Debbie's Staff

 

 

LANTERN LANE FARM

Cast of Characters

 

Habana 

Before we get started, let me just make it perfectly clear that I am the most important horse in the stable. Period.  We will get along just fine if you remember that, and bring me apples -just feed me first, or I will be cross.  I am also the best-trained, the most valuable, and (by far) the most attractive horse here.  Now that I think about it, it's a little bit peculiar -I've become one of the horses that the Alpha Mare (human’s call her Miss Debbie, we sometimes call her 'She Who Must Be Obeyed') has worked with the longest. Okay, that's actually a little sad, and I'm not much given to self-reflection ... So back to me. I used to be the one horse in the stable that didn't DO lessons, or not very often.  However, either I'm mellowing with age (unlikely) or it's because of the klutzes in the stable, but I've been working with pretty new riders.  I won't mention the ones who don't know how to sit down (you're NOT supposed to hold on with your legs, dummy!), or the ones who think I'm some type of cow horse and neck rein to get me to turn.  What I am looking forward to is getting back in training so I can show off how fabulous I look at the higher dressage moves. Especially with my fancy purple leg wraps that show off my coat!

 

Kookaburra Queen 

The man who used to ride me was Australian, that's why I have this name.  He was obviously nuts, as I really should have a name to highlight my personality.  Or my spots -I mean, really an ugly blue bird with a huge bill?  Most people call me 'Kookie', which is either a good food or someone who's crazy ... Oh, well, humans are very strange! This has been an interesting stable.  My old one just wanted me to walk or jog -and no one stopped me if I ran all the way back to my stall.  Here, they want me to behave 'proper'.  It took me a long time to realize that it didn't hurt to pick up my feet, or bend to a bit (actually, that felt better).  Still, it's a good thing that they put a lightweight rider on me mostly at first.  I used to hug her, which is a pretty good trick when you're a horse!  My best friend at the stable is Habana, although she's a little needy (talk about noise if she's not close by -I'd wear ear plugs, but they don’t come in my size).  We like to tease any rider that comes into the paddock, too: sometimes we'll even charge them, or simply play keep away.  I'm really proud of my pinto coat, which really glows in either sunlight or moonlight, although I'm not as vain as certain other mares I could mention ... 

 

Nemo 

Okay, let's get two things straight: first, I was NOT named after the stupid fish movie (I'm the Captain from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea), and second, I am the biggest, baddest guy in town.  It's not my fault that I hurt my leg a couple of years back, it's just that it was very hard to discipline these boneheads.  I used to boss the rest of my own posse, but they moved away.  So now I have to keep the knot heads under control and away from my girls.  And, yes, they're mine.  All mine.  It's really hard watching stuff from a distance . All the little kids used to ride me, and even some of the older riders.  I can be gentle, of course, it's just that I am really a MUCH bigger horse than I look.  What I really like are long trail rides -the knot heads have to hustle to keep up with me.  One of my two foots (she used to ride me all the time, and I know I'm still her favorite) brings me apples so she can hear me whinny (oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh in a nice low voice).  I have to be a little careful about making that sound, though, as otherwise the knot heads will think I'm getting soft.  They don't seem to realize that I get a LOT more apples than they do, because I can make that sound -like I said before, knot heads! 

 

Galan

It really would have been much simpler if everyone realized that I was a better dog than a horse. I love being petted.  I even love being groomed.  I don't mind going for long walks.  I even learned to heel at one point.  It's just that I'm torn between being a wild mustang (no one can ride me!) and just wanting to be loved.  The others don't really understand this, but the Alpha Mare is VERY persistent -she's seen me jump, and knows I would be great.  Jumping's just a faster way of escaping, though.  And yet I guess I'll try to deal with these stupid leather things, especially as they've stopped putting scary things on me (like plastic bags filled with rocks. Or bells!).  I mean, really ¬wild creatures normally just run away.  But what worked in Wyoming doesn't work too well here.  Did I mention yet that I really like to be petted?  People admire my head, and scratch me on my cheeks or behind my ears, sometimes even under my chin.  I think the Apple Lady has a secret crush on me, too, as she usually gives me extra apples if that pig Habana doesn't see her.

 

Snowflake 

Well, there's not much to tell about me.  I didn't have the happiest of childhoods, and it is still a little odd to be here.  At the same time, all these little girls think I'm the most splendid pony ever (although I get the distinct feeling they would be even happier if I had a horn on my forehead).  It's neat to be spoiled this way, and I am slowly making friends (more than just my BFF Roxie).  I'm even learning to take apples from someone’s hand, although I do have to stick my nose WAY up to reach over the stable door.  Some of the big horses are still sort of mean, but I don't let them get away with anything -after all, I AM a pony and therefore much smarter than they are.  I hope I get go on a trail ride someday, as they sound like a lot of fun!  This winter the Alpha Mare put a blanket on me, and then put another blanket up around my neck -it went just up to my ears, so it looked as though I was wearing a superhero cape.  It was toasty warm, but I got a lot of teasing about how it made my head look very tiny.  Fortunately, Roxie made me feel better, because she said I still had far more brains than the ones with the big fat heads! 

