Friday, 19 February 2021

Moi at 70! Still alive and kicking!

                                                        

My official 70th birthday pic!

                                                         
  


Hello Everyone,

Yes, Lady M here. #7 has hit the hay this week and taking a one horse week equiniday.

It's 16th February today so it must be my birthday or rather another one! I cannot believe that it has come round again so quickly. Has it really been 366 days since the last time? We all know it's a sign of old age when birthdays seem to speed up. The pretty pic above was taken an hour ago by Moi in my library. I am at a milestone in my life and having a lockdown birthday. I had planned to do something special as I have done at each decade change. In fact, twenty years ago when I was a young 50, I launched my first book. Ten years ago I celebrated my 60th in Paphos when a kind friend found the comment about 'pushing 60'. Alas, this year I am confined to barracks by law.





In another decade or five minutes I'm either going to be 80 or pushing up daisies. So, guess I should make the most of every minute that's left. What have I done since I hit 60? Published four books, visited new places, experienced tram riding, enjoyed  holidays and discovered the privileges of being a senior citizen. So, I've not been idle but there are still things to do and tomorrow is not promised to us. 18 months ago I decided I would set myself a challenge of doing 70 things for arriving at 70. I started but have only got to 21, due to lockdown restrictions, I shall continue throughout my seventies.  I would like to move house, downsize. The stairs and garden are getting too much for me. Not sure where I'm going but when it's right or if it's meant to be it will happen. They say the devil makes work for idle hands but I don't intend mine remaining idle. Today, I'm getting used to the idea of a new decade ahead. Tomorrow...



So birthdays, what are they? They are those annual events that take forever to arrive when you are a child but somehow speed up with age. The psychologists say that it is because we gain experiences with age and consequently have far more to occupy our minds which makes it seem as if time is passing by more quickly. But that does not explain why we look forward to them in childhood and grow to dislike them as we grow older. There are those milestones... 30...40...50...60 and if you are still around 70...80...90? If you are a UK resident the next decade is really exciting because if you make it to 100, a century you get a telegram from the Queen or reigning monarch. So, does your aim in life simply become the urgent desire to hit the three figure number for the joy and satisfaction of receiving a special card on that birthday and each subsequent one, if you make it?


As time goes by you tend to change without noticing. Appearance, thinking, behaviour, attitude, and then there's that awful day when you begin using phrases like, 'when I was younger', 'not in my day' or 'oh no I'm turning into my mother'. 


When you were a child there were lots of presents and cards and a party with a cake and party games and you were growing up, another year nearer, into that wonderful world of adulthood where everything seemed to be wonderful. No one telling you what to do, money of your own, allowed to drink and go out as you pleased. It was going to be fantastic. Then, after waiting forever the day arrives and suddenly the picture has changed. It has turned into a life of work, bills, problems and responsibility and you yearn for those carefree childhood days again. 

So, what are the joys of birthdays? Why do we wish each other 'Many happy returns of them'? How do we spend them? Parties? Family celebrations? Do you STILL look forward to them? Do you still enjoy them? Do you still look forward to cards and presents? Do your family spoil you? Do you spend them on your own? Which was your best and most memorable birthday? Which was your worst? Would you care to share your memories and/or views of that annual event? Or, have you, like Moi, experienced a milestone lockdown birthday? What did you do while obeying the rules? No holidays, no clubbing, no parties, no restaurant trips. How did you survive it or are you planning a later celebration?

Love to you all, from an ancient Lady M xxxx

                                                    





Friday, 12 February 2021

#7 neighs about Valentine's Day

                                             



 
 
Neigh, #7 here still bringing you Lady M's weekly blogs and I am having a blast!
 
It is Valentine's Day on Sunday 14th! Those fillies have been neighing about it and looking kind of dreamy. I am only a little foal and I wondered what it was all about. I neighed them but they reneighed it was something I would understand when I became a stallion. I reminded them that I would never be a big stallion like #6 because it was my destiny to remain a lovely little foal and their mascot. They laughed at me. I was puzzled so I hoofed it in my hoofing book. Now, I understand.
 
 
"It is a day when people declare their love for each other by giving a card, chocolates, flowers or special gifts. Cards used to be anonymous and one was left guessing as to whom the sender might be. It would be signed with a question mark or simple phrase, like 'from an admirer'." Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! I must get online and buy a card and flowers for my darling #23.

Then I thought, how did it all start? Who is this St Valentine? I hoofed a little further.

The Catholic Church has at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One  was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for single men because he preferred to have them work as his soldiers leaving married men with families at home. Valentine thought this was really unfair and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. What a romantic! When Claudius found out about this poor Valentine was put to death. Aw... that's sad. I think he deserves to be the saint associated with this special day. Also, there was a Bishop Valentine of Terni who was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome. Not sure why he was beheaded.

My friends, I, and the Singing Horses, wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day. Make it special for the love of your life but please remember not to break the rules. That dreaded lurgy is everywhere. #staysafe.

If you want to know more about us, you may purchase us at The Singing Horses | Book| Austin Macauley Publishers or from your local Amazon Market Place. I have just had one of those 'light bulb' moments! We would make a nice Valentine's present. The love of your life will fall in love with us and 'love you forever'.
                                          


Love you all, neigh #7 💓💓💓💓💓





 
 


Friday, 5 February 2021

February, Groundhog Day, and Candlemas



Neigh #7 here,

I, and all the Singing Horses, hope you are all staying safe through this awful virus. I have been told to neigh you good news, it is February! That is good because it is the shortest month of the year with only 28 days and 29 every fourth year or leap year! This year is not a leap year. Soon, it will be March and for those of you in the northern part of the globe, Spring! Longer days. Warmth. Hopefully, lockdown restrictions will be eased and you will all feel much happier. 

I have hoofed about this month, February, it was named after the Latin term februum which means purification. In the old Roman calendar, February 15th was the full moon and date of the purification festival, Februa. February and January were the last two months added to the Roman calendar by Numa Pompilius round about 713 BC. 

Its birth flowers are the violet and common primrose and its birthstone is the amethyst which symbolises piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom.

Groundhog Day occurs on February 2nd, three days ago. I was puzzled by this because I thought every day was a groundhog day. Its simple meaning is that everything is the same each day. Isn't that what life has been all through 2020 and continuing? Again, I checked it out in my hoofing book. It is a tradition in North America and Canada. If a groundhog appears from his burrow on this day and can see its shadow due to clear weather it will hibernate for another six weeks believing it is still winter. However, if it is cloudy and it cannot see its shadow it means that the weather is warming up and spring will arrive early. Crowds normally gather at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see what the groundhog named Phil will do. This dates back to a tradition brought to Pennsylvania by European settlers in the 1700's. This year, like most things, it will be a nucleus of peeps, with the majority of the usual 40,000 watching it virtually. Oh dear. No! A perfect shadow. There's to be six more weeks of winter. Never fear. Spring will arrive.

