Rio's crying. When my sister texted this morning to see what time we would arrive this afternoon, she said she needed help...little Jenny died. She had gone to get the trailer when we got here. I walked out to the pasture and saw Rio standing out under a tree, so I knew that was where Jenny was. They think she was hit by lightening during the storm yesterday, but no one knows for sure. When she did not come up to eat breakfast this morning, Sis went to look for her.
Rio stood silent guard while we loaded her to take her to my sister's land and her final resting place under a stand of trees. I swear, he was crying. He seems lost, bereft. I understand. I was attached to Jenny, and it was not expected at all--I thought I would feed her supper tonight and she would bray softly while Rio nickered, and that by the end of the week, she would be eating out of my hand again.
Rio stands under the tree where Jenny lay down for the last time here, sniffs the ground, and then walks back up to the barn. I petted him, his winter coat silky and soft, stroked his face and neck. In the morning, I'll go work a while in the pasture, cleaning out his hay barn and the water trough, just to be near him and hope he does not feel as alone as he might otherwise. Perhaps, I won't feel as alone either.
Rest, sweet Jennybelle. Thank you for the company you gave Rio and for being his faithful companion. One more path on the uncharted terrain, but thank you for walking it with us.