Another Spring on the Homestead

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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I can’t believe that another spring has arrived here on the homestead! Time is passing much too quickly.

We’ve had a few very warm days so far in May but, now, it’s back to wet and cold temperatures. Yesterday, we had hail, rain and temperatures that never got above 50 F.

Samson and Delilah have been able to enjoy some time outside, but the last couple of days, they’ve been cooped up in the barn and they aren’t too happy!

The first day they were liberated in the warm weather was a day of celebration. Their braying echoed through the hills!

Delilah was the first to head out of the barn at a canter … she’s so laid-back she seldom runs or does anything in a hurry! She made an ambling beeline for her pasture and her old sand pile. She had a wonderful time rolling, trying to get the winter hair off her generous body. She seems to roll in slow motion, unlike Samson who does everything at full-speed!

After her roll, she contentedly settled in to munching the emerging greenery in her pasture. I could hear her crunching as I went to let Samson out in his pasture.

At times, he seems to be a big boy, the protector, standing in his stall door, checking everything out before he emerges from the barn and at other times, he’s still a big baby.

Once he made up his mind that all was well in his little world, he launched himself out of the door at full speed and did his “laps” around his pasture. He runs with his nose in the air, whisk broom tail swishing and his big ears straight up! He made at least three or four rounds before he plopped down in his old sand pile.

For some reason, he has never really mastered the art of rolling in the sand. He continually tries to roll up hill, something that really doesn’t work. He tries, legs in the air, tummy exposed, only to make it half way before he rolls back in the same direction as he began. He tried several times and then seemed to say, “ah, the heck with it,” jumped up and suddenly realized he couldn’t see Delilah.

He isn’t happy when he can’t see Delilah. He paces and paces, giving gentle brays until she comes back into his line of vision. He has a real trench by the gate as he paces back and forth. Much deeper and I swear he’ll be in China.

Then he goes out in his pasture where she can’t see him … not that she cares as she turns around and goes right back out to her pasture with a flick of her whisk-broom tail.

They were only a year or so old when they had their first “treats.” They only had their sweet feed as a treat so at Christmas that year, I figured they were old enough to have some carrot and banana flavored treats.

I offered a couple of them to Delilah first. She sniffed them in my hand to make sure they were OK before she took one. This big girl lives to eat so it didn’t take her very long to discover the delight in having these special treats. She loved them from the beginning, crunching them in pure delight.

Then there’s Samson. I had a couple of the treats in my hand and offered them to him. He sniffed them with his eyes as big as saucers, put his ears straight up, kicked up his heels and ran to the back of his stall as if I was going to poison him!

Delilah was right there waiting for more while he stayed in the back of his stall, looking like a frightened little boy!

It took a while for Samson to get used to the treats but now they both love them. During the day, they will both start braying as loudly as they can, begging for treats! So, I head to the barn to give them a snack.

With a smile, I frequently ask myself, “Who’s training whom” out here? I really know the answer to that question!

In describing life on the homestead with Samson and Delilah, I often think of the Jackie Gleason quote, “How sweet it is!”

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