When we were very little kids, three of us went for a long walk in the horse pasture on late winter day, without adult supervision?after all it was the farm, that's where kids can be kids and parents shouldn't have to worry. It was a muddy day. Very muddy. And, for reasons I will never know, we decided to return to the barn by going straight up a hill?it was probably the quickest route--but the hill was large, steep and muddy. I vividly remember struggling to get up that hill and worrying that we were all going to die. We walked halfway up it, but then all three of us fell (don't ask me why) and slid down the hill a bit. Why we didn't turn around and go back down the hill, then around to the barn, I will also never know. Instead, panic set in, and we scratched and crawled our way up the hill, returning to the barn covered in mud from head to foot and upset.? We were terrified by the experience, and we were cold. Tears began to flow. My parents? response was to sing ?The Hippopotamus Song,? while drying us off in front of the tack-room heater and (probably) trying to get us clean enough to return home in the car. ?I'm sure the scenario was hysterical,? if you were an adult, but not if you were the muddy kid. Back to 2011. This morning, I turned the horses out in what could only be described as a mud field (remember, they're still locked in the small paddock because the barn building continues). I'm sure they?ll think this is a great day to roll. I can hear their thoughts: ?Eureka! That mud?s a great place to get rid of this itchy, shedding hair, and since we'll then be covered with mud from head to foot, Mom will have to curry all three of us before we go to bed! Hurrah!? I made a mental note to bring those warehouse-club sized tubes of Desitin to the barn to start fighting scratches, which Sally nearly always get in the spring. And I noticed that water was seeping into the stalls due to the melting snow. Happy Spring--Ha! It took me 10 minutes to return to the house from the barn (it should take 90 seconds), trying to avoid the deep boot-sucking mud and dreading the chore of cleaning it off of my boots. Of course, as you may have already guessed, all I could think of was ?The Hippopotamus Song? chorus: Mud, mud, glorious mud Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood So follow me follow, down to the hollow And there let me wallow in glorious mud . . . One thing?s for sure. If you love horses, you're gonna have to learn to love mud, too.