Mr T the Fell pony is a chauvinist. If there is food, he claims it. If there is danger, he graciously lets his stablemate Ruby go first. Today, on being let out, what he most wants is to roll. He chooses the wettest part of the yard and his waterproof sheet changes from navy blue to black, leaving a mud angel when he gets up. Ruby is grabbing hay from the half-barrel by the stable door. T strolls over and scowls, and she shrinks away and goes to roll on the spot he selected. Now I have two ponies wearing matching black sheets – but they have clean bodies underneath.
I’m at the computer congratulating myself on my forethought when the cat hurls herself at the handle of the back door, which opens. She stalks in and leaps onto my knee, covering me in muddy footprints. You can’t win.