Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Horse Whisperer...With A Message...

If Kindness, Fellowship, and Horsemanship were put in a bag, shook up, and dumped would have the Daily's of Wild Horse Ministries...Paul, Lenora, Dan and mother Joanna, a horse whispering family out of Louisiana who tour the country gentling colts and spreading the word of God. Thanks to our Outpost Cowboy Church just over on the Kansas side, myself and the other members got the wonderful pleasure of meeting this family firsthand, and left feeling...well....christian!

Paul Daily, the "dad" of the bunch, takes young colts who are sometimes wild and headstrong, colts who have no path set before them, and uses his keen horse sense combined with his faith in God to gentle these animals without nary a hand placed on them.

He works WITH the horse, not against it.

Paul takes a colt and puts it in a round pen, not knowing a thing about it or having any previous experience with it beforehand. Now, when you're a wild colt, you're going to flee and fight to stay wild and free. You're going to run AWAY from resistance. That's all very well for some, "but wild and free", says Paul Daily in his deep southern drawl, "means the horse has no real purpose in life, just as with people. What is this horses purpose?" he asks the crowd.

Paul would work this horse in circles, letting him feel the need to run away and stay free. 'Round and around he went in that round pen, staying away from Paul and desperate to keep his carefree life just the way it is.

But there's just one little problem for this horse..."you see," explains Paul, "in the path of life there is Satan".

And there he was, Satan himself was right there in that round pen with that horse (literally).... but THIS Satan was in the shape of a large black lab. "Satan" the labrador would chase the young colt, stay at its heels, circling him, trying to keep the colt under HIS control. "Satan is here cuz he wants to cause problems".

After many circles and getting a bit tired, the colt decides to stop, and when the colt stops, so does Paul. The colt moves out again, and so does Paul. After awhile, the colt stops, and so does Paul. The colt turns his head in towards Paul to face him, and that's what Paul was waiting for.

"You see there?" he says. "This colt is deciding 'Hey, maybe if I can accept you in my life, I can stop running and see what kind of purpose you have for me'". explains Paul. "Same with accepting God into OUR lives, we have purpose, and He can guide us to what that purpose is, if we stop running and hand ourselves over to Him."

Now, one thing Paul makes very clear to his audience, he is merely a tool of God, he is not playing the role of God. He is only using a reference pertaining to the horse for the message he is trying to spread.

Then Paul got out a long "stick" with a glove attached to the end of it, and used this for an outstretched hand to try and stroke the horse. The horse, of course, was fearful of this and ran away. Paul followed the horse wherever he went, trying to stroke him with the glove. Eventually, the horse decided to stop. Still scared, the horse tucked his rump under him as the "hand" touched him. After awhile, the hand became...not so scary to the horse...and the horse began to accept it. It actually turned into a good thing, as the colt started to relax and accept this strange hand that was reaching out to him. "Just like God's hand, " says Paul.

After awhile, Pauls' young and beautiful daughter, Lenora Daily, stepped in to continue where Paul left off.

If sweet tea had a voice, it would sound like Lenora Daily's. That southern drawl and gentle nature mesmorized the horse, AND the audience. She started ground working the colt, getting it used to giving in to pressure points when and where she applied them.

Lenora would keep applying pressure until the horse eased in to her touch. "Now he's real confused at what I want outta him, but he's startin' to give in to my touch cuz he's uh learnin' it's easier that way. Same with God, if ya just let him into yer life, things become clearer and less confusing over time."

She stroked the horse, charming it under her magical spell, and prepared it for its first ever saddling.

She rubbed the horses belly. "Whut you doin' thar darlin'?" asks her daddy atop his horse.

"Wail daddy, I'm uh rubbin' this horses' belly so's thar's no dried mud'er cockleburr's when I saddle'im he doesn't go uh buckin'". She then looked at the audience "Any of you ever have a cockleburr in yer life?", which was met with rounds of laughter.

