It was perhaps the most chaotic and unnerving day in Rocky's long life and he demonstrated once again to me the power of animals to deal with the world without frantic human intrusion and intervention. The old barn where he grazed was being demolished, board by board. His new stall was right in the middle of hammering, banging, sawing and nailgun firing. His world had been turned upside down, his paths blocked, his shelter askew, his hiding places invaded. In the morning, he panicked when confronted with the new poles outside his stall, sniffing and nosing them, and moving back and forth by inches.
All day, he adapted. He made his way in and out of the barn, around piles of wood and stacks of debris. He got to his favorite pasture spot several times. He would pause, tilt his head, creep forward, put his nose down and turn his ears. He used all of his senses and instincts to navigate suddenly unfamiliar terrain. And did not miss a meal. We always think we know better than they what to do and how to do it, but if I have learned nothing else in my life with animals, it is that I know very little and they are astonishingly resilient and adaptable creatures. Rocky had a long day and I imagine him having a very peaceful night out in his pasture, where he wanders at night free from flies and sun. I think Rocky had a long day, and I think he had a good day. He did not walk into a single thing, and I wish I could say the same thing for me.
Later tonight, I'll put up a Facebook photo album, "Tale Of Two Barns," a remarkable and important day for me.