Prize has been dieting. I know you can’t tell from this picture with a full winter coat but there is less of her. This has been accomplished by very strict dietary guidelines imposed on her and her two buddies in the “Plump Pony Paddock.” I decided that I would go over there today and slip her a Christmas peppermint. Bad, I know. I had to make sure I was stealthy so as not to get caught by the barn owners. But she loves peppermint and it is near a holiday and if she didn’t eat these mini candy canes I would and that wasn’t good either.

All was well at first. I was stealthy. I got up to her and then, I couldn’t get the cane out of the wrapper. She was about to eat my hand off. I finally was able to slip it to her when one of her buddies noticed the activity. Game on. He’s on a diet too and he was not going to miss out on whatever treat I was giving. Right as he came over with ears pinned at Prize the barn owner snuck up behind me and said, “Hi.” The horses started bucking at each other like crazy beasts. The barn owner was reassuring me that they normally got along wonderfully while I was standing there deciding whether to ‘fess up or not. I decided not. I managed to slip Prize another piece too. Two mini candy canes isn’t going to kill her. Her pasturemate might kill her because of preferential treatment though.

When I walked away they settled down. I’m a bad influence.

Then I had a two hour conversation with the barn owner about everything wrong with kids and men. We swapped divorce stories. (Hers is better than mine.) We agreed that people with 6 kids under the age of 10 should not announce another pregnancy by writing in their Christmas card “God continues to surprise us with His blessings.” If you are still surprised at this point you need a remedial sex-ed class. We discussed ways we’ve disciplined kids that would probably get us in big trouble if we told the wrong people but that we think are funny (and were effective!) It was a nice afternoon.