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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amazing Feats of Balance!


Art by Raymond L. Jordan

Dear Readers,

There is a handsome cattle baby in our garden this morning, and despite a strong urge to secret him away to a green pasture of lifelong contentment, my law-abiding FarmWife was forced to notify our carnivorous neighbors of his location this morning. The very sad thing is that, when we would like to make him into a friend, they would like to make him into a hot sandwich. They call him Burger, though my larval human friends have christened him Jeffrey. He answers better to the latter.

While we dwell upon the balance between the moral tug of our vegetarian philosophy and the neighborly obligation towards respectful behavior, I will take these moments to distract my poor empathetic FarmWife from the cute cattle baby on her lawn with some amazing balancing feats going on on elsewhere in the world.

I, Fenway Bartholomule, have witnessed our very own Failure Dog, Citizen #10 (this is an Australian Cattle Dog who is afraid of cattle, and of goats, and mules, and chickens, if you'll recall) performing her very own Feat of Balance by standing upon one . . . count them, one! . . . forepaw in order to do her business in the snow with the smallest possible amount of earthly contact. She is also fast and intelligent, or so says FarmWife, and would make a crazy agility dog if she were just a little less terrified of the universe. That, says our mistress, will just take time. We shall see. I, for one, do not sense any rising Muleness in her at present.

Since we do not have video footage of the Incredible Balancing Feat of Citizen #10, I present to you this incredible movie of a human citizen of the world doing his own balancing work with heavy bricks. It is really something, and I think that if he were a mule he would be most highly sought after for all sorts of equestrian pursuits, including but not limited to packing (for his strength), jumping (for his agility), dressage (for his precision), and talk-show hosting (for his obvious radness). Observe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-iP1jSMlI

Now, for this next feat of balancing I offer the following disclaimer: Whenever there is a monkey riding a goat, I suspect enslavement by human people of their animal brethren. I, for this reason, would never patronize this strange act with any sort of tangible admission fee or ticket purchase—even if I had money, which I don't, or circus-going privileges, which I don't. But, friends, this is the internet. We can watch for free, and this Saanen-cousin is practically Jasper Jules' brother they are so alike! Just as JJ can balance on his hind legs for a handful of grain, this Saanen-cousin can walk across a tightrope and back with a mounted simian. It is all in the same family of behaviors, and it comes down to Mad Balancing Skillz. Observe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F16iJowHLSA

Finally, for your edification and viewing enjoyment, I offer this pinnacle of human/equine partnership: Unicycling ground-drivers and their synchronized pony assistants! Or have I got that backwards? Ground-driven ponies and their synchronized unicycling assistants? In any case, think German Pony Club meets California Clown School. If nothing else, these guys get props for practicing! When it comes down to it, I could never do this. FarmWife would fall on her face before her wheel hit the footing. These kids do it better. Observe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP-feymJg5M

With that, I take my leave. I need a balanced meal of orchard grass hay, a few tender nibbles of pasture greenery, and a good lick on the ol' salt block.

Best Wishes,
Fenway Bartholomule



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