Advent (15)

Lots of work has meant I haven’t left the house today – but by the looks of it, I haven’t actually missed anything but cold, wet, soggy rain and wind. I would feel sorry for Sturuss up on the hill and out in this, except I know he can go into a warm stable whenever he feels like it.

 He gets to go on holiday this weekend! Each year, over Christmas and New Year, a big tent is set up just next to our stables (not by our owners, I hasten to add!) and it’s party time for 10 days, including fireworks and drunks who occasionally drive into fences and generally misbehave… Fortunately, we always find an alternative for our four-legged friends to spend away from that kind of madness and this year, Sturuss and his pals are headed down to the village we used to live in – I’m sure he’ll wonder what he’s doing back there. As he knows his way around, there is a chance he might make a break for it and go searching for bananas (one of his favourite treats!), as he did once a few years ago when some idiots let fireworks off in his field and he promptly took his girlfriend and his best mate 8 km back to his old stable, through fields, woods and along a main road… Our old stable owner rubbed her eyes in amazement as she saw this motley parade of horses make its way into her yard before 6 am on New Year’s Day! How we laughed when we heard about it!

We’ve had many adventures, Sturuss and I, and one of the funniest in its way also involved him breaking out of his field. That thick mane doesn’t let him bother too much about electric fencing, it’s one foot on the lowest strand, head shoved under the next strand and hey presto, off he goes to pastures new. On this occasion a few years ago, there had been a lot of snow and the fencing probably was affected, too. In any case, he went strolling off down the road looking for some grass, which of course was all buried under pretty deep drifts. Presumably several drivers had seen him on his travels and in this day and age of mobile phones, at least five had phoned the police to report a loose pony, so that as Sturuss peacefully pawed at some quite luscious greenery at the edge of the woods, definitely a good snack, no less than 5 patrol cars made their way to the village from the local town! I have it first hand that two of the police officers gamely attempted to approach Sturuss to lead him back to the nearest enclosure (closely and discreetly watched by local farmers – who do you think I have the story from?!) and were floundering in the snowdrifts up to their thighs as the shaggy pony moved gently along, always juuuussst out of reach…

I don’t know how one of the farmers stopped laughing long enough to take over, or how long he waited before he did so, but eventually he managed to get hold of Sturuss and lead him back to relative safety (and possibly a banana!) while the police brushed themselves off, enquired after the person responsible and then dispersed. At the other end of the village, I had no idea of what had been going on until a police car pulled up outside and the officers came to the door. They informed me sternly of what had happened (minus the best bits, of course!) and ordered me to pay CHF 50 for unnecessary police services… Not one of them even grinned.

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