When I woke up this morning, it was snowing so hard and fast I could barely see the garden gate. While not exactly a whiteout, it was close. Since I was in no rush to feed the horses—I have deadlines to meet—I fed the dogs and cats and went to work. By the time I went out to feed and clean, the snow had melted and the sky was a brilliant, cloudless blue.

Prim and Gunsmoke

I let the chickens out and fed them leftovers (they like food from the Mexican restaurant the best), then fed my two horses. Since I had gotten back late from an appointment the previous afternoon, I had bedded Prim’s half of their 24’ x 24’ pipe corral. By then it was almost too dark to see, so I dragged two bags of shavings into Gunsmoke’s half, under the lean-to that John constructed for them. I was pretty sure I knew what I would find this morning, and sure enough—Gunsmoke had bedded his own corral. He’s a busy horse. He likes having things to do. He has a toy—a fake orange traffic cone I bought from Home Depot—but he likes to shred the plastic off shavings bags, too. Maybe I should lease him out to somebody who wants a cutting horse, or an all-round roping horse.

While both horses were busy with breakfast, I went into Prim’s corral and scooped up horse manure. Frozen manure is a real joy to work with because it’s so light-weight, and no, I’m not kidding. The rest of her corral was still white with snow. Gunsmoke’s corral was another story. Snow, old shavings, brand new shavings swept into drifts, and pieces of white plastic all over everything. The manure was all in one place—in the front of his corral, where the feeder and the rubber mats are. I collected the plastic first, then mucked out and redistributed the shavings.

Then I started to laugh. It was very obvious which horse had stood under the lean-to while it snowed, and it wasn’t Prim. She likes to look at things (he’s the busy one, she’s the curious one), and I guess the view is better if she’s completely outside. She looked like a horse that had been caught in the rain—her topline was wet, with streaks of moisture running down her neck, shoulders, along her ribs to her belly, her haunches. Gunsmoke, on the other hand, was completely dry. He’d been busy having fun under the protection of his lean-to.

Character will out—just the way it does in a good novel.