Miss Tip – in the Stable – with a Nail


   The crisp morning greets me, invading my carefully wrapped skin as though I’m immersed in cold water. The icy fingers are easy to shake once I’m moving, but at the beginning of the day it’s always difficult to convince myself I’ll soon be warm. 

  I always feed whichever horses happen to be in the barn. Today we had Coffee, Braz, and Dusty. It was a mild, gentle night, so Melody, Honey, and Savannah didn’t have to stay in. I’ve been keeping hay in every stall so the horses always have something to munch on until the other horses finish their food. It’s much easier than putting the hay outside in a dry, non-muddy area. I emptied grain containers in each stall–and felt the ice of morning on my neck again, along with cold goosebumps.

   Outside Melody’s stall, there were about 30 drops of blood–all having dripped from above the stalls.

   It couldn’t have been a horse, since the source had been at the top of the stall. It had to be a cat or other animal. I called the cats over, checked each thorougly, and became satisfied that none were hurt. 

   Where did the blood come from?

   This summer, Tip caught a song bird. I haven’t seen her with any small animal since that time, but it is not impossible that she managed to catch something. Our cats don’t tend to make a mess with their kills, but I’ve decided to be content with this mental image until I can figure out where these blood drops came from.

   The thought still makes me cold.

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