Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Too much snow and ice these days for me. I'm sick of shoveling driving slowly, and cancellations.

My daughter and son-in-law have it tougher, though. They work from home which is a small farm populated with two horses, two dogs, two cats, one bunny and eight chickens. The animals require a lot of time and attention ordinarily and they get wonderful care.

When it snows, though, my daughter and son-in-law's lives becomes wrapped up in shoveling and scoop shoveling (with the tractor) just to reach the horses and chickens. Their neighbor helps a lot by plowing the driveway and access road. Early this week, though, a storm dumped 20+ inches of snow overnight. The horses, who prefer to be outside unless it's very bitterly cold and windy, had run to the back pasture which for some reason seemed safer to them than the other two that are much closer to the house and barn. They weren't cold--they have incredible blankets, but they were scared to return once they got there.

So they stayed in the distant pasture, even though taking the narrow road back to the barn was an easy run or walk for them. Early in the morning, my daughter went outside to bring them in and feed them, but they weren't at the barn, in either run-in shed, or another pasture nearby. She immediately set out for the back pasture and tried every which way to send them back to their stalls and breakfast. They refused to take their familiar path, apparently afraid to walk through the deep drifts along the way.

Finally, she gave up and scoop-shoveled the road to their favorite pasture. As soon as she'd cleared a path that almost reached the horses, they galloped around her and right back to the barn.

It wasn't as if they'd die if they took that deep snow path on their own. In fact, they were hungry. The  problem is, they were afraid of the unknown.

Sometimes I think that this same fear keeps many battered women imprisoned under the batterer's painful thumb. They don't know if leaving, as opposed to staying with what they know, will bring.

They have good reason to fear leaving and they have often lost their confidence, sense of self, and any way to support themselves alone.

Who are we to judge?

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