It’s just an old white plastic bucket repurposed from some other function into holding Pepper’s favorite thing in the world.

Hay cubes.

These little green chunks of alfalfa make her tail fly up.

Big time.

They are the Oreo cookies of the horse world.

Or maybe the mini Snickers bars.

** Feel free to insert the name of your favorite snack here.

She keeps one eye on the bucket at all times. It may look as if she is munching away on her pan of grain, but make no mistake; she knows exactly where the bucket is located. Lately it’s been on a post close to the gate.

Long ago, before she became so savvy, we were able to store the bucket in the back of the car or truck, along with the feed pans, lead ropes and other horse paraphernalia.

But Pepper caught on and couldn’t concentrate on eating her grain.

All she wanted to do was bury her face in cubes and snarf them up. We had to resort to Plan B – move the bucket out of her line of sight.

It’s worked fairly well, that is until Pepper gets a hankering for cubes. When that happens, Plan B flies out the window.

I’m never sure what triggers her desire for hay cubes. Then again, I’m never sure what triggers my “need” for Twizzlers or candy corn or any of the numerous other goodies that light up my brain.

So yesterday, I was walking Bud through the gate into the pasture. He’d finished eating first – like always. Pepper had several large handfuls of grain yet to eat, so I figured all was well.

Silly me.

Once my back was to her, she got the craving for cubes and made her way to the bucket, which you can see from the photo is balanced quite precariously on a post.

“No problem,” she figured.

She nosed the bucket to the ground and began eating her beloved cubes.

I scurried back to find alfalfa cubes scattered among the dry grass and tumble weeds like an autumn Easter egg hunt.

I scooped them into the bucket nearly as fast as Pepper ate them.

In the end I think I salvaged more than she ate, but it was close.

She gave me this innocent look – “What?”

“Never mind,” I muttered as I led her through the gate.

It was just another day in the pasture.

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