It was the calls of wild geese that summoned me into the frosty, woodsmoke-laden sunshine this morning. I wasn’t swift enough with my camera to capture them flying overhead, but then I spotted some horses grazing in the distance, under the Wallace Monument. (Or Mel Gibson Monument, as it has become.)
I donned my wellies and made off across the fields, crunching the ice in the tractor furrows, and nearly landing on my head in the mud when a gate I was climbing over turned out not to have a lower hinge.
This pony was the first to greet me. She was friendly and docile, and let me stroke her nose and neck.
This horse gives hoodie wearers a bad name. He approached me with speed and aggression, biting the white one on his way, and I was suddenly very conscious of his size and strength and general hoofiness.
I reminded myself that he must be used to having women in wellies taking charge, so I adopted my best Pony Club stance, and without backing down, I greeted him by clicking and blowing. He stuck his nose in my pocket and then began to eat my scarf. I took that as a good sign, and patted him on the neck. He took it well.
I turned to look back at them as I climbed over their fence to head for home. They had already gone back to grazing, and appeared to have completely forgotten about me. That’s what happens, I suppose, when you don’t bring sugar lumps.