Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Finally managed to rush up and see the mare. Oh, poor thing, I thought. I have not visited her all day. What a brute I am. Felt really quite angsty.
Got there, with the Pidge. Red looked up politely when I arrived, pricked her ears, gave me a courteous but perfunctory nod, and then went back to eating her hay. It was a bit like when you fuss over a teenager and they really don't get it. They shrug and grimace and say: yeah, well, whatever. It was as if she were thinking, better humour the old girl, and then she'll let me eat my tea in peace.
It made me laugh and laugh.
She is a horse, after all. As long as she has a sunny paddock to loaf in and some top quality hay, she will be happy as a clam. She is so relaxed now that it is as if she has been here always. A huge tractor roared down from the farm, and she did not even turn her head to look.
I sat on a little stone wall and watched her for a bit. She likes rearranging her hay into neat little piles and then eating delicately from the top. She was so dozy that at times she appeared to be eating and sleeping at the same time.
I think she has settled. Even the Pigeon seems to have come round to the idea. We are family now, and that is that.
These are her views, from the field:
The Pigeon looked pretty happy with the arrangement:
And, finally, finally – the return of The Hill:
These pictures are dedicated to my friend Miss Whistle, who lost her glorious spotted dog yesterday. I send out an RIP for the lovely old gentleman.
I know all about that dog grief; the tear at the heart, the yearning sense of loss, the shock of the grief. Even when they are old and have had their time, the sense of rupture is startling. I remember the Duchess as if it were yesterday. She stays with me always.
Miss W lives six thousand miles from here, but she loves and knows Scotland, and loves horses too. So these are specially for her.