February 2nd must be an important day because it is also Candlemas, a Christian tradition. This is also known as the Feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and is based on the Bible reading of Luke 2:22-40. It falls on the fortieth day and conclusion of the Christmas-Epiphany season. Many Christians take candles to church on this day where they are blessed for use throughout the year. They serve as the symbol of Jesus Christ who referred to Himself as 'the Light of the World'.

Wow! I have learned a lot today!

Remember, you may read all about us in our book, obtainable from your Amazon Market Place or 

Next week, I am going to neigh you about another important day in February, Valentine's Day. Until then, stay positive, optimistic and safe.

Love you all, #7 💓💓💓









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Friday, 29 January 2021

#7 neighs about Covid-19

 






Neigh #7 here,

I, and all of the singing horses, hope that you are #stayinghome and #stayingsafe . We are very concerned for all of you. I am only a little foal so I do not understand it all but those big stallions neigh it to me. It still puzzles me how a 'virus' can take control. This horse day I have chosen two days from Lady M's chronicles to share with you. What's a chronicle? I must hoof it in my hoofing dictionary.  Happy hoofing, my friends.

                                                     **********************


Day 306 Saturday, 23 January 2021, (Lockdown 3/Day 19) ANOTHER WEEKEND

Good morning!

I looked out late last night. God is suffering from dandruff again. However, this morning it seems as if he has swept some of it up. There are still traces of that white stuff but much more greenery.

Feeling happy today. No real reason. (Blue bus going to the station. Empty). I think that those of us who survive this pandemic will be the lucky ones and the only way to survive is to accept the situation for what it is. Obey the rules. Stay home. Find things to do. Take up a new hobby. Reading. Writing. Origami. Whatever. Just stop complaining. You do not need a holiday abroad. Accept staycations. Think of the adage, “North, South, East or West. Home is best”. The fact that you are reading this means that you have a mobile phone, or Internet facilities. You have a home. Be thankful for that. Count your blessings.

It is 1.08. I am at the computer in my library. So far, this morning I have had porridge for breakfast because it’s cold. Pottered, worked, and played. Looking at films for this afternoon. Gonna take a break now. BBL.

2.12pm. Wow! White stuff falling! God needs to change his shampoo!

Just completed day 19 of my Marketing Challenge. I have updated my Amazon Author Page. To be honest I had forgotten I had one. You see, it is amazing what you remember when you take up a challenge as well as what you can learn. Please go to Amazon, put any of my book titles in with my name or you could be scrolling through a hundred pages. At the bottom of the details, it says “Follow the author”. There is a pretty pic of Moi. Click on it. Read all about it and even be a follower. Incidentally, the Amazon ratings are mysterious to all, but one thing is definite. The more peeps click on to look at the details the higher the ranking. So, my friends, be kind to me, keep clicking!

Lunch next and the afternoon movie.

Okay. Lunch was my surprise soup. Golden vegetable. If you are new to these postings and wondering about surprise soup it is like this… I take about 30 packets and mix them up in a box and just pick one out. It makes lunch more exciting and also prevents me having to make a big decision.

The afternoon movie was “Never Say Goodbye”. An oldie. You know I love those best because I am one of life’s veterans. It was set in the war years. A surgeon thinks his wife is dead until she walks back into his life. Beautiful and with a happy ending.

Dinner. Pork chops with eggs, carrots, mushrooms, and jacket potato with vino. And another normal evening. Back tomorrow.

 Day 307 Sunday January 24th, 2021, (Lockdown 3/ Day20)

Wow! It is about 10.00 am. Time to leave the place of my slumber. Count my blessings and stay positive and happy throughout another day. Today is “Songs of Praise” day and that puts a smile on my face. Venture into back room. Look out of window. Double wow! God sure does have a problem. That white stuff is about an inch deep out there. Positivity. It looks pretty. Front window. The same. Take pics of virgin snow for FB, Twitter and Instagram. Dress. Downstairs. Say good morning to the candle. Am I going outside? Don’t be silly! Kitchen. Kettle on. Porridge day. Cold. Temperature 0°. Brekky. Annoyed. Really annoyed. Beyond really. “Songs of Praise” has moved to BBC2. Why? Football matches are being shown on BBC 1.  Peeps are going to see their idols hugging each other. What are they going to do? Certainly not obey instructions of ‘hands, face, space’.  Actions have consequences. Case numbers and deaths are severe. Showing football matches is giving the wrong message.

So, how to spend today. Television. Potter. Play. Work. Just another Groundhog Day with snow on the ground. Treat? Pizza for dinner. Afternoon film? “84 Charing Cross Road” Another oldie. I have seen this one before, but I like it. Also, gotta finish a Clockmaker game before midnight to get big reward.

What is happening in the outside world beyond the snow? Oh, snowball fighters are being threatened with fines. Throwing snowballs contravenes Covid-19 rules. Joe Biden has attended his first Mass as President. I notice Trump has faded into oblivion. How long will it last? A man with his ego, even if he has been silenced on social media, cannot stay out of the limelight for long. Wow! A man in California has died, he tested positive for Covid-19, was given the vaccine but passed away an hour later. For Moi, that rings alarm bells. Experts are saying they do not know how long immunity will last after the vaccine. Neither are they sure how successful it will be for the new strains. Also, in the UK, a decision by someone was made not to give the second dose after three weeks as instructed by the manufactures but to leave it for twelve weeks enabling more peeps to have the first dose. Will that prevent immunity for those already vaccinated? (Bus alert. Mini blue bus with one passenger heading for town. Second empty blue bus following.)

“Songs of Praise” time. Aled Jones is hosting today from Windsor Chapel. Lots of lovely old hymns and memories of historic occasions.

Back to the computer and Clockmaker. Ring. Ring. Telephone. A nice break as I chat to someone else, I met in Cyprus. Memories.

It’s surprise soup and film time. BBL.

5.00pm. Looking out of library window. Wow! Neighbours are making the biggest snowman they can from the white stuff lingering on the ground. They even have a bin (grey one, household waste) to stand on. Pic later. The film was great. Lunch was golden veg again.

Okay. Time to look at those figures. My weekly update. Have we reached the one hundred million? Not quite. Globally, 99,544,378. Last week it was 95,173,803. So, that’s 4.5 million more. Things are not getting any better, are they? I predicted the milestone figure as between today and Tuesday. Looks like it is gonna be tomorrow. Here, in the UK, we are at 3,647,463. Russia is at 3,719,400. We are in danger of overtaking them and becoming #4th globally. If we ever pass America’s figure… well most of us will be pushing up daisies.

Downstairs. Pizza and television. “Dancing on Ice” is back. I love the music. That’s followed by a new edition of “Who want’s to be a Millionaire” without an audience. Then, a new drama, “Finding Alice”. I’ll be back later to finish that Clockmaker game before midnight.


 Neighbours snowman!

