“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”

This quotation from author Ernestine Ulmer seems to be Pepper’s new motto.

About a week ago we started something new when we were feeding our two old sweeties. We moved the bucket of Horse Candy and the bucket of alfalfa cubes away from the back of the pickup. There’s a wooden mounting stand a few feet away, closer to the fence and the rest of the hungry herd. We set the two buckets there.

We moved the goodies to set up a separate coffee and dessert bar. Something upscale for our horses.

Okay, not really.

We moved them because Miss Pepper couldn’t concentrate on eating her grain, which is dosed with Bute. It’s made a huge difference in the pain in her old, arthritic knees, so getting the medicine into her is important.

My husband came up with the idea to remove the goodies from Pepper’s line of sight.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Right?

It was a good idea, and worked well for a few days.

When she and Bud finished their grain she would lead them to the dessert bar for their treats.

But Miss Pepper is one smart cookie.

Last night when we opened the gate, she walked straight to the dessert bar. No more messing around with the grain.

She was all over eating her dessert first.

She dipped her head into the bucket of alfalfa cubes and began eating. She seemed quite pleased with herself.

Smart cookie!

Rick got her pointed back to the truck and her pan of grain.

She took a few nibbles and as soon as we weren’t looking, back she walked to the dessert bar.

See what I mean about her being smart?

Once again we re-directed her to the pan of grain.

Big sigh from one brown mare.

And then slowly she began to chew her grain, bit by bit.

You’d think it was poison.

A couple of times she looked toward me, her brown eyes pleading for an invitation.

I had to make sure I wasn’t looking directly at her. I have no willpower. Have you figured out that I am the indulgent one in our family?

It’s not a big leap.

Finally, she was finished with her dinner.

Right away, she walked to the dessert bar, her head high.

“Now I know you won’t send me back,” her expression seemed to say.

Of course, she was right.

She gulped down as many snacks as she could possible get into her mouth at any one time. She looked like a contestant in a pie-eating contest at the County Fair.

It wasn’t all that pretty.

Bud was still at the truck, gleaning up every bit of grain he could find. He hasn’t quite figured out the new system.

Eventually he ambled toward Pepper, who was still happily munching on treats. Who knows how long she would stand there sampling dessert?

It’s a rhetorical question.

What woman in her right mind could answer such a question?

I can’t wait to see what Miss Pepper has in mind for tomorrow.

I love how she keeps us on our toes.

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