Dan Daiy brought out the saddle for Lenora, and after little refusal from the colt, had the cinch tightened up and ready to go. A few rounds were made as the horse settled in to the feel of the saddle.

Dan got on his horse, and with daddy Paul also inside the corral on his horse, Lenora stepped in the stirrup and gave one big bounce, testing the colt for acceptance. In one swift motion she was astride the horse, who had a bewildred but otherwise "ok" look about him.

With Dan and Paul to keep close to Lenora, the colt took his first steps with Lenora on him. First a walk...then a trot...then a good lope. The colt started to get a little ornery, and Lenora was beared down and ready for a good buckin'. Paul was in the colt's way, and a deep southern accent she hollers "Here I come DADDY!!" as the colt was about to blow. didn't blow. It settled back down in a lope and all was well.

It was a glorious and successful first ride. The colt was already a more well rounded animal, accepting of the human hand, and having direction in his life. He was no longer resisting the hand that he was once feared....and would ya know it, after handing his trust over to what he once fought against...

...that pesky Satan was nowhere to be found in the corral bothering that horse anymore.

A life lesson to think about.

The training lesson ended in a beautiful prayer, just as it hand opened with. I was moved and touched by the whole experience.

I took many photo's during the entire session, and was unaware that anyone was paying attention to me. But at the end of the prayer, I overheard the pastor say over the intercom mumble soething like "you might wanna grab that young lady takin' the photo's and see if ya can get her to sned some". I heard it but had no idea he was speaking about me.

I went with Elyssa to buy a few of the t-shirts. They were $10 each but I only had enough to buy 3, and I wanted 4. Putting the 4th back, I handed the $30 over to the sweet lady selling them. Strangely, she only took $20 and pushed the other 10 back at me, AND let me have the fourth t-shirt.

She says sweetly, "you take that 4th shirt, and you take the money, and how 'bout ya mail me some of them pictures you got today? Is it a deal?"

I was floored that they would want MY pictures, but they did. They really DID! They didn't even know if I was a GOOD photographer or not! I struck the deal and away we went, humbled and proud to be a part of such a great community of people. I will get their photo's in the mail for them (I also opened their own photo account so they can see them sooner).

Opening prayer:


Dan Daily:


Paul, the colt, and "Satan"


That darn Satan makin' a mess of everything, and keepin' this horse wound up!


Lenora works her southern charms over horse and crowd..


Saddle time..


"Here I come DADDY!!"


Lenora, sending her calming energy..


This horse was so relaxed after she was done with him, she couldn't get him on his feet! Took her dad and brother to rock him back to his feet!


Ending prayer..


This one moved me to pert'near tears, when members of the Cowboy Church joined in the prayer circle..


Friday, June 12, 2009


It's nearing midnight, the dogs were in an uproar just a moment ago so I went outside to check it out (anything in the middle of the night is my job...babies crying, dogs barking, creaks from downstairs).

I opened the back door and the smell hit.....A SKUNK!! The dogs had stirred it up enough to get it to SPRAY!! ARRGGHHH!!!!


Excuse me whilst I @$%$%^$#$#%$$^%!!!!!

Whew....there.....I'm better now.
Off to bed to deal with this tomorrow.

A Prairie Summer...

When the late spring breezes blow in from the fields and farms, my children are there to take in the scents it has collected along the way. Elyssa and Dusty sit on the front porch swing, Elyssa gently keeping a steady "chi" of rocking motion for her younger brother to enjoy. Isabelle soon joins them, and together they gaze on past the front yard into the neighbors horse pasture.

The usual morning chores already done; up by 8:00 or 8:30, dressed, beds made, hair brushed, breakfast eaten, teeth brushed. Then the divided chores of feeding and watering the animals, hanging loads of laundry on the line (Elyssa and Izzy's job), then the team effort chore of throwing corn to the chickens while Elyssa steals the eggs. See, the garden is delicate as it grows, the chickens are not free ranging as they would delight in the yummy veggies and fresh tender greens. So while they are cooped up in while our garden grows, the younger children distract them with corn while Elyssa darts into the henhouse to steal eggs, sometimes right out from under the butts of cranky broody hens. Well, not the crankiest of hens, Elyssa is still not daring enough to subject her hand to a pecking, and a hardy peck they will! I will have to show her how to lift a cranky hen up off her nest gently by the neck and snatch with the free hand.

