One evening I got home and was going about my business when I heard a whiny from the animal area. Now we haven’t had a horse since my husband sold them (See A dismantling of sorts) and the whiny perplexed me. So I headed out to find that in place of our 6 goats, there was a tallish red young stallion with a black mane.
He was friendly, but a bit on the thin side. Probably not well cared for by his previous owner. Of course, that doesn’t explain how he got into our animal area and the location of the goats. I waited around for my husband to get home and demand an explanation. He was a bit worse for wear, so the explanation had to wait until morning.
It seems that in addition to his poor choice of activities the night before, he had made a deal for a horse that he didn’t have any intention of buying. However, as soon as the neighbor down the road expressed some interest in this horse, my husband had to have him. He traded our 6 goats and $1000 pesos for Alto (Tall boy).
Along with the subsequent hangover, he had a huge case of buyer’s remorse. We had already determined that a horse is not profitable. If my husband isn’t sharecropping, the horse has no way to earn its keep. A horse provides no milk or eggs. This particular horse couldn’t even be ridden as it was in such a malnourished state. Plus, we no longer had any horse gear (saddles, bridles, reins, etc). Well, if he wanted a horse so bad, he’d have to figure out how to maintain it.
My husband went hither and yon looking for a new owner for Alto. Alto didn’t mind. There was plenty of grass and over the month he spent with us, he plumped out considerably. Finally, a new deal was struck. In exchange for Alto, my husband would receive 2 boy chivitos (young goats) which were part of a triplet birth, always a good thing (See Goat Genetics) and a young yeguita (mare) plus $3500 pesos. Immediately upon the transfer, my husband took one of the chivitos (because you only ever need one macho per herd) and traded it for one of Jirafa’s twins. (See Assassin Goat )
With some of the money from this deal, my husband bought La Flaca (Skinny) and La Chica (Small one), both white goats. There was some talk about selling the new mare for $5000 pesos, but that deal fell through. Meanwhile, the rest of the $3500 went to buy Jirafa and her other twin back.
Another deal that didn’t happen was the sale of La Flaca. Jirafa had been trained to return to the corral once full. La Flaca was not. My husband was not happy with her as she liked to travel hither and yon instead of staying put. She also divided the herd. Half would follow Jirafa, half La Flaca. As the potential buyer didn’t have the cash, my husband wasn’t about to just let her go for free and fiado (with a promise to pay later). So La Flaca became part of the herd with the provision of being tied should her nomadic nature caused her to roam.
The herd was back up to 6 again and we still had a horse. She was a pleasant horse and there really was no reason not to embrace her into the family. However, our hearts had been broken with the sale of Shadow and it took some time for my son and me to accept Buttercup. She was fattening up nicely now that she had proper care. My husband thought she was a bit older than the previous owner stated because of the length of her tail, but malnourishment kept her from growing properly. She will probably be smallish, but that’s ok. Our rancho is smallish. She isn’t large enough to be ridden or bred. We’ll have to see how things go during the dry season when food is not as plentiful. I would say she is on provisional permanence.
My husband still had it in mind to add to the animal holdings. Suddenly there were two borregas (sheep). I have been opposed to sheep because they bleat all the time, but these two have been bearable. The previous owner assured my husband that they both were pregnant, but that remains to be seen. They know they are sheep and not goats and have nothing to do with the goats. They refuse to share their corral and only just barely tolerate their presence while grazing. I think Puppy thinks they are largish dogs. (See Separating the Sheep and the Goats)
Oh yes, we have a new puppy. Again, we were reluctant to open our hearts to another dog after Chokis was poisoned, but Puppy appeared and we are smitten. He is friendly, obedient and so wants to be a house dog. Of course, my husband is opposed to that, so he’s only a house dog when he isn’t around. Puppy and I take a walk every morning and most afternoons now that my schedule has freed up (See Transition year). He and Devil, our macho cat, are buddies. The only problem is he refuses to be inside during the day and chases motorcycles, so we are concerned someone will either run him over or poison him. (See 101 Perritos) People here have an irrational fear of dogs. He does like to jump on people to have his head rubbed so we’ve been working on retraining him not to do that or chase motorcycles. As for his name, well it was supposed to be Rascal, but he responds to Puppy, so Puppy it is. My husband keeps threatening to give him away, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Puppy goes with him and the goats and the moment my husband sits down, there’s Puppy ready for a head scratch practically climbing in his lap.