I had brought in the electric fence battery for charging. It was the first time I’d turned the fence off since installing the two current residents in that paddock. So when I went outside for last feeding and heard hoofbeats moving rapidly, I thought the likely loose animals were those two ponies. I immediately headed in the direction of the out-of-place sound to solve the mystery.
The two mares closest to the house nickered to me when I appeared, so I knew they were where they were supposed to be. As I walked down the driveway toward the normally-electrified paddock, I heard the footsteps of the stallion in the mud, so I knew he was where he was supposed to be, too. The moon was past full, so the night was reasonably dark. I called the dogs to me periodically in case the hoofbeats hadn’t been of the equine variety. I had no interest in surprising a moose.
When I found the two residents of the not-electrified-at-the-moment paddock where they were supposed to be, I breathed a little easier. Maybe I wouldn’t be searching for black ponies on a dark night after all. At the last paddock, my heart pony met me at the fence, and behind her I could see silhouettes of the two weanlings. Then the final two ponies appeared out of the black shadows. That was the final confirmation that the hoofbeats I’d heard were not equine after all. Nonetheless I was happy I’d put on water for tea before I’d ventured out. Relaxing with something hot to drink would be a welcome and necessary antidote to my short period of heightened anxiety!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2014
If you enjoy stories like this one, you might also enjoy the book A Humbling Experience, available internationally by clicking here.