#7 still here. They neigh me to remind you that you can hoof all about us at

 The Singing Horses | Book| Austin Macauley Publishers

💓💓💓💓💓

Friday, 22 January 2021

More from "The Singing Horses"

 



Neigh everyone,

Yes #7 here. I neigh you all had a good week despite the horrible "lurgy". Things are not good for you but we equine are doing our duty and helping you through this crisis. We hope you enjoyed hoofing the beginning of our story last horse week. #5 has neighed that I am to hoof you the next chapter. This is about our first stop in Memphis and our visit to the zoo. We had a blast! Enjoy and stay safe.


"As soon as it was horse daylight he rose from his bed, groomed, and waited. He could hear #5 and #6 in the next stalls. It sounded like they were in the same one. Surely not. Why on earth would they share when they each had such a luxurious stall? When #6’s stall door opened, and he and #5 headed for the gate, #7 followed them neighing, “Wait for meeeeeeeeeee. Wait for meeeeeeee,” in his shrill little voice.

#5 and #6 turned and neighed him to go back. He was too young.

“Neigh, I’ve come all the way from London. I’m not too young to travel. I’m classified as an “um”.” He proudly neighed at them. They chuckled and neighed him to go back to his stall. He was too young to leave. He still followed them and waited with them for every other equine who had decided to leave the paddock.

#Phi arrived, still wearing his apron and holding a feather duster. “You all ready, then?”

“Neigh,” #5 counted…fifteen. “We’re all here now. Horse time to jump the gate. Please take #7 back to his stall.”#5 neighed.

“Leave him with me. Have a great adventure.”

They all moved back, started the run toward the gate, raised their forelegs, and made the jump over to the other side. #7 had never attempted to jump a gate before but there was a first time for everything. He watched how it was done by the first ones. How difficult could it be? He was a young equine and jumping was one of the things they did. He prepared to copy their movements. He walked back, made a run toward the gate, raised his forelegs, and tried to jump but his body was too small and his hind legs not strong enough to make the leap. He ended up embarrassed as he hit the gate instead of jumping over it. Once again, they chuckled at him. It was like being back at the orphanage with the bigger foals chuckling and making fun of his hoofing. But where was he now and where were they? He had got the last chuckle on them and he was going to get over this gate. He turned to #Phi who had been so nice to him yester horse day helping him undo his saddlebag, “Neigh, sir, please lift me over the gate. My little body and legs are too small.”

“Neigh, I’m taking you back to your stall.” #Phi turned to the others who were all safely on the other side of the gate. “Off you go, I’ll be here waiting for you when you come back. Text me. Spread the neigh for all of us.” He hoofed his feather duster at them and they trotted off. #7 was not giving up. He made a further unsuccessful attempt at jumping the gate.

“#7. Come on back to your stall.”

There must be a way #7 was thinking while saying, “Yes sir.” And following #Phi back to his stall. The others were going to have an adventure and they were not going without him. Neigh way! When #Phi had disappeared #7 had a neighdea. If he could not jump over the gate maybe he could crawl through the bars. He sneaked out making sure he was not seen and went back to the gate. He struggled to get between the bars but they were too close together. Where there was a will there was a way; he must find it. It was a large paddock and all around it was either fencing or a hedge. If he wandered round he would find it but he needed to hurry. Every horse second counted. The longer it took him, the nearer Tennessee they would be, wherever it was, and the harder it would be to catch up with them.

He set off trotting round the perimeter, watching carefully, ensuring no equine saw him. First, there were several horse yards of fence but, like the gate, the bars were too close together for him to crawl through. Then there was a hedge. Why does this paddock have both? I have no idea. He carried on trotting for several hundred horse yards until he was on the far side of the paddock, facing Florida instead of Tennessee, when he hit lucky and jumped up and down, “Neigh, neigh, they’re not leaving me behind.” There was a gap at the bottom of the hedge which was large enough for him to crawl through. He was out of the paddock but horse time was against him; he needed to gallop as fast as his little legs would go. He set off and galloped without really thinking. After a few horse miles there was no sight of them. Something was wrong. He stopped and used his nostrils… oh no! He fell to the ground in dismay. He was galloping in the wrong direction.

By this time all equine were up, groomed, and excited. The contest had started. Mr J. arrived and dampened their ardour by announcing that, for reasons beyond his control, their pretty pics, showing their horsey grins, would not be on the websites. #Phi neighed him that fifteen had left, and were on their way to Tennessee, to spread the neigh. Then gave him the paper on which #5 had hoofed their numbers.

“What? They can’t leave. They’ve hoofed the contract.”

“They’ve only gone for a few horse days and it’s in the contest’s interest.”

“Well, I suppose if it’s for the contest they’re not breaking their contract.” Mr J. was having a bad day. Things were not going well in the office.

 Then an equine neighed, “Where’s that foal, #7?”

“He tried to go with them; he couldn’t jump the gate. It was funny watching him try. I took him back to his stall. He’s probably embarrassed and lying low.” #Phi neighed. They chuckled.

 #7 sobbed. He was lost, alone, and frightened in somewhere called America, and he was looking for Tennessee. He wasn’t even sure he could find his way back to the paddock. He may never see his luxurious stall again. He must think. Yes. He needed to turn round, gallop back along the road, retrace his hoof steps, and he would reach the paddock. As long as they did not see him he could trot round the outside of the paddock to the gate and then he would be on the right road. About two horse hours had passed; he hoped they were only walking or he would never catch up with them. He set off again and was mighty relieved to see the paddock. They all still thought he was in his stall. He crept round near to the hedge, so they would not notice him, until he came to the gate. He recognised the road they had taken. Now, he was heading in the right direction, he had his second wind, new energy, and determination. Go #7. Go. Gallop. Gallop. Until at last he saw them in the distance. “Wait for meeeeeeee. Wait for meeeeeeee.” He neighed as he galloped on.

#6 thought he heard something. “Stop. What was that?” They stopped walking and heard, “wait for meeeeeeeeee. Wait for meeeeeeeeeee.”

They turned and saw #7 galloping along.

“Neigh, we’ll have to take him back.” #5 neighed.

#1.618 neighed in favour of taking him back; she was convinced he would be trouble.

#7 looked at her. She was so like the pic he had of his mama, chestnut and with a white mark down her forehead, longer than his star mark, but it started in the same place. Papa had said she was beautiful and this American Quarter Horse was a stunner. He liked her because she reminded him of his mama. But why was she being so horrible to him?

The others neighed that they could not waste horse time going back, and if they did wouldn’t Mr J. stop them from leaving the paddock?

Probably.

“Neigh, okay,” #5 neighed. “I’ll text Mr J and tell him we’ll look after him.” She took out her cell phone and texted, #7 HERE. OK. HE CAN STAY WITH US. Then she remembered #23 and added HOWS #23?

