Hovis’ Friday Diary: ‘My name is Hovis and I’m bendy’

  • Dear Diary

    My name is Hovis and I am bendy. Bendier than some top flight dressage horses apparently (a thought which fills me with horror – don’t anyone tell my friend Mr Nester). How do I know this you ask? Well because my physio lady says so. She came out on Friday after my minion sorry, mother called her to give me a massage. Well I think the terms were more “MOT” after my “lengthy semi retirement” to get my “fat backside working properly again”, but then mother always has had a tendency towards the over dramatic…

    I was poked, prodded, bent, stretched and generally man-handled with the overall view being that, despite some muscle loss in my shoulder on the side where my foot was the worst and a slight tightness in my bottom (which comes of holding it in permanently to stop Dolly snacking on it), I was in remarkably good shape considering how long I’d been off for. That’s because I am a professional athlete clearly, and in the shape of my life. And yes, round is a shape.

    I was given the day off and mother told she was doing a great job bringing me back into work and to continue what she was doing. Mother and mini-mother departed and I settled back to eat hay, rub my tail on the wall and generally chill. Then an hour later (and yes I can tell the time) the two of them rocked back up again, but this time with Cool New Shoes Man in tow. It was clearly going to be one of those days.

    By the end of several hours of my affectionate leaning, generosity in allowing him to hold the weight of my legs and mini mother playing hide and seek, the man looked more in need of my physio than I had been. I don’t what he’s moaning about to be honest – I have four legs and I have to hold them all up (obviously not in one go – I don’t do levitation, it’s against my religion) so why he struggles with one I have NO idea. He did even admit I was looking super slim, although I prefer the expression “starved” myself. Several of you commented on my facebook pages how trim I am looking; I suggest you all need to go to see someone about your eyesight – that’s not trim, it’s positively anorexic.

    Thankfully we all have a guardian angel in our lives and mine comes (when she’s not in bossy dressage diva mode) in the form of the wonderful, beautiful and lovely boss lady. Deciding that I am so pitiful looking she decreed at the weekend we should all move fields and that I should go into one with better grass. Oh how I love that woman. Admittedly mother’s version is slightly different; I’m not eating the grass in my field so the boss lady wanted to put the thoroughbred ex-racer boys up there as they go through fields like a swarm of locusts to ensure it was all eaten down. Either way Dolly and I have moved fields and are back out 24/7 for a while to build up our strength. Or to let the boss lady pressure wash the stables before winter – whichever version you prefer.

    On Sunday my sick note expired so mother and Aunty H decided Dolly and I should be roused from our beds at stupid o’clock in the morning and go out for a little jaunt. Dolly was un-amused and grumpy – in other words it was a normal day. It was a relatively uneventful stroll apart from the moment in the middle of the village when I clearly heard a large snake hissing from within a weird white building that had sprung up at the side of the pub. Mother’s stupidly fast reactions stopped me mid spin and forced me to go past the evil thing’s lair. Any reports that I piaffed past it like Darcy Bussell at a rave are unsubstantiated. Mother’s view that it was only someone blowing up balloons in a wedding marquee just show, once again, that she has the survival instincts of a lemming.

    So I’m back out 24/7 in a field with actual grass (although I am back on restricted grazing – drat that dastardly mother of mine), with bendy muscles and new shoes. Life is pretty good other than the sadness that I feel for mum as she says goodbye to the four-legged thing that barks today. The four-legged one is a very old lady and has been with mum and dad a very long time, but for all mother’s faults, she loves us four-legged family members almost more than the two-legged ones so I know from the tears that have been cried into my mane, how sad she is.

    So for you mum:

    “If it should be that I grow frail and weak
    And pain should keep me from my sleep,
    Then will you do what must be done,
    For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
    You will be sad I understand,
    But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
    For on this day, more than the rest,
    Your love and friendship must stand the test.
    We have had so many happy years,
    You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
    When the time comes, please, let me go.
    Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
    Only, stay with me till the end
    And hold me firm and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.
    I know in time you will agree
    It is a kindness you do to me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I have been saved.
    Don’t grieve that it must be you
    Who has to decide this thing to do;
    We’ve been so close — we two — these years,
    Don’t let your heart hold any tears.”

    Author unknown



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