By 10 O'clock, they are usually finished up and the day is theirs for adventure.
Elyssa and Isabelle grabbed a book and some towels off the line and climbed over the field gate and snuck off for the woods, Dusty tagging along behind them. They followed the horse trail, over the creek, and found their favorite and "secret" reading spot.

I snuck in behind them with camera in tote and this is what I found:


It was such a beautiful moment that I thought back fondly of the children of the 1800's or early 1900's, and other than clothing and some updated novels they were reading, I saw little difference in the era's.


A snapped twig under my feet revealed my presence, so I took the opportunity to take some photo's (I take so many they literally go about their day without noticing me, which is great for candid shots..did I use "candid" in the right context? Hm, anyway..)

Licorice the pony joins the reading circle:


Beautiful Elyssa caught in thought:


Licorice and Boots the kitten meet:


Truffle the farm poodle watches Boots and Jeans climb a tree..


Boots and Jeans, Masters of the Wood:


Getting a tongue stuck out at me..



Yellow shirts are a mother's godsend, especially when your children play in the woods..


While I scrubbed bathrooms and tended to the garden, the girls hung laundry..


The children had an opportuntiy to watch a little tv this afternoon, but 20 minutes later I came around the corner with baby Sam on my hip and saw the tv on...but no kids. That's when I spotted them out on the porch swing, taking in the breezes and sights of the beautiful day. They chose to carpe diem over television, I must be doing SOMETHING right!

Elyssa was head chef in the kitchen today with Izzy and Dusty as her apprentices, and together they all measured and stirred and made brownie hearts for after supper (it's where they make regular brownies and rip their hearts out..ok ok...that was bad). No, they are brownies made from scratch and baked in heart shaped pans! They turned out beautifully and we will have them after my supper of cornbread and chicken bake.

As a matter of fact, I smell the chicken just about ready to come out of the oven, I'd better wrap this up and call in the kids (yes, they are STILL outside)to wash up and set the table.

Prairie Blessings!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's The Little Things....

Isabelle goes to her daddy's every other weekend, which she thoroughly enjoys! She can't wait to go over, and he lives in a cute little subdivision in a rural town (rural, but my, as with many little towns, it is growing quickly!).

Isabelle has the best of both worlds...truly. She may not know it now, but she has all the fun of country life over here, and all the fun of "city" life over there. I mean goodness, WE don't get the ice cream man all the way out here, but at her daddy's, it's fun to grab some allowance and rush out the door with her two step-sisters to flag down the delicious truck! Or hopping on her bicycle and riding down the sidewalks, saying hello to neighbors as she passes!

Each of her two homes are different, but each very rich in "things to do". She is very lucky!

The other day, I picked up Izzy from her daddy's. He leaned into my car and seeing that her two little brothers were in the backseat, he pulled out some money and handed it to her. "You go buy you and your brothers some ice cream at Sonic, ok?"

And we did! It was so very nice, and Izzy "bought" her brothers some ice cream, she felt very important, lol! It's the little things like that which Izzy will remember (and even her brothers, that Izzy's daddy is cool like that, lol!), and stir up nice memories of her daddy slipping her some treat money, and also very thoughtful to join together both her worlds with something as simple as ice cream. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Horse, A Bird, A Garden, and a Birthday..

Yes, the little bird STILL follows Shunami everywhere she goes, it warms the heart to see. Although Licorice the pony is also out in the big pasture now (the new filly will be turned out tomorrow), the bird is still faithful to Shunami as it flits from tree to weed to just hopping alongside on the ground.

Here are the latest photos!




