I am robed in my traditional black Valentine's Day garb. It is now expected of me. I don't want to let anyone down.
When I received the Merriam-Webster's word of the day on my computer this morning, the word was Cupid:
Cupid \KYOO-pid\ noun 1 : the Roman god of erotic love *2 not capitalized : a figure that represents Cupid as a naked usually winged boy often holding a bow and arrow
Did you know?According to Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Mercury, the messenger god, and Venus, the goddess of love. In Roman times, the winged "messenger of love" was sometimes depicted in armor, but no one is sure if that was intended as a sarcastic comment on the similarities between warfare and romance, or a reminder that love conquers all. Cupid was generally seen as a good spirit who brought happiness to all, but his matchmaking could cause mischief. Venus wasn't above using her son's power to get revenge on her rivals, and she once plotted to have the beautiful mortal Psyche fall in love with a despicable man. But the plan backfired: Cupid fell in love with Psyche, and she eventually became his immortal wife.
Oh good. More useless information that will never leave my brain. Now, if Cupid was a naked winged MAN, maybe I could enjoy it better. Alas, I digress.
My friends all think I have gone off the deep end, as it were, since I am spending a good deal of my time watching the births of many a foal across the world. I scoff at them. What is more wonderful than watching life begin? And horses via the internet is an easy fix for me. There is no audio so I don't hear the grunting. I am in the comfort of my own home, typically doing something else while the video plays in the lower left of my computer screen. No harm. No foul. No smell. No responsibility to run to the foaling stall and pull... thank goodness.
I have learned much about the horse foaling/breeding/brood mare world. I have learned to be thankful I'm not a mare. Poor girls. Their gestation period is about 11 months. Yikes! And that is not the worst part.
According to my confidential (i.e. nameless, faceless) counselor friend, a pregnant mare can be ridden up until it is very close to the birthing process. He knows this because his wife gave him a pregnant Tennessee Walking Horse for Christmas in December and the mare is due to foal in June. He was telling me he had just ridden her a couple of days ago.
I was, and still am, appalled.
Helloooooo... she's pregnant! Could you give her a break? Maybe she doesn't want a full grown man on her back while she is carrying a HORSE inside her. Maybe it's just me. I am now having serious doubts about the compassion level of my counselor friend. He is already known to cheat at cards. Now this!?!
And, if the mare were a broodmare, she would be expected to just pop that baby right out, rest for four or five days, and head off to the nearest stud farm to meet up with Mr. Right NOW... again... starting the whole process over while her week-old baby is still nursing.
So, my hat is off to the broodmares of the world. Here's hoping that on Valentine's Day this year, you get a nice rub down... or at least some good grain.
Still watching the screen...