Mr J. was neighing with a few of the stallions when his phone beeped indicating a text message. He looked at it and screeched, “What? I thought #Phi said #7 was in his stall. Where’s #Phi?”

“He’ll be dusting, Mr J..”

Mr J. stormed off to find #Phi. “Neighpologies, Mr J.. I took him back to his stall. I didn’t think there was any way he could get out.”

“Oh, it’s not your fault.” Mr J. was slowly calming down. There must be a gap in the hedge somewhere. He couldn’t have got over or through the fence. At least he’s safe.” He texted back, OK U R RESPONSIBLE 4 HIM.

#7 was frolicking with excitement. He was setting off on another adventure and one he had never expected. It just goes to show that horse life is what you make it, and every horse moment counts. He was oblivious of the feeling of annoyance among the group; they were mature equine who were on a mission, and did not want a little foal upsetting things. He would slow them down, and need looking after; he was a responsibility they could do without. They carried on walking, but at a slower pace, for another two or three horse hours until early horse afternoon.

“Neigh, it’s getting near fodder time and we’re close to Tupelo. I think we should stop here and then travel on to Memphis, camp out in a field this horse night, and hit Memphis with our neighs on the next horse day.” #5 informed the equine band. Suddenly, when they heard her neigh, “think”, they realised that the bossy old grey mare did not have a proper plan. They were just heading for Tennessee, and as every American knows that’s a mighty big place. Camp in a field when they had left such luxury behind? Maybe they should go back.

#11, the rose grey Percheron, with a white visage, was sturdy and a workaholic; he had spent many horse hours harnessed toiling the land before becoming a buggy equine for the Amish community in Pennsylvania. He was seventeen hands and did not suffer fools gladly. He was having second thoughts and neighed, in his usual no nonsense way, what the rest were thinking, “Neigh, how are we going to neigh humans about our work? Are we just going to stop them in the street and neigh? Which streets are we going to? Are we working methodically through Memphis and then moving onto Nashville?” There was a lot of neighing in support of these questions. They had followed #5 like sheep but they were intelligent equine.

#7 had heard mention of fodder, realised that he had missed breakfast fodder, and had not eaten since his favourite pizza many horse hours ago. He did not understand what they were neighing about. Neighing to humans? Streets? Working methodically? It was all mysterious to him, all he knew was that he had galloped for many horse miles to take part in another adventure, and now he was hungry. While they were all waiting for #5 to neigh her non-existent plan #7 neighed, “I’m hungry. Where’s Tup.. Tu?”

“Tupelo.” #11 neighed at him with a sigh before turning back to #5, and looking her squarely in the visage “You don’t have a plan, do you? This is just a wild horse chase and a waste of horse time. I neigh we return to the paddock.” There was much nodding. They were all beginning to feel rather stupid. They had left a beautiful luxurious accommodation just to wander round aimlessly, and sleep in fields.

#6 neighed in #5’s defence, “Don’t bully her #11. She knows what she’s doing.” But #5 was lost for neighs because she had not got a proper plan. Suddenly, their attention was diverted when they heard hooves galloping in their direction. It was the very distinctive #64. That piebald American Indian horse, the white coat with black spots, white and black mixed tail, and long flowing white mane approaching at high speed, “Hey there. I overslept. Too much drinking at the JD trough after the singsong. I decided to join you late last horse night. I thought we would need some info to neigh  humans, equine, and all species so I got these off Mr J..” #64, of Spanish origin could trace his ancestors back to The Spanish Riding School horses which is where he claimed his handsome looks came from. He was one of the smaller horses in their equine group at only fourteen hands but made up for his lack of hands in other ways. He was easy going, had charm, and personality. He never lost his temper probably because he had had an easy life in a riding school carrying humans who were learning to ride. He had arrived with hundreds of leaflets and a neigh from Mr J. that #23 was getting better and #00 was by her hay side looking after her.

#5 breathed a sigh of relief; #64 had saved the horse day for her. “Neigh, welcome #64. We’ve just been neighing about that.” Like manna from equine heaven a plan formed in #5’s mind. “We’ll do Beale Street in Memphis and then the zoo. That way we’ll be focusing on main areas and our neighs will spread among both humans and the animal kingdom. Then we’ll move on to Nashville before going further north covering main cities in the states.”

There was renewed confidence in #5 but #11 still wanted more answers. “Where do we go after Nashville? When are we returning to the paddock?”

#7 reneighed, “I’m hungry.” They all realised that fodder was required and igneighed #11’s questions.

#5 neighed, “Let’s head for Tupelo.”

Their nostrils led them to a hostelry before they reached Tupelo. They enjoyed baguettes and soft drinks before carrying on to Memphis, and camping in a field. The next horse morning they were awake early, groomed, and practised their horsey grins, and banter for the unsuspecting humans in Memphis.

Well, Memphis had never experienced anything like it. Elvis Presley music was being relayed throughout the street, and humans were humming to “Return to Sender”, when our equine band descended on Beale Street. They immediately started singing along which caused humans to turn and stare and traffic to come to a standstill. It was as if there had been an accident in the Universe, or a “Dr Who” scene, and they had moved back in time. #5 was delighted. She had taken over Beale Street. They galloped in; once they had every human’s attention they put their plan into action. Mouths opened and jaws dropped as sixteen, (fifteen+#64) of them stood on their hind legs and neighed, “Vote, please vote,” while handing out leaflets. Humans took the leaflets and said, “Yes”; but their attention had now moved to #7 who was still on all fours because his hind legs were not yet strong enough for him to walk on them for a lengthy period of time. They were saying things like, “Ah, isn’t he sweet.” Before stroking his neck, and patting him on his hindquarters; they were the only part of his little body they could touch as the rest of him was beneath his foal saddlebag. He adored their attention and kept reneighing, “Neigh, thank you.” Cell phones and cameras appeared and #7 was only too pleased to show them his horsey grin as they clicked away. He was the star of the show.

When #5 was convinced that they had conquered Beale Street at the heart of Memphis, and that humans would neigh to their friends and vote, she declared their work there was finished. It was a job well done. Horse time to move on to the zoo. Where was the zoo? She looked around; tried using her nostrils to find the right direction. It was #64, again, who saved the day. He noticed, among all the stationary vehicles, two of their kin harnessed to carriages waiting to take tourists around Memphis. “Neigh, dear friends would you be so kind as to give us directions to the zoo? We want to neigh other species.”

“Neigh, we’ll take you. Follow us.”

As if Beale Street had not had enough excitement that horse morning, the two humans in charge of the carriages were in for a big surprise, when their well-trained, and usually well-behaved horses, refused to heed to the command, “stay”. They just cantered off, neighing at the top of their voices, and all the other equine followed them. Cameras clicked. This was just unbelievable. Horses had taken over Memphis. Whatever next? Humans followed to find out.

They arrived at the zoo. The harnessed horses neighed, “Neigh, here we are. Good luck. We’ll neigh about your manuscripts, too.” They turned to leave. Cameras were still clicking.

