I found myself awakening from a deep, coma-esque sleep this morning. As I lay in bed, feebly attempting to gather my thoughts, I wondered what was the time? Must see the clock. With much effort, I hauled myself out my comfy horizontal position, squinted valiantly over the prone puppy at the end of the bed and thru one eye, I saw the clock said 6:30. Could it really be 6:30? Had I slept all the way thru the night without one wake up? Not one pit stop to the loo? My bladder said, Yes, yes you did, but please get up right now! I forced myself into an upright position and fought my way to the bathroom . I say fought because every day the minute I get up there are two dogs and two, or three cats weaving between my footsteps, exhilarated with the prospect of breakfast being served. Fortunately for them, I'm usually too sleepy to be annoyed with the furry game of Twister that they challenge me with each day. This morning I was exceptionally out of it. Maybe it was the heat, the humidity, or the very busy work week we just endured. Whatever the cause, I was seriously having trouble waking up. I obviously had no idea of the challenge that awaited me in the barn.
My morning chores are typically mundane. First I make my coffee. Then I feed cats. And I feed dogs. Then I drink a cup of sweet coffee nectar and the cobwebs slowly clear from my head. Once the caffeine has channeled its way to my brainstem, I stagger out to the barn, listening to the chorus of whinnies from the horses that we are responsible for feeding each and every day. Horses so enjoy a schedule. They want to be fed at the same time every day. They are demanding creatures, but I love them so I'm a slave to their needs. Besides if I don't feed them on time, they bang on their stalls with their powerful hooves, whinny insistently and it makes sleep impossible, unless you are Jonathan (that's a whole different story).
I entered the barn this a.m. and went directly to the feed room, anxious to get the horses grain doled out as fast as possible. Fed the main aisle. Check. Fed the three horses in the small aisle. Check. Heard random fluttering. What the hell? I looked up at the three windows in the small aisle and through the achingly, bright sunlight I made out the figure of what appeared to be a small black bird, mindlessly trying to escape through the windowpanes of the far right window. My fragile retinas recoiled at the direct intake of sunlight and I paused for a moment. Sighing and squinting, I looked up again. Yep, it was bird, a really dumb bird who didn't realize that he was about three feet from the barn door a.k.a. freedom. "I don't need this this morning!", was the thought that kept running through my head on a loop. "I'm tired!!" I decided to give the nine horses their hay and then I would regroup and check on bird-brain. Once the hay was delivered to each equine, I grabbed a broom and tried to gently nudge the bird, hoping to disturb him just enough so he would take flight and realize that the barn doors were OPEN and he could leave if he just ducked down a few feet from the window. The bird chose to fight back at the broom, squawking frantically and stubbornly trying to escape via the windowpanes. I quickly stopped, not wanting to cause this dingbat bird more duress. He/she perched on the sill and I noticed that it was panting with his exertion. Now I felt badly. But I was determined to get him to recognize his/her stupidity and free it from the windowpanes of Hell. But first, the horses needed their water buckets emptied and filled with fresh water(read:my least favorite chore of all time). I trudged through the dreaded chore of emptying the water buckets, trying not to curse at the stupid bird every time I went through the doorway to dump the leftover water. As I uncoiled the hosepipe and headed toward the small aisle I had an epiphany and this doesn't happen too often. With purpose, I strode outside the barn doors, hosepipe in hand. I took a deep breath, looked up at the windows and said, "Sorry dear birdie, but this was my only choice!". I released the valve and let the water fly full stream against the outside of the windowpane where the tiny, black captive sat. He fluttered, stuttered and generally freaked out. Then he moved to the window adjacent to where he was originally struggling. I moved the stream of water with him. Now mind you, the water was on the outside of the windows. This bird was NOT being sprayed directly, but he/she freaked out again and flew to the third and final window. I followed his movement diligently. "Be free, you idiot!!", I yelled. In a magical, blissful moment, the bird ducked down and flew out of the barn doors. "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, you're free at last!!", I said looking around quickly to make sure no one heard me and I robotically resumed my task of watering the horses. I'm sure MLK had no intention of having his world reknown speech used to congratulate dipshit birds from exiting their supposed "cages", but at JEM Stables it seems that you just never know what's going to happen. I finished watering, coiled my hosepipe and headed back to the house for more much needed coffee. Just another day in the life of a simple woman, who looks after horses, cats, dogs and an occasional retarded bird.