 

Roxie 

Snowflake may be the magic pony, but I'm the princess pony.  A lot of the girls think I'm delicate and dainty -well, it's true I do have finer bones than some of the others.  But dainty and delicate, snort!  I like to play tricks.  One of my favorites is to pretend to be a lot bigger than I am, so the two foots put the wrong bridle on me.  It slips off, and I'm wearing a leather necklace, and they're hanging on, trying to figure out what went wrong.  That's very funny!  Snowflake and I have become good friends.  We came to Lantern Lane together, and realized we were the ones that all the little kids wanted to ride.  So we've been MOSTLY good with the little ones (Snowflake especially).  I've saved my best tricks for the bigger riders.  And I am biding my time, so I will sneak up on Habana and scare her away from the best hay.  I'll just have to wait until Kookaburra is somewhere else, though, or I'll get kicked for my presumption. 

 

Bailey 

Food, glorious food ... I remember being able to chew, and that was WONDERFUL.  Slurping up your supper is not quite the same, but it's still really tasty.  And I sort of like being able to make a big mess. After all, who's going to mess (pun intended) with the old one.  And, dare I say it, the wise one?  I've lived a long time, and I definitely know a few tricks.  Sometimes I even fool the Alpha Mare, although that usually doesn't last too long.  She's pretty smart, too, especially when you realize she's actually a two foot (but don't tell the rest of the herd -I don't think they realize that yet).  I miss my own girl.  I still see lots of other people, and I'm the one the littlest kids get to ride.  It's always entertaining when someone's on your back, and their legs don't reach past the saddle.  You have to be very, very gentle with them and they're SHRIEKING with laughter the whole time, and their parents are taking all sorts of pictures.  Ah, it's good to be useful!  I outgrew a lot of my former diva behavior some time ago, so now I mostly just make faces at the younger ones when they prance and carry on. 

 

Whimsy 

I know, don't get me started on the name.  I certainly didn't choose it, but if it makes the two foots, happy & they feed me apples, I'm okay with it.  I don't even mind when the Apple Lady calls me 'Beret' because of my markings -she even scratches my face, which I love, love, love!  I'm the newest resident here, and the biggest.  I don't have to pretend I'm big (or bossy) like that silly orange pony.  And I do my work, enjoy my food, and generally stay out of trouble.  Except for Tango.  He's always trying to get everyone riled up, acting like a colt, pretending to fight.  I have had to step in a couple of times and bite some sense into him, although I'm not sure it will work.  The Alpha Mare is already watching him, so it will be horse prison for sure if he doesn't behave, or worse.  I heard that she's thinking of putting him with Kookaburra - I sort of hope she does, because I'll sell tickets when that pinto mare launches the first ever equine Space Shuttle.  Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy these new lessons. It's been a while since I needed to be quite so limber! 

 

Tango 

Boy, this group is a serious herd!  Good thing I'm here to shake them up a bit!  It's pretty neat to learn all these new things, and you betcha I'm looking forward to musical rides.  Somehow, I don't think I'll be doing a tango, though actually, I'm not too sure what that is.  Right now, I have the BEST time in the pasture -if no one's there yet, I'll run and run from one end to the other.  And if others are there, well, then it's time to play some touch football.  I don't think Whimsy really understands the rule of touch football, however.  Maybe I should get him the DVD?  This new barn is pretty neat, although they do one weird thing -after you finish your lesson, you have to stand right by the door of the arena while someone cleans out your feet.  Then they sweep all the sand back into the arena.  Personally, I don't understand what the big diff is -it's not as if there isn't dirt all around the barn, after all.  However, if I stand and let them clean my feet, sometimes people come and scratch my face.  I LOVE that feeling.  Rubbing your head on your leg is just not the same thing!  They really should just hire someone to scratch my face all day, and maybe I wouldn't keep trying to get the other guys to play touch football with me ... 

 

ShadowFax 

Yeah, I know -Lord of the Rings, King of the Mearas.  It could have been MUCH worse, so I'll deal with it. Besides, everyone seems to shorten it anyway (and, so far, no one's thought about just calling me 'Fax' -I think I'd have to protest that one).  I'm still learning what to do, so I don't have many people who ride me all the time, except for the Alpha Mare and this one guy.  He really liked going fast, but sometimes had trouble remembering when to tell me to turn.  Good thing I know what a fence is, and don't run into them much anymore!  I'm very glad that they moved me away from that trouble making pony, though.  He just yelled bad words at me -sheesh!  There are plenty of oats, there's lots of hay, and (I don't think he knows this) the mares are just not interested in us.  At least he's far away from me now, so I can concentrate on what the Alpha Mare keeps telling me (she keeps using words when she’s on her own two feet -I've been trying to tell her it's easier if she uses her hands and legs when she's on me, but she wants me to learn both ways. I feel as if I'm in a bilingual school sometimes ...). But I want to learn, and I hope to get good at this stuff pretty soon.  It looks like that's the way to get more treats! 

 

Indigo 

This is a funny change of career for me, especially as I never got to start the one I thought I was going to do.  Pulling a caisson (one of those big cannon things) or a casket for a very serious event requires concentration and focus -now I'm in a field with a bunch of jokers.  And some ALARMINGLY short jokers, too.  I mean, really, they're too small to pull anything.  One very good thing, though, is they're quite attentive to my wardrobe -that red halter is gorgeous against my black hide.  I probably should start mentioning that red leg wraps, or even a red saddle pad might be just the ticket.  Hmm, now that I think about it, I don't think the military was that much into fashion!  For right now, I'm still learning this new job. I'm a pretty good size for most people, but not so big that they'll be frightened.  It will take a while before I know how to do all the things that I can see Habana do (it's almost like dancing, and I could watch her all day).