The human at the ticket booth went extremely pale as #5 and #6 approached and neighed, “Neigh, how much for sixteen equine and one foal, please?”

They were greeted with a frosty reception, “I’m not allowing wild, crazy horses into my zoo.” He reached for the phone to call a manager. He also had an audience of humans; he needed to act fast but upsetting #5 was never a good idea, and he had called them wild and crazy horses. They were all insulted.

They stood up on their hind legs (except #7) and neighed, “Neigh, sir, really, wild indeed! Crazy? We are thoroughbreds.” #7 was not sure what a thoroughbred was or whether he was one. He would hoof it in his hoofing dictionary later.

#3.14, a gallant, dashing black stallion, like #6, but with a glossier coat, longer and bushier mane and tail, and something which horses are envious of, (fillies would die for), beautiful feathered fetlocks and hooves, had a neighdea. “Why don’t we jump the turnstiles?”

They all looked at him and neighed, “great idea, brill, fantabulous, awesome.” All except #7 who lay down and sobbed; tears streamed down his visage.

#1.618, that beautiful chestnut filly who reminded him of his mama neighed, “Neigh I knew he’d be trouble. We should’ve taken him back.”

#7 looked up at her; how could she be so beastly to him? “I can’t jump the tur…” he had never heard the neigh before and could not pronounce it. He could just see it in front of him and knew he would not be able to go with them.

She looked down at him and neighed loudly, “Turnstile, you silly little foal.” Then she chuckled at him.

“Neigh, turnstile,” he neighed through his sobs, “I can’t jump the turnstile because I’ve only got little legs.” #Phi had refused to lift him over the paddock gate; he assumed they would leave him behind. He could never find his own way back to the paddock. He would be lost in Memphis, wherever it was.

#6 chuckled, “You silly young equine, we’ll lift you over.”

#7’s visage changed. His horsey grin reappeared; the tears stopped. He could not believe it. He stood up, and looked up at #6, “Neigh, really?”

#6 looked down, grinned, “Of course.”

The humans were watching wondering what all the neighing was about, and what was going to happen next. The manager appeared and tried to shoo our equine band away. Silly man!

#5, the bossy old grey mare, was already organising the jumping order. When the first four were over she turned to #6, “Neigh, lift him now, please.”

#6 picked him up and lifted him over the turnstile to that other dashing black stallion and racehorse, #3.14. #7 loved it. He turned to the manager and neighed, “Neigh, I’ve only got little legs.” He continued grinning and posing as humans took his picture. The rest jumped over.

#5 turned to the much shaken, ashen human responsible for selling tickets, “Neigh, we offered to pay.” Her head held high, she led them all passed the manager. Next, the neigh, “follow like sheep” took on a new meaning as the human spectators wanted more, and all rushed to purchase tickets. The ticket officer looked at the manager for assistance. Now, this manager was a business man. He phoned the local press. Within a few horse minutes journalists and photographers had arrived from The Memphis Flyer, The Memphis Magazine, and The Suburban Community Newspapers. They fought their way to the front of the queue, showing their identity cards for free admission. They entered while the queue seemed to get longer as news spread; the whole of Memphis and surrounding area wanted to see these most unusual equine at their local zoo.

Leaving the commotion at the entrance #5 led them round the enclosures neighing for votes to all the animals. The giraffes strained their necks to see them. There was a lot of monkey business going on. The kangaroos skipped in delight at their company, and the lions roared with pride. They all promised to neigh about the contest and vote. Such is the animal kingdom. When they arrived at the elephant house, Nellie, the head of the herd invited them to join her family for midday fodder. They had had a full horse morning’s work, and were a little peckish so in the same order as at the turnstile they jumped the wall surrounding the enclosure, lifting #7 over, had a most enjoyable conversation, and devoured elephant fodder provided by the zoo-keepers. They were not sure what it was but it satisfied their hunger pangs.

By this stage, Memphis zoo was packed to full capacity according to “Health and Safety” regulations, and the manager was putting all the extra dollar bills in the safe. The photographers were capturing everything. #7 put on his big horsey grin, and swished his little black tail for them, as #6 and #3.14 lifted him out of the enclosure. Once his four hooves were back on the ground he neighed, “Neigh, neigh, thank you, thank you.” This was to #6, #3.14, and all the spectators. He had been told by his papa that manners were important and he was remembering them. He tried to bow but his front legs would not work properly so he gave up.

Humans stroked and patted him. They were even patting his little foal saddlebag. He loved it all, and reneighed, “Thank you. Thank you. Neigh.” They were using many neighs to describe him, “adorable”, “sweet”, “awesome”, “delightful”, “attractive”, “beautiful”, “and “delicious”. #7 lapped it up. He was a star and loving it. He kept his head high, horsey grin, and somehow he had managed to be at the front of our equine band. He just kept reneighing, “Thank you. Thank you.” Well, until some idiotic human said, “Isn’t he a dear?” #7 stopped dead in his hoof steps, his happy, smiling visage changed to an angry one. He raised himself to his full height, and neighed, “I’m not a deer. I’m a foal. I’ve only got little legs but I’m eight hands high.” That told her.

It was now late in the horse afternoon and, to add to #5’s delight, the local television crew had arrived and were following them around. She calculated that their neighs had reached several thousand humans and many others. Mr J. and all those at the paddock would be pleased. If they were watching the news on the big screen in the stable theatre that night they would see just how well they had done, and it was only the second horse day of the contest. Now, she had to think about where they were to spend the night. The decision was made for her when they passed the camel house. Earlier when they had tried to communicate, the camels had taken the hump but it seemed they had had a change of heart.

Chuck was in charge of the house and offered them hospitality. It was after the manager had locked up, the last visitor had left, and only night security guards were around that the fun really started. They had their usual campfire and singsong. All the other animals heard them, and joined in along with the security guards. It was a pity the media had left or they could have sung along, “You Raise Me Up”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Danny Boy” and “I Will Always Love You”.

The next horse morning they all realised what a night it had been. The camels had shared their secret supply of gin with their guests. Only #7 was sober. The others? Wearing shades as they thanked their hosts and moved on toward Nashville at a very slow pace.

They passed through Jackson en route, and put on the performance of being walking equine, neighing “Vote, please vote,” as they handed out leaflets. The humans took them, stroked and patted #7, who waited patiently for photographers but he was disappointed, Jackson was much smaller than Memphis, fewer people, and they spent less horse time there.

By nightfall they were camping in a paddock, (not as salubrious as their Alabama paddock) on the outskirts of Nashville. They had been recognised by the farmer as the horses on YouTube; he was honoured to have them stay in his paddock. They were on YouTube? Apparently, a lot of those pics and videos that were taken in Memphis had turned them into local celebrities. The farmer wanted their hoofographs to show his friends and relatives. 

