This week, I reposted a story about losing my Aladdin, and it made me remember a few things about him…
Most of them were wonderful. But, I have to admit, I also remembered a few things that weren’t so wonderful.
Aladdin disliked Hubby.
Aladdin treated Hubby as if he was an interloper.
Aladdin: “I was here first. Respect that, tall human.”
Pretty much that was it in a nutshell.
LIKE THE BEST FRIEND THAT DOESN’T LIKE YOUR OTHER BEST FRIEND…
Do you know what I mean? For example: You have one really good friend and you introduce that friend to another one of your really good friends and you think because you like them both so much, they should automatically like each other.
But they don’t. In fact, they really dislike each other.
Happens all the time.
Yup. That was Aladdin and Hubby.
TO BE FAIR, HUBBY MISSED THE FINER POINTS…
You see, when I first introduced Hubby to Aladdin, Hubby knew just about zero about horses. So, he entered the barn like a human who knew nothing about horses…
Most of my equines just accepted that Hubby was another human for them to train.
But Aladdin took offense.
Me: Aladdin, come over here and meet Hubby-to-be.
Aladdin (head in corner): I can see him from here.
Me: C’Mon now, c’mon over, I have a treat!
Aladdin: No thank you.
Hubby-to-be (marching on over to Aladdin, getting into his space and patting him on the face): Hey there big boy!
Aladdin (giving the Lurch mutter of disdain): Really? You patted me on the FACE! Here, let me pat YOU on the face (as Aladdin starts crowding Hubby)
Me: Hey Hey HEYHEY! Stop that!
Hubby-to-be (smiling): Stop what?
Me: Oh, I wasn’t speaking to you… I was yelling at Aladdin.
Hubby-to-be: Why? He wasn’t doing anything…
And so it went…
Except, it turned into a ‘rights of passage never ending dual of mancave stuff’. It was some sort dance of the pheromones or hormones or ancient musk ritual that took over these two males. They went at it like rams.
It wasn’t even subtle.
From the first time they met, they didn’t connect, and that never changed.
ALADDIN NEVER STOPPED PURPOSEFULLY ANTAGONIZING HUBBY
Hubby finally got a grip on the situation (it was just a horse, after all…) and agreed to disagree with Aladdin. He knew I loved Aladdin and therefore Hubby would respect Aladdin’s place. However Hubby openly said that he would be nice to Aladdin, but he “didn’t have to like him”.
Aladdin, on the other hand, didn’t agree to disagree. He just disagreed.
I promise you, every time I noticed Aladdin being bad around Hubby, I would reprimand him – but it didn’t matter. That horse never, ever gave up picking at Hubby. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since.
For example… and I have to just add, it was a good thing that Hubby didn’t understand horses or he would have been even more upset by Aladdin’s treatment of him… but luckily, Hubby never knew he was being insulted.
(OK, so… I’m almost afraid to tell you this stuff because I held Aladdin so high and loved him so much, but, honestly, he treated Hubby poorly.)
Whenever Hubby came into the barn, Aladdin would turn his butt to him and walk to the furthest corner. If Hubby came near Aladdin, Aladdin would cock a rear foot – high. If Hubby was standing at Aladdin’s head, Aladdin would turn his head away and give that “Oh Puleeeze” wet snorfle sound horse’s make when they are totally annoyed.
If Hubby was near Aladdin’s tail, Aladdin would purposefully swat Hubby in the face, over and over again. Hubby was never sure what was happening or why. But, I knew. I would give Aladdin the evil eye and then hold his tail until Hubby moved away.
And… my perfectly sure-footed animal often ‘accidentally’ stepped on Hubby’s foot. Oy. Aladdin would ever so slowly move over – ever so quietly – to eventually squeeze Hubby against a wall so subtly and carefully that it would appear unintentional. Aladdin would sneeze on Hubby, spooge water on him, pull off his hat and toss it, pull off his hat and step on it, totally ignore anything Hubby requested (Hubby could never catch him)… he even refused to take any treats from Hubby.
For the entire time Aladdin knew Hubby, Aladdin was a brat.
IN THE END
In the end, as Aladdin’s health was failing, he fainted often. We’d find Aladdin down and in a daze.
It was during this time when I was frantic and needed Hubby to help me with my dying horse… that Aladdin saw some purpose in his human nemesis. I’m not sure if Aladdin ever grew to like Hubby, but I do know that Aladdin acknowledged Hubby’s help and support. I saw Aladdin’s eye soften and his fright lessen when Hubby came to rescue him. I knew then that Aladdin had to have decided that this human wasn’t that bad after all.
HIND SIGHT 20/20
Aladdin has been gone for a few years now… and Hubby knows how intensely I miss the bond, the friendship and the total trust I had in that horse. So, Hubby respects that… but he always wonders why they didn’t get along.
To me, I think that during that crucial time when Hubby was first learning about animals, he wanted to win over Aladdin. Like, WIN over him. And Aladdin wanted to be respected. I think if Hubby thought of animals then as he does now, he might have approached Aladdin on more equal ground.
To me, Aladdin never saw himself as having a different social status than humans. He was a being, just like I was and just like Hubby.
And, as a being, Aladdin was a force. He just wanted what we all want – to be recognized for what he’s earned.