In My Ideal Stable


In my Ideal Stable, the birds fly quietly and invisibly, getting on with their bird-life which presumably includes the devouring of bugs. They swoop, yes, because they are birds and they have the right to swoop, but they do not flutter in a way that spooks the horses. They call to each other but without making a ruckus. They snatch bugs out of mid-air and their young signal their hunger only by opening their beaks. The parents, with their amazing eyesight, see the open-beaked babies and hurry to feed them grubs and what-not. The horses have no idea any of this is going on and so they trot on, blissfully unaware of flying things in the eaves and rafters of the barn.

In my Ideal Stable, all of the people using the ring are polite. They display their politeness with style and a gracious formality. All of them, every single one of them, calls “Door!” in chiming tones to announce their imminent arrival into the ring. Every single one of them does this without being taken aside for a stern talking-to. They do this even if they think this rule doesn’t apply to them, really. There are no surprise entrances, the type that are announced only by the impetuous whinnying of a stallion who has been cooped up too long and the subsequent prancing into the ring by that same stallion (no matter how pretty he is, no matter what a tough nut his rider might be) in such a manner that discombobulates both the Friesian and the person riding the Friesian (they were there first anyway).

In my Ideal Stable, there is one loving and affectionate cat per person. Cats may sleep on saddles not currently in use and cats may use the office equipment. Long-distance calls are discouraged. Goats clean up after themselves after using the Fax.

In my Ideal Stable, there is always hot water for tea. Coffee will be considered. Pastry is mandatory.

My Ideal Stable is stocked with antihistamines.

In my Ideal Stable, Management (or its deputy) is on the ground at least half the day, dispensing courtesy and good wishes in a manner that puts people on their best behavior without having to think about it.

In my Ideal Stable, doors do not bang with the wind or swing wildly on hinges, all of the stall doors work, strolling players are invited to serenade the animals with lutes, and a breakfast trolly runs at 7:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. There is toast on Wednesdays with three different kinds of jam and whipped butter.

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