19 February 2013

Postscript: Simon And The Iphone 5. Siri Lives. I’m The Ass.

Siri Lives

Siri Lives

I told Simon he needed to pose with the Iphone 5 so I could write about his efforts to eat the phone and digest Siri, my digital assistant and keeper of my appointments and reminders. Being an ass, he tried to eat the Iphone 5 again, and I saw this in the viewfinder and snatched it out of his grasp. You would think I would be learning by now. Simon loves the yellow case and he grabbed it out of my pocket this morning – that is where I often stuff carrots for him –  and we had a bit of a messy wrassle before I reached in and pulled it out of his mouth. A donkey's mouth is not the most pleasant place to be, and while I did keep him from biting down – he is very gentle in  his own way if always very hungry – I got my shirt and arm slimed pretty good.

The good news is that the Iphone 5 is fine. Nothing lost, nothing damaged. The case has a few nicks, but nothing I can't live with. There's not a scratch on the glass. Steve Jobs, wherever you are, that gorilla glass is tough stuff. I can't imagine there are too many Iphones that have been eaten by donkeys and were checking e-mail a few minutes later. I do regret that there weren't a few nicks – how cool to tell people they came from a donkeys' teeth.

Good on you, Steve. I love you always and give thanks for you often. I took the phone out to the barn to relay the happy ending of this tale – I have lost many a cell phone to toilets, storms, muddy paths, photo sessions, but never to a donkey – and I put the phone on the ledge, hoping just to get a photo of the phone. I thought Simon was out in the pasture. As I looked in the camera viewfinder I saw that Simon had suddenly appeared with his posse and was about to make another run at the phone. You can see it for yourself. He was going for the whole thing. I grabbed it.

"What is wrong with you?," I hissed at him. "You have fresh hay, carrots, apples, oat and bran cookies, you are spoiled rotten and stuffed with food and you want to eat an Iphone?" I waited for this phone a long time, I told him, and it carries a good chunk of my life and work inside of it, not to mention Siri, who is, I said, much more useful to me than you are. Then I felt bad for saying that. Simon was just being a donkey, and is good at it. And we love each other. I came out and pressed my forehead to his, and he snorted and his lips quivered, as donkeys do when they are content. The Iphone was in my back pocket. Donkeys do not feel regret or shame. I am the ass.

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Portrait: Simon, Lulu and Fanny

Simon, Lulu, Fanny

Simon, Lulu, Fanny

Coming over the hill.

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Herding Alpacas (Not). Meeting His Match

Meeting Llamas

Meeting Llamas

Red encountered his first llamas a couple of months ago, an a magazine asked me to send them a photo so I thought I would share it. I posted some when we went out to the wool farm in Vermont to deposit the wool from Maria's sheep. She's selling skeins of yarn from our sheep in the Spring, when the wool is ready. For once, Red seemed a bit flustered.  He went into his herding crouch, but the llamas seemed more amused than anyone else. He didn't push it.

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Simon Ate My Iphone5!

When Simon Ate My Iphone

When Simon Ate My Iphone

Well, here's a donkey story for the modern age. I was out in the pasture, herding sheep with Red, taking photos on Instagram, and giving each of the donkeys a carrot. Simon loves his carrots and he came over and stuck his nose in my pocket, where I often stick a carrot.  I take a lot of photos with the Iphone, so I keep it handy. There were no carrots there, but my bright and shiny new Iphone 5 in its bright yellow case was there. Simon didn't skip a beat. He reach into my pocked and grabbed and came out with the  Iphone and swallowed it. I shrieked. "Simon," I yelled, "I don't think I am insured against a donkey eating my Iphone 5. Siri is in there, my photos, my contacts." (Yes, I am in the Cloud, but still). Besides, I said, it isn't carrot, it isn't good for you. Red heard me shouting and came running over, concerned. Frieda barked from inside the house.

I heard Simon – he was right in front of me – crunching on my Iphone 5. I grabbed him by his head – I often kiss him on the nose this way, mindful of the great pressure equines bring to bear with their teeth. I remembered the donkey dentist, how he stuck his arm way back in Simon's throat to keep him from biting down, and I did the same thing, (I used to massage Simon's infected gums when he came to the farm) and I stuck my arm in there – this is really going to be ugly, I thought, if it doesn't work – and his eyes got wide and with my right hand I just sent into his mouth, over his big teeth and felt my Iphone in its case towards the back of his mouth, and I just grabbed it and pulled it out. I did feel a lot of pressure on my arm, and it is sore and my clothes are slimed big-time. Still, I've waited a long time for this phone, and I couldn't stand for Simon to eat Siri.

This is a hard case I have, I am not dumb, I've dropped cell phones everywhere on the farm, but donkey's teeth are strong and pieces of the case came out, and I pulled my other hand out in the Iphone5, covered in saliva, dropped to the ground. It is on the dining room table. I just don't have the heart to look at it yet.  It isn't the end of the world, I can get another one, and my stuff is saved in the Cloud anyway. And at least Simon didn't swallow it. That wouldn't have been pretty.

But still, it is unnerving to get your Iphone 5 eaten by a donkey. A cautionary tale. Don't be an ass. Donkeys check everybody's pockets. And I have a yellow wallet. It could have been worse. He might have grabbed the big camera!  Maybe I'll put the phone in another pocket.

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Miss Flo

Flo Emerges

Flo Emerges

I am happy later in life to fall in love with a cat. I loved Mother and I am fond of Minnie, but Mother was a barn cat through and through and there was always some distance. Flo is a shameless and savvy flirt. She knows just how to play me. This morning, when the sun came up and I was out doing the chores, I spotted her catching the first rays of sun of the day. She was watching me, I was watching her. We met half-way and we had a cuddle. Then she was off on her important business of the day. Flo is emerging as a visible and peaceful presence on the farm. I never used to see her. I see her often now.

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