When I feed the boys, I halter and tie Red so that Saga and Cash can eat in peace. Red gets his meager pittance, but has a haynet to keep him from boredom while Saga and Cash finish their food. When Saga and Cash are done, I take Red's halter off, whereupon he immediately spins around and heads over to polish off any remnants Saga and Cash may have left.
The other night, something entirely different happened.
I slipped Red's halter off and told him he was free to go, but he just stood there, eyes bright and ears forward, staring at me. He nudged my arm with his nose, and then stared at me again. I told him he could go again, but instead of leaving, nudged me in the chest. He was waiting for me to do something, but what? Hmm, I thought, maybe he wants his chest scratched? I stepped around to his left shoulder and started rubbing his chest, but he curled his head around and nudged me on the upper arm. I tried scratching his shoulder instead, but he pinned his ears and stepped back so he was facing me again. This time, he carefully reached out and touched his nose to my ear. And then very deliberately stood there, staring at me. Waiting for me to get it.
Apparently, one must be very specific in one's requests if one expects humans to understand.
"OH!" I said aloud. "You want your ears scratched!" I hastily removed his flymask and started scratching him behind his ears. His response was instantaneous - nose curled in ecstasy, head wriggling so I could get exactly the right spot. This went on for about a minute, first one ear, then the other, then the first ear again, and then... Red shook and walked off, without so much as a thank-you.
Clearly, after last week's experience with Cash, word has gotten out amongst the boys that if your requests are very simple and specific, the food-delivering human can be made to understand where to scratch. I am sort of wondering what will be next...