Friday, March 12, 2010


Friday, March 12, 2010

Murray's on vacation because of his leg, but Maggie still has to punch the clock.

I decide again to groom Maggie out in the pasture so we can both bask in the sunshine. I grab her halter, and her grooming kit (sans leather gloves), and make my way across the pasture to where she and Murray are picking at grass. I try and give Murray a quick pat, but he eyes me suspiciously, and when he sees the grooming kit with it's potentially horse-eating utensils inside, he moves off in the other direction. I put the kit down, and make one more attempt to get close. Nope, he's in a don't-catch-me mood. Well, that's just fine with me, I have another horse to work with.

Maggie turns her head to sniff me as I approach. She wriggles her monstrous muzzle accross my vest in search of treats. Realizing that I've come empty-handed, she returns to her patch of grass, while I brush her coat. I glance behind me and notice that Murray is scruitinizing us. I move to the other side of Maggie, and as I do, Murray's look becomes an intense glare, and he pins his ears and bares his teeth in an effort to scare Maggie away. I yell his name and move around to the side closest to him, and suddenly his glare turns to a look of complete innocence. This happens several more times--when I'm between him and Maggie, he's fine, as soon as her lumbering body is between Murray and me, he lunges toward her.

I suddenly recognize this game. It's the same one he plays with the dog. Murray tolerates Muscade so long as he thinks I'm watching. He'll stretch his nose out to her with his ears up, and he'll even let her lie in his hay. The moment my back's turned, however, he threatens to bite or kick, or stomp on her. When I turn back around, his expression instantly morphs into one of sublime innocence. He's the equine equivalent of Jeckel and Hyde.

Murray is jealous, it's as simple as that. The only thing I'm unsure of this time is whether he's jealous of Maggie for hogging my attention, or whether he's jealous of me for turning her attention away from him. I try to appease him by making another attempt to reach out and scratch him, but he's having none-of-that. He moves deftly out of my reach, and turns his back on both of us. What a sulky old curmudgeon.

I'm somewhat offended by this slight, but at the same time I can't help but laugh. The image that sticks in my mind is one of Murray as a schoolyard bully. He tries so hard to act like a tough guy who doesn't want friendship or love, but then he's jealous when he's left out of the activities around him.


  1. This is an awful lot like parenting. Turn your back for a minute, and your sweet and innocent child is pushing her baby sister off a chair.

  2. Oh my, I guess you're right. Unfortunately,no matter how hard I try, I can't make either one of the horses apologize.