With all of those millions of chimneys to go down in one night, Santa sometimes runs out of time to visit the homes of well-behaved horses. Lauren Nethery reveals the telltale signs.
Top photo: AsIfIKnowWhatImTalkingAbout.blogspot.com
1. The stockings that have been hung by the feed room with care are beginning to look a little threadbare and have nibble marks from hungry mice that refuse to cease stirring and have penchants for red felt.
2. Instead of visions of Mrs. Pastures dancing in their heads, the horses that live out 24/7 are just wishing that the Duct Tape Fairy would show up to patch their holey blankets that they thought were finally getting replaced this Christmas.
3. Bear, Chloe, and Oreo (I swear every barn with ponies has ponies bearing those names) have shed their kerchiefs and caps in favor of those silly funnel hats that hillbillies wear at parties in hopes that someone will pour a little wet bran, some soaked beat pulp, or molasses in since Santa has yet to appear with any Stud Muffins Mash this year.
4. When up on the barn roof arises such a clatter, boarders will make haste to peer upwards expecting a sleigh and nearly come to tears when all they see are two opossums fighting over a chunk of alfalfa cube from last month.
5. That stupid meeting finally ends and you have managed to saddle up before 10 p.m. and the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gives the lustre of mid-day to objects all around. It is then that you will curse and shake your head like a Welsh pony getting his ears clipped after unceremoniously ending up on your behind with ears full of powder when Geronimo slips on the snow-covered pavement three steps from the barn door. You were so counting on Santa to come bearing borium.
6. When what to your wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny hooved creatures that appear to be reindeer, do NOT be fooled. The herd of minis from next door has simply teamed up, employed your biggest, best wheelbarrow, and is carting off your freshly milled grain one bag at a time.
7. If that little old trainer, so lively and quick, convinced you in a moment that he must be St Nick, think again. He is only here to berate you soundly while you ride in circles around him and pay him for his criticism. And that jiggly belly? There are enough trainers with “bowls full of jelly” that Horse Nation could do a weekly feature.
8. All of the horses have grabbed red Jolly Balls in their teeth in an attempt resemble Rudolph and lure Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen into the barn in hopes that Santa will come looking for them.
9. When, from down the barn aisle, you hear “To the top of the wash rack! To the top of the stall wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!” do not be excited. Santa has not year appeared. The raccoons from June and July have simply reappeared.