It’s French Toast Friday!
Daisy usually has photo cards made of her and Barbie to send out for the holidays. I volunteered (read: pestered her) to shoot some photos last week. The goal was to get a useable picture for a card. Daisy wrapped up a couple of boxes in Christmas paper, tied them with pretty ribbon, and off we went. We were both hoping to do the wrong thing and encourage Barbie to put the boxes in her mouth. Barbie was very prim about it: ohhh no, you can’t trick me. You’ve told me a billion times to drop stuff. I’m not going to TOUCH those boxes.
Can you blame her? No, of course not. So we switched gears. Daisy squared her up. Beautiful! The instant Barbie was square, she fell asleep. Since when has Barbie been mellow? It’s 9 am. It’s not exactly nap time. I try to get her attention by snapping my fingers, whistling, throwing a white rag in the air (the rag caused loosely flopped donkey ears…nice), finally I jumped up and down. Oh THAT worked. Blurry photos of a horse with its ear’s pricked. Eureka! An idea. I grab one of the Christmas presents, and whap it on my thigh. Hey! It got her attention. For all of half a second. Half a second is not long enough for me to coordinate hitting self with hitting shutter.
I put the camera down.
Jane: This is ridiculous. She looks like a Zombie.
Daisy: (grabbing Barbie’s halter, and staring her in the eye) I HATE YOU. Could we be a TEAM PLAYER here?
Barbie looks mildly at Daisy. Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. She yawns.
The gelding in the adjacent paddock is going nuts. Barbie is ten feet away. NOOOOooooo!!! He can’t live without her. He looks marvelous. Wheeling and turning, wild and snorting, whinnying and carrying on. He’s a superb subject. He even stands perfectly immobile from time to time, in an Arab pose of gorgeous longing, ears pricked, eyes intent, nostrils flared.
Barbie doesn’t know he exists. She yawns again and smacks her lips. Charming.
Well. Banging the christmas present on my thigh sort of worked. Maybe I need to mix it up a little? Daisy stands her up again, trying to get her head above her shoulder. I focus, frame it, pick up the christmas present and…hit myself in the head. BINGO. Perfect shot. We move her around, and I keep snapping while smacking myself in the head with the box. Great shot after great shot. She’s really getting into this. Auntie Jane is putting on a show! When this starts to become less interesting, I add something new: I whap-whap-whap the present on my head, and yell loudly: ” MERRRRRRRY CHRISTMAS!” Voila. Back to the perfect, elegant, Thoroughbred look. We took 300 pictures. Give a monkey a camera and let it press the shutter 300 times and something is likely to come out well. We decide to stop.
You know, photographing horses is a lot harder than it looks. It’s enough to make your head hurt.
I start to pack up, and vaguely notice that all the workers at Daisy’s barn have stopped in their tracks, at a discrete distance. Wheelbarrows down, feed buckets hanging, horses that were formerly being led now standing motionless, leads slack.
I’m thinking they were probably attracted by some idiot trying to commit suicide with a nicely wrapped Christmas present. At 9 am in September. While screaming MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS!