Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Problem of Iota

We are getting pretty close to kidding time and since it is so devilishly muddy it has been decided that Hannah Belle and Boxcar Betty will stay in the barn.

Actually they decided it themselves. When the farmer tried to turn them out - they are supposed to walk around during the day, not just sit around like two blimps in the Goodyear blimp dock -  they just turned back in.

Betty could have been turned out, but Hannah Belle goes where she wants to go. And when she gets there, she stays.

So Hannah Belle and Betty were turned out and then turned themselves back in and then the farmer made the mistake of going off to do something else and when the farmer came back Hannah Belle and Betty were apparently gone.

"I wonder where they went," the farmer thought, because they weren't anywhere in the barnyard, but the farmer is a little weak-minded and went off to do yet something else. When the farmer came back again Betty and Hannah Belle were back in the barn, attempting to break open the tack room door, which is what you would expect any time Hannah Belle is on free range. But it was padlocked so they were not getting anywhere.

By this time presumably they had gotten at least a little bit of exercise and the farmer put them back in their kidding stall and went upstairs to the hay loft to throw down some hay and then discovered where their previous journey had taken them, because there were telltale berries scattered among the new alfalfa bales which arrived on the weekend.

"Oh well," said the farmer, sweeping. But it would have been a good video, a scene of the two orcas navigating the steep, narrow staircase up to the loft. The video on the way down would have been even better, though probably somewhat harrowing, and the farmer made a mental note to close the hayloft door.

This mental note went off into the cloud with the rest of the farmer's mental notes - "fix gate," "buy 4 sheets of plywood," "try to understand Facebook," "take boxes to Goodwill"  etc - never to be seen again, because then the farmer began puzzling over the problem of Iota.

Iota is Betty's daughter and she is going to kid right after Betty and Hannah Belle but when the farmer tried to add her to the kidding stall Hannah Belle took serious offense and she had to be removed for fear of bodily harm.

"Hmm, Iota," puzzled the farmer, looking at Iota.

The farmer is highly superstitious and never says anything good about any of us for fear of causing a disaster. For example, right before Pebbles went to the fair, the farmer finally blurted "I do not expect her to come in last," which caused everyone to gasp, it was such high praise.

But anyway Iota is getting her first freshener udder and while as a kid she was never considered the prettiest, the farmer is now looking at her with a totally blank expression which can only mean one thing and sure enough this morning the farmer finally said, to Wendell who couldn't care less, " you know, she really doesn't look too bad." 

Everyone gasped.