The last of the visiting little people finally came to see us.
This little people is very special to us and her name is Abby.
When they first arrived, Abby rode into the pasture full of critters on her Daddy’s shoulders. The goats, sheep and calves mobbed them and Abby was saying, with great authority
“HIGHER DADDY! HOLD ME HIGHER!!”
They can be a little overwhelming, especially if they are ALL bigger than you.
Abby, like some other little people we know, REALLY likes chickens. Her folks drove ALL nite to get here and the first day Abby visited the ‘meaty’ chickens, the little chickens and the laying hens, who are not yet laying.
She met the boss’ wife and fast-talked her into a ride on her lawnmower. Then she met the boss’ daughter and fast-talked her into not only a ride on her shoulders, but on the 4-wheeler as well.
Then she went to see her favorite chickens, the little chickens. Then she went to see the meatie chicks again and I caught her doing a little chicken dance and doing chicken talk.
Then she went back to see the little chickens. We planted some flowers, played a bit in the waterfall, then she sneaked out to see the little chickens. Later, Papa Randy was going out by the chicken pen, so Abby went with him.
We fed all the bottle calves and the milk cows. Abby was a little squeamish about getting too close to the milk cows to pet them. She agreed to come sit on the milking stool in the corral, as the cows were locked in the stanchion, after all. While I was checking Dolly Moo’s udder, the most unusual thing happened. It suddenly squirted a very long stream of milk in Abby’s direction, landed on her knees and made her laugh. There are a rash of strange occurrences like that here, from time to time.
The boss has hired a new Cowboss who moved in this weekend with TWO little people. The older little person (5 yr) came and made instant friends with Abby. They spent Day #2 walking hand in hand all over the ranch. Unfortunately, my camera was not at hand, but what a sweet picture they made. They went and held new puppies at 5 yr old little persons house. They ate orange pops in the backyard. The pups were in the front yard, trying to get into the back as they felt an urge to be guarding the little kids. I went around and opened the side gate and let the dogs into the back. Upon returning, I found that at the same time, the two little people had cut through the house and left by the front door, so I went back out and let the pups into the front yard. Then the little people went back inside because they wanted to watch a video. The same video they had made us turn on 5 other times then left before it actually started. They were busy and spent the whole day together having a good time. In spite of the 2 year age difference, they made fast friends. The dogs solved THEIR problem by splitting up. One in the front yard and one in the back.
The cowboys brought in two more leppies so I had to go to the barn and get them on a bottle. Abby, Abby’s mom, and Bruno accompanied me. I entered the stall with two VERY large leppie calves and one became distraught and began running around and throwing himself against the gate. Bruno immediately placed himself between Abby and the gate as a buffer, and he quietly remained there until I was done. He then walked slowly, keeping pace with Abby and her mother on the way back to the house. The life of a bodyguard is very demanding that way.
THAT night, when it was time to milk, Abby came out with me and while I was around the corner filling up grain buckets and she thought I couldn’t see her, she dashed over and touched Dolly Moo’s little ‘moptop’ and like a rocket, ran back to her spot, proclaiming loudly
“I PETTED A COW!!!!”
She was very proud of this accomplishment and each day has become bolder, even insisting she gets out of the wagon in the cow corral while I am milking.
Several chicken checks were done throughout the day, with Cletus supervising. Last nite, the owls were out trying to steal my chickens. I could hear the dogs barking from the area outside where the meaties like to sleep. They have been amazingly brilliant at protecting these chicks from predators both high and low. Last week a coon was treed and day and night, they fend off the 3 large owls that are living in the top of the barn next door. This morning when I went out to check the chickens all were present and accounted for.
When I first awoke this morning I noticed the dogs were in the yard already. They don’t normally return from their dawn patrol until about the time I milk and feed calves. I stepped outside and quickly saw why. One of the lambs had somehow gotten through the fence into the yard and they were in attendance of her. I guess they didn’t think it was a serious enough problem to alert me to the situation. That’s probably because THEY aren’t the ones who planted all the strawberries, raspberries and flowers in the yard.
Whenever one or all of the lambs fails to come back to the pasture, at least one of the dogs remains with them as a guardian. Usually it’s Cletus. Even though he is the largest of the two, he is the first to sound the alarm and tends to stand over the animals while Bruno goes out to handle the confrontations.
Abby and I watered the yard and sat on the back porch while her mom took a nap. Cletus came over to ‘count’ her, as he does all of his charges. He did his nose touch to her, received a hug, then went to lay down at our feet. Bruno sat, leaning against Abby while she hugged him furiously. He remained at her side while she played stick with Cider. He occasionally reached out his long leg and tapped her with his foot, without ever dragging a claw across her, That was pretty interesting to me, and I am not quite sure what he was saying, but she thought it was pretty neat.
Randyman got the stanchion finished so we could finally milk Emma in the milk room. It was wonderful! Emma was happy, I was practically giddy, and Abby was tickled because she could easily brush Em without worrying about her toes being stepped on. They seemed to work together well as a team, Emma telling her where the itch was, and Abby going after it with her brush.
It was a great couple of days full of chicken checking, cow milking, sheep shaking, goat chasin’, cheesemaking, popsicle eating, puppy petting goodness, and Abby gets more beautiful and smarter every day. Toot has got a hard act to follow!