We had some pretty vicious storms come across the Kansas and Missouri plains yseterday, which devastated many wheat fields and other crops. It came through our little town but wasn't near as strong, still though, our garden took a beating. I had taken this pic of it the other day, before it became a twisted and gnarled mess (it even ripped up some tomatoe cages!)


All is well here other than that, and we are planting a few more things in the garden to replace what was lost, plus some pumpkins! A few years back we planted pumpkins too early and had them by mid July! The vines were dying out before October had even arrived!

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday, but tonight we all went to a bar-b-que place for some good eats and to celebrate! We had a great time and I am stuffed to the brim! Isabelle got to visit with her cousin and uncle whom she doesn't see too often, and Dusty played with cousin Phoenix and found great joy in spitting spitwads through a straw at people! Thanks brother Kevin, for teaching my children how to do such ornery things! Hehe! *smack*

Monday, June 8, 2009

Snake and Salamander Are Friends..

It was like childhood again, the elementary days when my best friend Amber Harris and I would go looking under rocks for ring-neck snakes. Yesterday as I tipped over the small horse trough out in the pasture to empty the water and scrub it out, I found two little cuties in the bare spot under the trough...a little ring-neck snake and a little salamander (or at least I think he was a salamander). It was nice and cool under there, dark and damp and perfect for a home sweet home, if that's your flavor of style.

I gently picked up the little snake with the same excitement of discovery as if I were 10 years old again. My little boy Dusty was enthralled with it, yet at the same time, a little uneasy to touch it. I held it out for him to view, and gave him the whole "don't pick up any snake because it may be poisonous" bit, even though Amber and I were snake savvy at 10 years old, and stupidly fearless. Dusty is only 5, I need to show him which snakes are good, and which are bad, so by the time he is 10, he can be just as savvy and stupidly fearless as I was. Hehe!

After a little photo shoot, I returned the snake back to his home, and after I scrubbed the water tank out, I set it upright and gave the snake and salamander their "home" back.

"O Hai Ther"


Snake and salamander




As Fate Would Have It..

I was perfectly content with my little herd of mares, Shunami, Luna, and little pony Licorice. Snickers the ornery stud pony had found a new home, and peace had been restored to the herd. Luna, being holed up and out of commission with her wounded hoof (which by the way is slowly healing), meant we only had one riding horse, Shunami.

No matter, no one has an interest in riding other than myself, so one riding horse is all we need. Even then I am not able to get out much.

But then I popped onto our local online farm and garden sales Thursday afternoon, and right there infront of me was a new posting just listed for a little mare, all of 14 hands, nearly being given away. Not uncommon really...horses are practically being given away due to the failing horse market these days, I nearly gave away Snickers last week myself. A good home was far more important than the money anyway, and I screened my callers well. Some buyers out there you have to be careful, not so good intentions.

What caught my eye about this little mare was her young age, only little more than 2 years old, but she had a soft, gentle eye. The kind of soft eye you usually see on an older, "been there, done that" mare, or a well aged and wise ol' dobbin who could tell you stories of the miles he'd seen.

This little mare was special, and was going to go quick at her price. I balked...telling myself I didn't need her...we're all set with what we've got. But I didn't have time to balk for long...she was being sold the more I sat on my hands. I sent an e-mail to the sellers, then realized they had a number listed.

Ugghh...I thought to myself..I do NOT need to call, I do NOT need to be doing what I think I am going to do. Even if they e-mail me back..I'll just ignore it and let them sell to the next person. Yes, let them sell her to someone else. They've got someone already anyway, I'm sure. I'm sitting here long enough...this will pass. Let her go. Let her go.

I grabbed the phone...and dialed.

Ah!! Voicemail!! Perfect! I left a message anyway, then hung up. I am only one of a thousand calls probably, this horse wasn't meant to be mine. Sweet relief, they'll never call me back. She is being sold right now to someone else.

