartmoor . One funny thing. SHE is having to put extra salt into her food or she wont eat it at all. I do wonder if that is coming from the seaside where maybe the grass has picked up salt from the sea.
Our biggest problem now is Wicky. When Mimms first came, he was a star and rallied to my aid like a hero. I've never seen him so active and aggressive. He chased her away right to the little middle field. So, since then, she always calls him names – midget and stuff, and that has naturally not made him any fonder of her. They don't fight, bite or kick or anything (although I did see her give him a nip this morning, Treg couldn't help sniggering as Wick has done this to him many a time). No, they just usually keep their distance and do a bit of the ears back stuff when they are forced to come together. Now that I have accepted her, I'm sure it will come out alright very soon now. I'll tell you a secret. I rather like having charge of a bigger herd, it's quite fun!

Mims with CarolineSaturday 29 th October 2005
Just to give you a bit of background on Mimms. She is allegedly a bit accident prone because she injured herself a couple of times, both, as far as I can ascertain by panicking in thunderstorms when she was younger. Wicky was wondering what she is going to be like on November 5 th when the Fireshow gets really going. Then we get about ten minutes of sustained bangs and crashes. We are far enough away from it for it not to trouble us but, if you have not heard it before, I suppose it can be a bit scarey.

I am afraid Wicky and Mimms are still a bit edgy with one another. Still a bit of ear flattening and running and bucking. Really though, it's nothing more than show now and it is just down to a battle for second or third place in the herd. Mimms and I get on fine now. She even came the whole way into the field shelter tonight to eat with us. It is a little bit crowded but not really too bad. I was able to turn round and go out when I had finished my supper without disturbing anyone. That did create a bit of a problem however as it left Wick and Mimms next to each other. I was really proud of Treg though. He normally goes over to my place when I have finished to mop up anything that I have dropped and left. As he did so tonight, Wicky made a lunge at him to get it for himself. Treg just turned round and started sharing Mimms supper with her out of her bucket. She didn't mind as she still, like me, prefers the vegetables to the rest and she had finished all those up already.
So, really, it's settling down into a nice little unit. Treg is happy to be last, seeing it not as a slight but rather as a security. I find it hard to imagine Treggy ever falling out with anyone, he is such a sweet natured horse. Wick is really quite content to do his own thing anyway. He is a real pony with a pony's nature – tough and independent. And me, well, now she has learned the rules, I am enjoying having my daughter back with me. Life has perked up considerably lately and I'm having fun.

 

 

Wicked and I discuss thingsSunday 30 th October 2005
Yeah, well like it's not bad here really. Old granddad's alrite ans mum's, well, mum. But I still don't like that midget. Jumped up little git. Thinks he owns the place. You know what? He tried to nip my knees today. For no reason either. I just gave a squeal and told him where he could go, little squirt.
I've started eating with them all now, in the field shelter. THEY've put me between old granddad and mum so's I won't have to be near VC. That's vertically challenged if you don't know. That's wot I call him and he don't even no that I'm taking the stale. Tell you wot, the food here's pretty good. Specially the carrots. Didn't take me long to work out who to mug first. HE's a push over. The more I nuzzle, the more HE gives me. Trouble is though, HE thinks it gives HIM the rite to take advantage. HE's started brushing me now. Just my mane and forelock yesterday but this evening HE had a go at my neck as well. I twisted away but he grabbed my rug and carried on. I woulda run but HE still had carrots so I let HIM carry on. At least until HE tried to touch my ears. I wasn't having that. I mean. Well. How uncool can you get? Wot THEY don't seem to have latched on to is that I don't have to do anything if I don't have a head collar on. I mean, fair's fair, right?
I'm starting to get the hang of the routine here now. After we've had breakfast, we wander down to what they call the bridle path gate. Then we have to wait for granddad. He spends a lot of time getting his head together. Just stands there for ages as if he is trying to remember wot day it is. Then, he finally gets his act together and we start to go through the gate and up the hill and then mum makes us wait for VC. D'you know, he's a greedy little worm. He always goes back to the shelter after he's had his drink to see if anyone has left anything. He calls it tidying up but I know he's just plain pigging. The we …..

That'll do now, dear. I only asked you to say a few words. Just so people would get to know you. Now, you trot along with the boys. I won't be a moment.
I'm afraid she is still a little rough around the edges. Never mind, there's time yet. I'm really quite proud of her, you know. I think we are all looking forward to some nice warm sunny days so she can have a bit of a bath and start to get her coat into better condition. It will do her good to have a bit of handling too. She's a bit wild. Nice natured but a little headstrong, dear girl. Anyway, I'm sure between us we will see that she turns out a mare to be proud of. Now, I'd better go off up the hill to stop any squabbles between her and Wicky. He's become a bit of a grouch lately. Probably feels a bit threatened by having two females around the place. I'm afraid she doesn't help, always goading him on. Tell you what though. Things are not dull around here anymore.

Mims climbing the hillMonday 31 st October 2005
“Ere, Wick?”
“Humph.”
“Wassa matta Wick?”
“What do you think. It's her, isn't it. That young madam, that's what's the matter.”
“She is a bit er a bit pushy, isn't she?”
“Pushy? She's downright rude. No manners at all. Did you see the face she made at me this evening?”
“She chased me out of the shelter and turned and bucked at me.”
“And did you see her this morning. She bit HIM twice. Once while HE was bringing the buckets up the path and then a much harder one after HE had finished giving her treats.”
“I was surprised she didn't get a smack for that Wick. All HE did was shout at her and shoo her away.”
“I know, Treg. It's one law for the geldings and another for the mares, it seems.”
“What are we going to do, Wick. Alli doesn't seem to be able to keep her under control?”
“Doesn't look to me as if she is trying. She just stands there with a little smile on her face. I think she is secretly proud of her.”
“Ere, do you know what day it is today?”
“Yeah, it's Monday.”
“No, I mean what special day it is. It's October 31 st , aint it?”
“Oh, right Treg. Halloween you mean?”
“Yeah, that's it. You know what. I reckon she's one of those old witches that come out on Halloween. Lets call her that, shall we?”
“I though Alli said you had a soft spot for her.”
“I did. But after the way she has been behaving today the only soft spot is that mud hole over in the bridle path field. I'd like to push her in there.”
“Right. Ok. Wait until she's passing by and let's jump out and shout ‘Boo, you old witch!' That'll teach her, won't it?”
“Yeah! Er, I hope she don't decide to bite us though. Maybe we should just sort of say it under our breath. You know. From the other side of the field.”
“Tregony, Tregony. Don't give in to her laddie. I heard HER saying it only needs a bit of time for her to get used to us and our ways. She's not really bad, just silly. I'm sure she just doesn't know how to behave yet. HE said that she was only asking for a game when she bit HIM. Anyway, HE said it was only HIS coat. She didn't hurt.”
“D'you think when she bucked at me, she was asking for a game?”
“No, Treg. She was telling you to buzz of, I'm afraid.”
“Tell you what Wick. Life is a bit more interesting since she came, isn't it? I've not felt the need to lie down once.”
“You probably don't dare old lad. But yes. She's alright really. Mind you, I'm still going to go and call her a witch. Coming?”

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