 #5’s hangover had disappeared; her brain was in gear. They needed to go further afield; beyond America. Europe.

“Neigh, neigh, equine community, I’ve been thinking this horse day. Our mission here has been successful. In fact, much better than I’d hoped for. YouTube and the media are good but we need to go abroad.”

“Mr J. will not allow it.” #6 neighed. The rest neighed in agreement. Mr J. would definitely not allow it. They had hoofed a contract. A few days on business in Tennessee was one thing. Abroad was out of the question.

“I’ll text him when we’ve done it.  Humans have a phrase about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Neigh, it seems fitting.” Now, they were all chuckling. Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Hilarious and so human.

#7 was mortified. Abroad meant travelling by plane again. He was not looking forward to his return journey to the LEO; he certainly did not want extra plane journeys. He had forgotten that most of them had also travelled by plane. “Neigh, I don’t want to go a plane again. It’s so uncomfortable. You have to keep your saddlebag with you at all times.” He thought he was giving them useful information. “You can’t even take it off when sleeping or visiting the bathroom. It’s so, so uncomfortable trying to sleep sitting in a seat with your saddlebag tied to you.”

They neighed hysterically. He was perplexed; that little star on his forehead wrinkled again. What had he neighed that was so funny?

#44 neighed, “You silly little foal. Keeping One’s luggage with One means One has to have it near One at all times. If it is left unattended it may be a suspicious item. One may undo and remove One’s saddlebag on the plane and place it under the seat or in the overhead lockers. You sat with your saddlebag on in the plane?”

They all chuckled hysterically again. He wondered what a “suspicious item” meant but he now knew why that nice Anna kept neighing if she could take his bag.

“I didn’t know.” He neighed softly, head down. He had got something else wrong. 

#5 continued neighing. “The UK has potential, and then Europe. We can target cities like we did in Memphis. Then our neighs will spread.”

#44 rose to neigh, “One’s family has a five star Stable and Spa in the New Forest. One would like to invite you all to stay and accept One’s hospitality.”

#5 tried to igneigh her suggestion. She really did not like #44. “I think we should remain in the cities where there are more humans to neigh to.”

The others disagreed, particularly the two Palomino fillies who thought the neighdea of a spa was equine heaven.

#44, aware that #5 didn’t like her, continued neighing, “The New Forest is close to London, the capital city.” As the others, apart from #7 who felt it was too close to the LEO, were all in favour.

“Very well. We accept your kind invitation, #44.” The neighs almost choked her. “We will neigh in Nashville tomorrow, and I will book tickets for us on a flight from Nashville to Manchester.”

How will they get on in the UK and Europe?

                                      *********************************

You want more? 

The Singing Horses: Amazon.co.uk: Marilyn L Rice: 9781528950251: Books

The Singing Horses | Book| Austin Macauley Publishers

I am sorry, my friends but I am only allowed to hoof you two chapters. Next week I have to hoof about this Covid thing. Love you all, #7 and the singing horses!🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎




Friday, 15 January 2021

The Singing Horses Chapter 1

 


Neigh! Neigh! 

The Singing Horses here. We are so pleased we have been published at last. We offer our neighpologies for the virus thing which is affecting your community. We wish you all well and want to brighten your days, cheer you up and make everything feel better because that is what equine do. So, we have Lady M's permission to share the first few pages of our story for you to hoof. We know you will love us and we will neigh you where you can purchase us from at the end. 


                                      Part One 

                            Leaving ‘The Paddock’ 