I tip tapped on the computer a bit, still with this little mare in the back of my mind, but already "letting" her go, because she wasn't mine anyway. Never would be. She was being loaded up in a trailer probably right now, of to her new home.

Thirty minutes had past, she was gone. Still, I was startled when the phone rang next to me. Probably a grooming client. I looked at the caller ID. No way.


"Hey there, this is Chuck, I'm returning your call on the little mare".

My stomach lurched, but I figured it was a courtesy call to let me know she was well on her way to her new home, and to thank me for calling anyway.

"She's a great little mare, " he continued. What? I was thinking...what? She's still there??

I listened and responded, and found myself asking questions about her. This man was friendly and knowledgeable, not a horse dealer in the slightest. He could tell me everything about her, and for good reason, as he had rescued this girl from a sale barn when she was 4 months old and raised her since then. This wasn't JUST a horse for sale, she was his "baby", even though he wouldn't admit it out of his own words.

The only reason she was for sale, she wasn't going to be the size he had hoped, for what he was planning to ride her for; extreme horse riding. This is Extreme Sporthorse Competitions that is very demanding and...well...extreme. She just wasn't going to finish out to the size he wanted, and was reluctantly selling her. His nine year old daughter had another horse she was riding, and with heavy heart they posted her for sale.

I had beaten the odds, I knew at the price they had listed her for...I was backlogging their phone line with other people trying to get in! But here he was, returning MY call!

I drove out to see her Friday night, and it was love at first question! I was eager but didn't want to appear so, as anyone experienced in horse dealin' knows it is to be done with no signs of anxiousness, as there would be little room for dickering. Still, there WAS no time or room to dicker around, I wasn't about to ask for even a DOLLAR off this horse, she was worth triple or even quadruple the asking price as it stood, even with a failing horse market. Inside I was jumping for joy, Chuck and Suann, Harley's owners (yes, her name is Harley!) were most honest and upfront, there were no secrets, they told me evrything about this darling little girl.

Their nine year old daughter jumped up on Harley and walked her through a pole pattern, and she did wonderfully. For as young as this horse was, she was doing things and acting like a seasoned broke trail horse.

There was no doubt that this little mare was fate, and my heart was doing somersaults as I handed them the few measly bills they wanted out of her and she was loaded into my trailer. There were tears from Suann and dear young Hannah, yet Chuck stood strong, he had an Extreme Horse rider image to uphold. But... I think if truth be told, a tear would have fallen as well...if no one had been looking.(shhhh Chuck...your secret is safe with me...oh yes..and to the few who read this blog).

I drove the hour ride home with the little mare in tow, and once home I put her in the corral to settle into her surroundings. I couldn't believe I had went and done it! But it was the best "impulse" I have had ina long while! This little mare is a jewel, a genuinely sweet soul, and here she shall stay.

Shunami has lots of wisdom to share with her, and can raise her up well and teach her the ways. And in return, this little mare can raise up some children as time goes by, teach them about horsemanship and riding, perhaps even pull a wagon for us someday.

As for Luna, she has not been replaced, only "retired" for a bit as her wound repairs quietly. Perhaps our new addition will help Luna heal faster for fear of BEING!

Here is our new addition with her soft eye and pure heart! A little thing yet at two years old, but has plenty of time to grow! She is truly a diamond in the rough, but a huge thanks to Chuck and Suann and Hannah who saw SO much more in her at the sale barn that day, and then raised her right and waited for me to come and get her, fate indeed!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blessed Be The Lady!

This early morning as I was entering the kitchen for my morning shot of caffeine, I just HAPPENED to glance out the window at the "pool", which is nothing more than a 2 foot shallow large round cattle trough. For just a moment, I thought I saw something IN the water but disappear behind the wall of the trough. There is a flotsam and jetsam of toys floating in the trough for the childrens' amusement, but this, as split second as it was, seemed to be floating at a much faster pace than the rest of the toys.

