The Gleaners, by Jean Francois Millet

Its art history time.

Cue the applause.

What? You’re not that interested in art history?

Slept through the class in college. Or didn’t take it in the first place.

Yes, I understand.

I was right there with you.

These days I’m fascinated with how artists convey meaning in their work.

I love learning about their techniques, style and history.

Does this mean I’m getting older?

Or smarter?

Yes, that’s it. Of the two choices, I much prefer smarter. Honestly, I think the two are quite often paired.

A matched set.

Twin flames.

Yin and yang.

But I digress.

If you recognize the picture above as The Gleaners, painted in 1857 by Jean Francois Millet, you would be correct. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes.

Fast forward to today, and you will find that sometimes life can imitate art.

We were waiting for the farrier to arrive on a gorgeous autumn day last week. I’ve already told you the story of how Tucker the dog entertained us.

Well, Bud and Pepper were also finding ways to entertain themselves. We’d pulled them out, fed them, given them a good brushing. Now we were waiting. At first they were confused and tried to let themselves back into the pasture. This was how the drill usually went. Right?

No slouches, our horses.

But when we led them away from the gate, they knew something was up.

They hung out with us for a while, but weren’t all that interested in playing ball with Tucker.

They nibbled grass.

They looked around.

They exchanged telepathic messages.

And then the ever-resourceful Miss Pepper found the hay wagon. Not one to pass up an obvious serendipity, she took a bite of hay.

She was cautious at first, like a child waiting to see if she was going to get in trouble.

But nothing happened, so she continued.

What a find! It was a smorgasbord of deliciousness for horses.

Bud soon joined Pepper. They’d munch on hay, and then look up at the blue sky, pure bliss etched on their faces.

Horses are excellent gleaners, and our two old sweeties are no exception. If there are goodies to be found, well, they are on it.

It turned out to be a wonderful day for all of us – horse, dog and human.

You gotta love it when a day comes together so artfully.

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