“Neigh and welcome to our sweet home, ‘Alabama Paddock’.” #5, the bossy, old, grey mare, was seated by the paddock gate making daisy chains as she waited to welcome new equine into their contest home. She had been the first one to submit her manuscript; the first one Mr Jacob, the stable manager, had led into this paradise. She considered it her duty to sit there daily, welcome each new contestant and give them a daisy chain. Heaven knows why! She has welcomed over one hundred during the last two horse weeks. Anyway, I will let her tell you or rather neigh you about it. “Neigh, it’s so, so fantabulous here; you can taste the excitement. So many brilliantly talented equine authors from all around the world. We are all waiting for the contest to begin on the next horse day and we all want to win the most coveted award of ‘Best Equine Author of the Year’. We have submitted the first two chapters of our manuscripts, a small, hundred-word neighographical piece about ourselves and a pretty pic showing our best profile with horsey grin. All this material has been put online, well apart from our pretty pics. They have yet to appear. We keep looking, but there is just a blank space where our horsey grins should be. I’ve neighed Mr Jacob about this many times, but he just igneighs my question and rushes off. The contest has three rounds and a voting procedure, although the final decision is made by the publishing house’s editorial board and we are not sure how much notice will be taken of the votes, but we are determined to get them anyway. This first round lasts for sixty horse days. Then we will be told that only thirty-two of us will advance to round two. The thirtytwo will submit two more chapters for consideration and the voting continues for them. The rest of us will be given our return tickets to our home stables. Round two lasts for three horse weeks and then only ten will advance to the final round. Those lucky last ten equine standing will submit chapters five and six and have a further nerve-racking horse week waiting to hear which honourable equine will receive the award. Neigh, Mr J…” She rose and stood, in total disbelief, as Mr J approached the gate with a small brown foal; he was so young that his foal saddlebag covered most of his little body. All #5 could see was his short, black tail and mane, a small part of his brown hindquarter, his brown legs, black fetlocks and hooves and his most striking feature, a white star marking on his forehead. This young equine could not possibly be a contestant; he must be looking for his mama or papa. 16 “Ah #5, neigh. This is our last and youngest contestant. He’s from the London Equine Orphanage (LEO) and in seven. Look after him, please.” “Neigh, Mr J, of course. Have you got our pretty pics sorted yet?” “No” was his quick reneigh before making a hasty retreat and leaving #5 looking down at this young foal who was overwhelmed by what he could see. He was jet lagged, really tired, his legs ached and his back hurt from carrying all his possessions for so long. He did not know how long it was in horse hours, but it seemed like forever since he left the orphanage. He had travelled to an airport in a horse van and been told not to lose his passport. Then there had been a very long journey on a plane to Birmingham. This had confused him because the only Birmingham he knew was about a hundred horse miles from London. He had wondered why there was talk of America and why he was travelling by plane with humans, not equine. He was glad he had kept quiet or all the other orphans who were bigger than him and envious because he was escaping for an equiniday in America would have chuckled at him. He had also been neighed ‘an unaccompanied minor’. This was a new neigh. He had no idea what it meant but some human who wore a badge neighing ‘flight attendant’ had been especially nice to him because he was an ‘um’. Her name was Anna and she kept neighing with him. She accompanied him into the terminal. Humans had used a lot of neighs that he did not really understand. He intended hoofing them up in his hoofing dictionary when he reached this place called ‘The Paddock’. Once inside the terminal, Anna shook his hoof, neighed him goodbye and wished him all the best. He was sad to see her go but another human took over and led him through immigration and customs. More new neighs and humans in uniform neighing him questions. He neighed that he was going to ‘The Paddock’ to Mr Jacob because his foal story was in a contest. They had looked impressed. Next, another long journey in a horse van. He had been told to keep his saddlebag with him at all times, even when sleeping and visiting the bathroom, so his back really ached, but, at last, he was here. He could not believe it or his luck and change in fortune. He intended enjoying every horse minute; he did not expect to win the coveted award because he was too young and had much to learn. This paddock was massive, much larger than any of the London parks and he could see lots of mares and stallions all neighing about their manuscripts or hoofing them. One of those black stallions looked across, saw him and came trotting over. “Who’s this young foal?” #5 fluttered her eyelids, neighed slowly and softly, (she usually neighed abruptly and in a harsh tone), as she placed a daisy chain round his neck, “He’s a young orphan from London in seven next to you.” #6 looked down at him and neighed in disbelief, “You’ve never hoofed a manuscript. You’re too young.” Suddenly, this little, brown foal seemed to get a new lease of life and forgot about his tiredness, aches and pains. He stood to his full height of eight hands, held his head high, showed his horsey grin and proudly neighed in his little shrill voice, “Neigh, sir, I’ve hoofed a foal story. Mr J says I’ve got po…po…” He 17 stopped, his horsey grin disappeared and his head drooped down in shame; he had forgotten the neigh. “Potential?” #6 neighed. “Neigh, sir, that’s it potential.” Happiness radiated from him again; he jumped up and down with glee neighing, “I’ve got potential. I’ve got potential.” Then he stopped, looked pensive, the white mark on his forehead seemed to shrivel up, “Sir, what’s potential?” #6 reneighed, “It means, young equine, that you have some talent when it comes to hoofing stories.” “Neigh, really?” His visage shone with happiness again. All was well in his little world. “Neigh, if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here, would you?” He thought for a horse second, “Neigh, no, I suppose not.” He looked up at this big black stallion; every horse inch of #6 was black from his nostrils right down to his hooves and tip of his bushy tail. He reminded this little foal of his papa and he so wanted to grow up and be like him. #5 had been very quiet during this neighing between the young foal and #6. In fact, she had almost forgotten of the new arrival’s existence because she had been too busy gazing dreamily at her hunky stallion, #6. He had only arrived a few horse days ago, but she had been smitten. It was love at first sight. This old, grey mare, who was as grey as #6 was black, was an Irish draft horse who had spent her filly days working on a farm in Ireland. She had had many exciting thrills with stallions when she had been but a young filly and done much romping in the hay, but that had all been many horse years ago before she came to live in America and decided to spend her dotage years hoofing. Now, #6 had rekindled her fire and passion. “Well, you’re #7 and I’m #6, next to this beautiful mare, #5.” He looked at #5 who fluttered her eyelids and blushed while her stomach was doing somersaults. She was head over hooves in love. #7 did not realise that he was to be known as a number. He neighed, “Sir, my name is…” “Young equine, we do not use our names. We’re all known by our stall numbers. You’re #7.” “Oh,” #7 looked puzzled. Suddenly, there was a neigh coming from their left. They all turned as another black stallion approached them, walking on his hind legs, wearing an apron and carrying a feather duster in his right hoof: “Neigh, it’s all done, all done. All spick and span. Spick and span. Who are you, young equine?” #7’s eyes widened, “Neigh, sir, I’m #7.” “Neigh, pleased to meet you, #7. I’m #Phi. I look after this paddock. Keep it spick and span.” “Neigh, #Phi? I thought we all had numbers?” “Neigh, always the exception that proves the rule,” #6 reneighed. #7 did not understand but just neighed, “Oh.” And looked perplexed. 18 “#7, I’ve just hoofed up that stall. Nice, fresh hay bed, new blankets. Dusted. All spick and span. Follow me. You can meet the rest at the campfire this horse night. Right #5, #6?” They both neighed. #7 trotted after #Phi thinking how exciting a campfire was going to be. This was all a fantastic adventure. “Neigh, here we are,” #Phi opened the stall door. #7 could not believe what he was seeing. “Neigh, sir, is all of this just for me?” At the orphanage, he had shared a stall with five other foals and it had been smaller than this one. It was wonderful. First, he looked at his bed on the righthand side of his stall: not just a small amount of hay on a cold stone floor which he had become accustomed to at the orphanage, but masses of hay on a base wooden board. “There’s two blankets, it can get a little chilly in the horse night.” #7 looked at the bottom of his bed where #Phi had placed two dark-brown, massive horse blankets. Opposite his bed was a table, chair, chest of drawers and a mirror, but what concerned him was the area at the back of his stall reached by a separate door. Did he have to share his stall, after all? “Sir, what’s that, am I sharing?” he neighed while looking at this area. “Neigh, of course not. All our stalls have private facilities. We groom in our stalls. The main bathrooms with showers and baths are at the far end of the paddock.” “Oh, thank you, sir,” #7 made an effort to stand on his hind legs, so that he could undo his saddlebag, but because he was so tired, he just fell back on to all fours. “Neigh, let me help you,” #Phi put his feather duster