I decided to go on out the back porch and check it out, just to be sure. And as soon as my feet hit the brick of the patio, I could hear a warbled "mewing"! Oh my goodness! I peeked over the side of the trough and sure enough one of our farm kittens had fallen into the water and was treading laps!! The poor thing!! Lord/ess only knows how long he had been in there! There was not enough water for him to grab onto the side and pull himself out, and no sturdy toy to grab onto! I reached in and scooped his cold wet body out of there.

It wasn't but yesterday I had a feeling about that trough, that something was going to happen like that with one of the animals. Last year I had had a dreadful fear of filling it up for the kids to play in as a pool, and then having an animal (or baby Sam!) fall in and not being able to get back out while no one was out there. I had set a patio chair in the water when the kids weren't playing just incase it happened again, the critter would have a safe place to get up on and to keep from drowning.

After I saw that Jeans the kitten was no worse for wear, I put that patio chair back in the trough! Now if he or his brother Boots happens to fall in, they'll have something to get up on and climb out!

He's ok folks, but had I not been at the window looking may have been another half hour or longer before I did chores..and who knows what his fate may have been! How long he had been out there before I DID see him, only the Universe knows.

I shall call her...Spirit Cat..

The little grey Mama Kitty vanishes as soon as I think I see her, then reappears somewhere else. I have called her Spirit Cat, and after much milk, fresh eggs, and tuna, I believe I have persuaded her to stay.

Sadly though, I only see one of her kittens with her, a tiny grey female. She and Spirit Cat live under a trailer out by the barn. It is where I set their food out for them. The other animals have not accepted them well, but things are changing. Seems they adjust to any animal who is either born here or is brought in by me....otherwise they are promptly escorted off the property by either Gat the large farm cat, or the little dogs, Truffle and Winnie.

It has been trialsome, but Spirit Cat is slowly being accepted by the other animals here, although she is still not coming too far out from underneath the trailer. She is still hissing and being hissed at, but no one is running her off it is more of a ranking order.

Spirit Cat and baby Spirit Kitten (we'll find another name), welcome to the farm!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Many Things..

A busy day today, but a few updates and then I am off to bed.

Shunami's little bird friend from yesterday was no quick love affair, today the bird remains a faithful bonded friend to Shunami wherever she goes in the pasture. Flitting from place to place, tree to fencepost, or hopping along right next to her hoof!

The Mama Kitty has come back today, only with one kitten this time. I was sad to see that one of her babies was missing, but it could possibly turn up later.

Luna is doing better, still guarding her hoof carefully and not putting much weight on it while resting, but she IS using it! So this is good to see.

I groomed dogs today, and the pastor of our little Cowboy Church brought his dog to me, and what a pleasant little fellow he was to groom! For only a 5 month old puppy he was a very well behaved little man!

Izzy is getting over a sinus infection, and seems to be feeling better today. Little Sammy is a bit snotty but feeling fine otherwise. Dusty was a busy little worker bee while helping his Daddy "build" things out by the barn.

I am spent, and I am signing off for now, silver moon beams and dreams!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Enchanting Friendship..

Shunami is my magical horse, my "dream" horse. I dreamt of her before finding her and brining her home. It was a series of dreams, but in one of them, I was involved with an equine search and rescue team and I was riding a tall black horse named Tsunami.

A week later, in real life, I answered an ad for a horse, later I would find out her name was Shunami and she was a search and rescue horse! I of course, bought her and brought her home. This was last fall.

Today I took an apple out to the pasture to Shunami since I have been paying so much attention to Luna and her wounded hoof, that poor Shunami has been left out.

When I went out to the pasture though, I noticed a little bird by Shunami's hoof. Nothing out of the ordinary at first, as little birds are all over the place on farms and in pastures (they love picking seed and bugs from horse droppings). However, after some time...I noticed that wherever Shunami moved to...that little bird would follow her. Coincidence? I tucked the apple away and watched this for awhile, testing my eyes to see if I was being deceived.

Infact, I watched long enough that I ran back into the house for a camera to take photo's.

