Sunday’s are usually Ari bath day but yesterday the wind and the rain came down like wind and rain were going out of style. I had breakfast with friends at Kalaheo Coffee, the place was packed, the breakfast delicious. Ate half of a half a veggie omelet. My daughter ate the rest.

Up with the roosters this morning. Started the day with a song, the birds joined in. Fed everybody.  I have a routine, miss a step and it’s back to square one. Ari is still asking for vitamin C. I make his mash first. Alfalfa chaff, bran, a heaping  teaspoon of C, water, olive oil and molasses, a mess to mix, feed him by hand and Brooks licks the  thick hand-thrown pottery bowl.

Then I go out to find in the dark his bucket and fix his breakfast. Two large containers of alfalfa cubes, soaked to soften, he’s getting long in the tooth and crunching it down so it sits well in his tummy  gets harder every year. Add more bran, salt, and a package  of baby carrots,  mix well and toss the horse over the fence some more hay. He, meanwhile, is talking a blue streak. “What’s taking so long? Feed me.”  While he’s eating, I feed the chickens, who are moulting, and haul more alfalfa into my kitchen where I prepare everything.  I hate to cook but I really had not planned for my kitchen to become an animal restaurant.

As I haul the fresh alfalfa from the feed room to the kitchen, I grab Duke’s two bowls and carry them to the kitchen. He gets fresh water, sliced bananas, popcorn, if I have some, bran and raisins, peanuts, baked Goldfish snacks, which he loves, and then a mix of parrot of food. Next I feed the three cats, cat food, and Brooks, brown rice and bran and liver and, sadly, a pill he must take twice a day to stay well.

I make my bed. Do morning ablutions-tee hee- grab a dollar bills, put on big blue glasses, walk to the gate, pick up the paper, stroll to the mail box, stopping at Paul’s veggie stand to buy oranges and pet his little dog.  I love to stand at the gate up the road and watch the white face when they’re there. And guess what? I have a new neighbor, a white mule! I think he’s an albino but I haven’t been able to coax him close enough to  see if his eyes are pink. On the way up and down the street I wave and smile at all the cars. Most often they wave and smile back.

Then, it’s time for me to eat. A cup of coffee and a croissant, a banana and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Take a break. Read the paper. Do Sudoku, I love Mondays, it’s one star day and wait for the sun to reach the barn end of the house and bathe Ari. Hot soapy water, scraper, comb and trim his mane and tail, clean his hooves, work him in the ring or take him for a munch of buffalo grass.

Welcome to my day. Welcome to the zoo. Wish you were here.


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