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  • The zebra was incredibly uncooperative this morning (the picture for this blog was taken this morning, as Sura deliberately walked past me for the twelfth wrangling attempt in a row, instead of turning left to enter his pasture), Diesel is fighting hard to overcome a puncture wound and subsequent reaction to a tetanus shot (perhaps, I was indeed wrong weaning the foals from each other), Huck had his bad-est bad-pony day ever, and just before dark, road racers purposely aimed for a pair of geese just off the road at the farm's grassy edge, leaving one goose dead, and the other broken-hearted, still standing over his lifeless beloved - hours later - nudging her to get up.

    All I can think about is how these two geese - mated for life - made the long 5,000 mile journey north to nest for spring and raise their young in what is supposed to be the safe and sacred haven of the farm and its pond, right here, maybe even where one of them was also hatched and raised. The hardest lesson in farm stewardship is that, no matter how hard I try and how fiercely I fight, I can't protect them. Fences and go away signs don't keep the animals in - where they can be wild - and they don't keep the unwild people out. It's the unwild people who drive by and honk to scare the foals grazing in the pasture out front, the unwild people who throw their trash in the pond that waters our horses and zebra and deer and coyotes, and the unwild people who go out of their way, off their unwild road, to poach the wild for sport and waste, without thinking twice.

    The unwild people are always the most barbaric. And the reality is that, with the outside world and its barbarians so near - just beyond the fence - the farm, itself, is a false sense of sacred, and that fact, alone, rattles the marrow in my very bones.

    When I saw that the goose was already dead, and there wasn't a thing to be done, I stood there and stared in disbelief, watching her partner consumed by grief, as he faithfully stood by her body, also in disbelief, and making sure I didn't get too close.

    I apologized to him for humanity, and I apologized that the boundaries and the farm fence are only as secure as the wide gaps between the rails. Horses respect them, but people do not, and this is where all real farm dangers stem. From the outside.

    Misbehaved zebras, sick foals, and naughty ponies make for a rough, unromantic, non-farm-fairytale farm day, and today was so rough, in fact, that when I went to fly this afternoon, I walked right through the hangar without noticing the plane was IN it. I was too sheepish to explain to my flight instructor why misbehaved zebras, sick foals, and naughty ponies are so blinding. But regardless, you have to be pretty distracted to miss a big plane in a tiny hangar, especially while walking under its wings.

    But when humanity, or lack thereof, decides to rear its ugly head, like it did just before sunset, I am no longer distracted.

    I am completely lost.

    The darkness of people and their capabilities for harm, wrong-doing, betrayal, immorality, and selfishness haunt my soul. I wonder why horses trust us, why dogs stay by us, and why love, in all its forms, continually fails.

    The day is done now, and it's dark, which is the first time I can really breath since the night before, return to the horses and myself (in that order), and live out the night freely knowing - hoping - that the bad people who muck up the world are soon asleep. But tonight is different. Tonight has not brought peace. There is an aftermath from this day - a lone goose is calling to the moon, and it is the loneliest, most hopeless sound I have ever heard.
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