The little bird flew to a rock and stayed there for awhile, watching Shunami. I took his pic:


close up:


Next thing I know, the bird flew off to go and sit by Shunami's hoof:


Wherever Shunami went, that bird either hopped along or flew to catch up!


At one moment, Shunami bowed her head as if to scratch her head on her leg which she does a lot, but she didn't scratch, she bowed her head and back up! I am sure it was a scratch anyway, but it appeared at a glance to be a beautiful gesture of acknowledging friendship to her little bird friend:


Shunami moved off a bit, and there went the little bird as faithful as can be:


Shunami stayed in one little grazing area for awhile, so the little bird went and perched on a fencepost to look over things. Shunami finally moved off again but this time started off towards the woods. The little bird took off in flight after Shunami to catch up!


I watched this beautiful display of friendship for 20 minutes until I had to go and finish up chores. I will pay close attention tomorrow to see if Shunami's little bird buddy has stuck around.
Shunami, my magical, zen horse!

Bizarre Day.....

Wow, don't know how to describe this one!

I was out feeding the dogs and noticed that Truffle, our mighty farm poodle (yes, poodles make awesome farm dogs, if allowed to be so...and not pampered up inside a house) was digging at something under the turned over plastic fish pond which is by the fenceline, south of the barn. He was digging and sniffing, then stopped and barked, then dig some more.

Hmm...something was under there!

I went over to the turned over fish pond, which, when turned over, would make a great little hide out or hut for any small critter to take refuge under. "Whatcha got Truffle?" Of course, he didn't answer, infact he didn't have a moment to spare to even acknowledge me.

I just HAPPENED to look upward, into the tree's, and spotted a stray grey cat looking down at me! "Well hi there sweetie!" I called to it. I couldn't tell if it was a feral cat, but upon closer inspection, I could see under her belly that she was a MAMA cat! And nursing babies! But where were the babies?

Then it dawned on me that perhaps the babies were under the fish pond! Yes, that's what Truffle was going nuts over!

I pulled Truffle back and flipped over the fish pond, but realized there was another smaller fish pond under that. I went to flip IT over to finally see the baby kitties, but before I flipped it...I could see a tail! A big, BUSHY tail! A black and white bushy tail...and not that of a kitten!

Leaning in closer and cautiously, I could see that.....oh crap! That was a SKUNK tail! What was a SKUNK doing under there? Was it eating mama kitties baby kittens?? Oh my goodness, I was so baffled. I made Truffle stay back and went an unleashed Polar, one of our big farm dogs.

I walked her over to the fish pond and set her loose, she immediately began digging fast and furious under the fish pond. I was glad she was after it, but quickly decided maybe it wasn't a good idea for her to get too close...well...DUH! I'd be de-skunking a 95 pound farm dog the rest of the day, or doctoring a bitten and bloody nose.

I grabbed her by the collar and pulled her away. As I was doing so...I then saw two little teeny tiny baby skunks peeking out from underneath the fish pond! That skunk was a MAMA skunk! Oh my goodness!!

I was even more baffled, wondering if there baby skunks under there, then WHERE were Mama Kitty's babies?? I peered up into the tree and Mama Kitty looked down out me. This was the most bizarre thing ever. A mama skunk and a mama kitty, less then 10 feet from each other.

I tethered Polar back up to the lead, and ran back to the house for the camera, I HAD to get some pics of all of this!

When I came back, Mama Kitty was climbing carefully down from the tree. I talked to her as she did so, but I still wasn't sure if she was a feral cat or not, and didn't want to reach out and pet her for fear of scaring her.

Once she hit the ground, she darted off into the weeds of the fenceline and disappeared. I was worried for her. Where had she come from? She was in the middle of nowhere, farm fields and woods surrounding her, save for our little farm. There were no other neighbors within looking distance, and if she belonged to anyone nearby, why did she run away?

I called out to her to come back, sweet "here kitty kitty kitty", and she very cautiously came tip-toeing near me again, mewing a tiny little "mew?" which translated into "help?"