down and lowered himself so that he could undo #7’s saddlebag without him having to raise his little body. #7 dropped his head in shame and embarrassment. He was eight hands high; he should be able to stand on his hind legs without falling down. “Thank you, sir.” “Neigh, you unpack and rest. We’ll see you later at the campfire.” #Phi left. The first thing #7 did was investigate the ‘private facilities’. This was another new neigh to him. When he saw his own proper flushing toilet, not a hay one and wash basin, he was amazed. Awesome. Was it really just for his use? No more queuing for the bathroom or being pushed to the back of the queue because he was the smallest. It did not take him long to unpack because he did not have many possessions. He looked round his stall, yawned, fell onto his superior hay bed and slept. He was oblivious to the commotion outside when the vet arrived. #23 had not been feeling well for a couple of horse days. To every horse’s horror that filly was now in isolation with the horsepox (equine equivalent of chickenpox). Fortunately, most of the equine had already suffered this malady and were immune. #7 had not met her, so he would be safe from catching it. Some of the stallions were collecting wood for the horse nightly campfire and singsong. There was great concern among them all because their pretty pics had not yet arrived online with their chapters and neighographical details. They 19 were a vain lot and wanted the whole world to see their visages. When Mr J brought the vet in, there was no way he could make a hasty retreat; he reassured them that all their visages would be on the website in the horse morning. #5 had put herself in charge of things. She was a bossy, old mare. She thought that sixty horse days in such a confined space would lead to arguments, tension and problems. They really needed to get out and neigh people about the contest, their work and neigh them to vote. The excitement was growing as dusk fell and in five horse hours, the contest was to begin. They congregated round the campfire waiting for evening fodder. It was easy to see the later arrivals; they were still wearing daisy chains. Mr J had promised them a treat for their evening fodder; they were waiting for the pizza delivery van or rather truck considering the number of them. The aroma of pizza reached #7’s nostrils and brought him back to reality from dreamland. At first, he thought he was still dreaming as he looked at his surroundings. Where were the other orphans? Why was his hay bed so comfortable? Pizza? Then he saw his daisy chain. He was not dreaming. But just to make sure, he raised his right forehoof and pinched his little chest. Neigh, he was not dreaming, but he was hungry and it was dark. He remembered being neighed about the campfire where he would meet the others. His visage lit up. This was another adventure. He was no longer tired, nor did his body ache. He was awake; he had heard about campfires but never been to one. Time for a new adventure. He was up and trotting over, or rather following his nostrils to the campfire. #6 saw him, “Neigh, here, #7. Come and get some fodder.” He neighed in that deep, sexy, husky voice that sent goose bumps down #5’s spine. #7 did not need inviting twice. An open box of ham and pineapple pizza just waiting to be devoured. This was no time for neighing; he knelt down and wolfed four pieces before he heard #6 neigh, “Manners, young equine, manners. When we eat together socially, we use our hooves, don’t we?” #7 raised his head, with pizza hanging out of his mouth and realised that all the big equine were staring at him and looking disapprovingly. He had made a very bad first impression. He dropped the pizza and tried to make things right in his foal like way, “Neigh, neighpologies. I’m so hungry, I didn’t think.” His humble effort at making amends just provoked chuckling from the assembled equine. He hung his head down in shame. How could he have been so silly? He really had intended making a good impression and it had all gone wrong. #6 continued neighing, “This is our youngest contestant. He’s hoofed a foal story. Meet #7.” There was a lot of neighing about a youngster hoofing a foal story. #7 was not sure what it all meant, but felt he needed to neigh something, “Neigh, I’m eight hands high.” Whenever he neighed this, he always arched his back, rose to his full height, stood on the tip of his hooves and held his head high in an attempt to make himself look even taller. “And Mr J neighs I have potential.” He was so pleased he had remembered that neigh and looked to #6 for approval. #6 just 20 grinned and chuckled so #7 continued neighing, “Nice to meet you all.” He thought that was the correct thing to neigh before he sat down again and carried on eating pizza correctly. It was now #5’s turn to take control of the evening’s proceedings, “Neigh, neigh, equine community. Before we have our singsong, I’ve had a neighdea. We’re here for sixty horse days and we need to neigh humans, equine and other species about our manuscripts and neigh them to vote. We can’t leave everything to Mr Jacob. We don’t even know if our pics are going to be up on the site. Some of us need to leave and gallop to other states to neigh about the contest. I suggest we leave for Tennessee at horse dawn.” This caused a lot of neighing. Some were happy to go. Others just wanted to enjoy their luxurious surroundings and free fodder. #7 was delighted. He had not thought of the fact that he would be leaving his accommodation behind, neither did he know where Tennessee was. Another adventure. He frolicked, “Neigh, neigh, #5. I’m coming.” “You’re too young. You have to stay here,” #5 neighed. He fell down to the ground, thoroughly downcast, thought and reneighed, “I’m eight hands high.” Once again, rose to his full height thinking it would make a difference. #6 and the rest of them neighed that he was too young. They then igneighed him and continued neighing the neighdea of leaving. “Neigh, I think it best if I neigh who is coming with me,” #5 neighed. #44, a brown pony, was the first to raise her hoof indicating she wished to speak. When #5 nodded at her, she rose and began her neigh, in her usual slow, monotone yet aristocratic way, ensuring that she had every equine’s attention and left them in no doubt as to who she was, “One thinks it is a first-class neighdea and One would be most pleased to be a part of it. One is #44 and British Equine Royalty in the New Forest. One is a Buckland Pony.” She had been one of the last to arrive and felt it important to indicate that she was not any ordinary horse or pony but of the equine aristocracy. “Thank you, #44. Sit down” was #5’s curt reneigh…She may only have been present for a couple of horse days, but #5 had noticed that she had designs on her stallion, #6. A mare knows these things and she was the last equine #5 wanted to take with her to Tennessee, but she dutifully and professionally hoofed #44 on her list. “Who else?” #666 and #4 neighed together; they had become firm friends and were game for anything. #5 added them to her list. Then the palominos, #3 and #83, who had been early ones into the paddock and also become great friends raised their hooves, “Neigh, we’re in.” “Neigh, so that’s five plus us, seven all together. Anymore?” It was clear that wherever #5 went, #6 would follow. A few shook their heads and neighed, “When’s the singsong starting?” But #5 had not finished; she was determined to have more than seven equine. She reneighed, “Anymore?” She looked at #3.14, #11, #13, #18 and #32 or rather glared at them. “Apart from #6, we’re all mares and fillies. I’m sure #6 would like some stallions to join him.” They neighed among themselves while 21 she added them to the list and chuckled, “Mares, we all know if you want a stallion to do something, you just neigh him, he’s doing it. Fillies learn!” All the mares and fillies chuckled because they knew #5 was right. “Neigh, for the final time. Anymore?” #1.618, #8 and #12 all thought it might be fun. #5 added them to her list. Now, she had fifteen. That was a nice manageable number. “Neigh, fifteen of us. I’ll leave this list for Mr J to find when he comes in. We’ll leave just after horse dawn, at six hundred horse hours.” “Neigh, I’ll come to the gate to hoof you off and I’ll neigh the list to Mr J,” #Phi, still with apron and feather duster, neighed. “Neigh, that’s settled then. We’ll meet at the gate. #Phi will see us off and neigh Mr J who’s gone. Now, time for our horse evening singsong before the embers die down,” #5 neighed. A singsong? Another part of the adventure. #7 was excited until, “#7, it is way passed your hay time. Off you go.” “Neigh…but I’ve been asleep all horse afternoon. I’m not tired.” “Do not contradict one of your seniors, young equine,” #6 neighed. “If #5 says it’s passed your hay time, it is passed your hay time.” “Yes, sir. Neighpologies. Goodnight. Nice to have met you all,” a subdued #7 rose, left the group and slowly walked back to his stall…thinking! They were going on an adventure. That was why he was here. He was definitely going with them despite what that bossy, old mare neighed. He repacked his saddlebag and prepared for the horse morning. He was not tired, just so, so excited at what lay ahead. What would Tennessee be like? Wherever it was." 

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#7 here. Yes, I am that little foal and I can neigh you it was an exciting journey. We took the world by storm. I became the Singing Horses' mascot. I loved neighing with humans and having my pic taken with them. I always tried to be a good little foal but it did not work out and I often got into trouble and needed rescuing. I love chips and it was eating them at the rear of McDoodles in Munich that got me lassoed. My brethren rescued me. Then there was.... you will just have to read the book.

The Singing Horses | Book| Austin Macauley Publishers  or from your own Amazon site, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble 

Neigh to you all, 🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