Our neighbours at the back don't have as big a property as we do, so Fred offered to have Pepper the little miniature piebald pony, who belongs to their (the neighbours) six year old daughter in our back paddock.
Now that's okay in theory. However, the two from across the back and Jane and Fred's two boys are great friends and they are backwards and forwards all the time and...kids being kids, always have to be reminded to put the chain on the gate so that Pepper doesn't get out.
Well, that brings us to today. I had been up since 4.00 am working and at 11.30 am called it quits. I ate some cheese and crackers as an early lunch and had a nap for about an hour or so. I enjoyed that and while waiting for my daughter and Cooper to visit, as they do on Thursdays, I sat on the lounge and read my book (The Touch by Colleen McCullough...I recommend it if you're into early Australian history written as a novel).
Now I must explain that Fred has ricked his back to the point that, seen from behind, he is so out of whack one hip is quite a lot higher than the other, which means that he is home from work. He had been watering the garden after which he went and floated in the pool for half-an-hour. As I say, I was reading.
I became aware of Fred calling, "Pepper! Pepper!". I looked up and saw Pepper galloping hell for leather towards the open gate and down the driveway with Fred in hot pursuit. Suddenly the air was blue with @#*%***!!!*@...you get the idea. I opened the ranchslider and met Fred who had steam coming out of his ears and was cursing the kids up hill and down dale for leaving the paddock gate open.
Oops, I thought, as I slipped into my thongs (flip flops to non-Australians, not underwear), and walked towards the gate. I could see Pepper about two/thirds down the driveway talking to Rex, the thoroughbred show jumper from next door, through the fence. As I walked down the driveway, I called to Rex, who knows me so he started trotting up to me and thankfully, Pepper followed so that I was able to grab his bridle and lead him back inside the gate. Just then Fred came roaring around from the back of his place in the truck and stopped as he saw us.
All's well that ends well, thank goodness. But I'm not sure what Fred's back will be like after that little lot. I think the physiotherapist will be making a lot more money in the next week or so! And there are some kids who are going to get the rough edge of Fred's tongue. Maybe I'd better get the cask of wine out of the fridge and take it next door...