In the ongoing story of Lilly (Ima Lil Moore), she is a willful horse. The above photograph shows her this morning, after browsing a few minutes in the front pasture, walking intently to the fence panels of the Well House Corral.
Lilly had spent the night in the stables underneath a 150 watt light bulb. When I went down this morning to feed her, she was up and moving and whinnying for her breakfast, even pinning her ears back slightly when I entered her stall. After she finished her grain, I put out two blocks of green alfalfa for her to munch on.
And, this is point of the story, she turned away from the hay rack and deliberately walked out of the corral and into the pasture with a determination of a yearling. She’s twenty-five years old, for goodness sakes! Then, after a bit of browsing, I shot the above photograph of Lilly.
She’s going to die — we’re all headed that way, for sure — within who-knows-how-long? Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Jim Scroggins is coming out to the ranch with his back hoe in the morning to dig a grave pit for Lilly. Don’t be sad. I’ll set up panels around it so that no one will wander into it. It’s a preparation, sort of like making a will or planning a funeral with your favorite mortician. (My political mentor when I was young was Groner Pitts of Brownwood, Texas, a funeral director.) If Lilly makes it through the winter and I and the vet think she will, I’ll fill up the pit with water and maybe ducks will swim in it. It is there, however, just in case.
But, for now, Lilly is a willful mare, stubborn in her habits, sleeping longer than usual and limping a little with arthritis. Kinda like your grandfather or grandmother. She has her life today and she willfully directs herself to green winter grass, lying down in the sun and drinking from the stock pond with ducks swimming about her. It’s a good day to live.
- Long shadows soaring (swamericana.wordpress.com)
- Holiday wishes from Sage to Meadow and field notes (swamericana.wordpress.com)