When I first moved to Wells in the late 1960s, a lady named Ester Vine was known for feeding the deer. She and her husband had fed them for generations. The does would bring their youngsters to the Vines and when they grew up, they did the same. She had shed antlers from bucks — that she knew by name — that she picked up in her yard year after year.
Anyway, back to the old, protective horse.
One day, a cock pheasant that had been released on the hill came into the pasture and started picking at the remnants of the horse’s dinner that he scattered. Oso ran at him with his mouth wide open and chased that colorful, long-tailed bird right up over the hill and out of his pasture.
For some reason, that old horse has mellowed. I went out to feed him this morning and a crow was sitting on his grain bucket waiting for something to eat. That 33-year-old horse just stood at the hay bail and ate, totally unconcerned with the whole situation.
The crow flew off cawing to its friends and the horse came over to eat when I put a scoop of feed in its pail. By the time I got back to the house, four crows were back picking the grain that he dropped.
Gosh, the crows are almost as brazen as the pigeons.
It’s funny to watch that old nag. If I’m out in the yard and don’t feed him when he thinks it’s time, he’ll pick up his bucket and throw it out in the yard at me. He’s done that a lot lately. He has trouble each year dealing with daylight savings time.
But life just goes on and there he stands up on his hill, with his butt to the wind and not another care in the world. That’s his home and he’s proud of it.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.