"Ahh mama, where are your babies?" I asked as she got near enough for me to pet her. She was not only people friendly, she was the kind that literally rams her entire body into the palm of your hand and then dances and twirls herself around you. What a dear little thing.

Right about then, I heard a rustling in the weeds. It was either Mama Skunk or...something....else.

I peeked over at the fish pond, still leary that Mama Skunk may try to make a run for it out from under the fish pond, she was not more than 10 feet from me and Mama Kitty. The weeds rustled again, and then I heard a scratching. Squinting my eyes into the weeds...I spotted a little tabby kitten! AWwww!!! It was probably 5 weeks old at least, it had climbed about 2 feet into a thorn tree, and was playfully batting at something below it. That's when I spotted kitten number 2! A sweet little grey thing!

I only spotted two of them, but they looked healthy and bouncy!
I called out for the babies to come to me, but I wasn't sure if they were feral or not. Mama was tame, but I didn't know if the babies had had any human contact or not.

Leaving Mama Kitty behind, I ran into the house and got out a can of tuna, opened it, grabbed a saucer and a bowl, then took the goatmilk from the fridge. I scooped up everything and went back outside and made one last stop to the henhouse and gathered a few fresh eggs.

Arms dangerously full, I carried the items back out to the fenceline while being careful not to drop anything; plate, bowl and glass milk bottle clinking and clanking together, milk sloshing all around, eggs teetering on the edge of my grip. I saw that Mama Kitty was gone. It seemed as though the Mama Skunk was still hiding with her babies under the fish pond, so I was careful not to disturb them as I sat all the items down on the ground and under the same tree I had found Mama Kitty in.

I poured the goatmilk into a bowl and cracked an egg into it, then dumped the tuna into the saucer. "Heeeere Kitty Kitty Kitty," I gently called out. Surely she hadn't gone far with two kitties.

I waited and listened, watching the weeds for any movement. I couldn't see anything.

A few more minutes past, I called again, and waited some more.

Then I saw her, her eyes peeking out at me from the brush. "Come on sweetie". I clanked on the tuna can to try and woo her out. Carefully she stepped out of the weeds and got a whiff of the succulent tuna, and in no time she had realized I had come back bearing gifts! She approached and dug in! I was wishing her baby kitties would follow mama and find the food as well, surely they had not had anything other than mama's milk, and they were old enough for some solid nourishment.

Slowly but surely, one little baby kitty looked at me through the weeds, and noticed Mama was licking on something that smelled and sounded delicious. It carefully stepped out and joined Mama in the tuna plate. The second kitty finally followed suit, but verrry slooowly.

They were eventually having a lovely and much appreciated dining experience. Mama let her babies finish the tuna while she started laping up the milk and eggs. Her eyes were closed as she was savoring the thick, rich, yolky goat milk.

Once their tummies were full, they disappeared back into the woods, even though I tried to tempt Mama Kitty in following me to the house, where maybe she would want to stay. But perhaps she was on a different mission, and needed to move on. She chose to move on.

The Mama Skunk..I was able to snap a little pic of on of her babies peeking out from under the fish pond, then I saw Mama Skunk pick it up with its mouth and drag it back under to safety.

What a bizarre day, to find a Litter of skunks AND a litter of kittens within 10 feet of each other, exactly at the same time!

First I found the skunk hideout, the overturned fishponds!


Moments later, spotted a stray mama kitty up in the tree, a few feet from the fishpond:


Here's Mama Kitty getting a whiff of tuna and goatmilk from the weeds by the fenceline...temptation proves to be beyond her control...


Moments later, a little face peeks out to see what delectable delights Mama Kitty has discovered for them:


Kitten number 2 can't resist coming closer either... something MUST be good nearby!


All together now .. "OM NOM NOM NOM"


And more OM NOM NOM NOM's..


One little skunk-head peeks out...


Very strange day indeed!