A Children’s Story: Read it to your children or grandchildren or let them read it:
The girls were off from school for the Christmas holidays. They were up early and getting ready to help their dad feed the cattle; well, they were mainly along for the ride, but it was going to be exciting.
The snow was two feet deep and the temperature was twenty below. Ansel, their dad, was getting the team hitched to the bob sleigh with over two tons of hay.
Imogen is ten years old and she was dressed and ready to go to work, but India had her boots on the wrong feet. Life is hard when you are three and you have an older sister.
Eve their mom helped India get her boots on the right feet.
Their dad pulled up to the porch with the team and the bobsleigh, loaded with hay.
Eve handed the girls a thermos of coffee for their dad and two smaller thermos bottles of hot chocolate for the girls.
When they walked out to the bobsleigh, the draft horses and everything seemed much bigger than they remembered.
Dad said, “Climb aboard girls, we have work to do.”
Eve helped them up on the seat of the bobsleigh and the girls felt the awesome power of the horses when the horses started pulling the sleigh through the snow. The runners on the sleigh made a steady shush noise and the big hooves of the draft horses made a thump noise as they stepped through the deep snow.
When they were in the pasture with the cattle, Ansel climbed up on the hay stack, cut the bale twine, and tossed the hay with a pitch fork. He would yell out to the heavy team, gee or haw and they would turn left or right on their own. The hay was almost gone, when the girls saw a dark patch in the snow.
The horses pulled the bobsleigh up to a skinny old mustang mare, who was so weak she could no longer stand. She was trying to give birth to a foal, but she was too weak to push the foal out of the birth canal.
Ansel jumped off the sleigh and noticed a small white muzzle protruding from her hind end. He tore away the thin membrane covering over the tiny muzzle and front hooves, so the new foal could breathe, he began to gently pull and guide the head and body when the old mare tried to push the foal out.
Suddenly, the colt’s body slid free in a fast movement and it was born.
The girls cheered and the foal lifted its head to see where these loud noises were coming from.
Ansel tried to get the old mare to stand, but she had used the last of her energy to wander down to the ranch to have her foal. Ansel thought he recognized the mare; she was a sorrel, with a bald face and four white sox. She was the last of the mustang herd that once roamed the Bitterroot Mountains, a herd that had outsmarted all the mustang hunters and was never caught.
Her foal was a white color with black ears, like the legendary stallion of the herd. He had been a legend for over a hundred years. The ghost horse, it was said he could disappear with his herd of mares.
Ansel thought to himself, “maybe this colt is the last son of the famous mustang stallion, it’s possible. He’s the right color, and not many white horses are born with black ears.
The old mare laid back and her breathing was becoming slower. The temperature was dropping and Ansel should be getting the girls back to the ranch house. The foal was standing and walking with wobbly legs and the girls were laughing with joy as they watched the little colt take his first steps.
Ansel poured out his coffee and rinsed the the thermos with snow. He gently milked the old mare of her colostrum enriched milk, she closed her eyes as if she knew her mission on earth was over.
Ansel milked her until his thermos was almost full. He placed the thermos and its valuable contents on the seat. Ansel picked up a length of baling twine and tied a bowline around the foal’s neck and picked him up to place him on the sleigh with the girls.
The foal was still doing his best to keep from losing his balance when he tried to step forward, but Ansel knew by the time they drove the team to the barn, the foal would be running around like the wild mustang he was supposed to be.
Ansel had a retired ranch horse that was hanging out in the barn to collect his pension. He figured the old horse would make a pretty good nanny for the foal. People and horses do better if they have a job.
At the barn, the girls wiped the foal down with towels, while Nabu the retired ranch horse looked at the foal as if it was the strangest creature alive, but Ansel could tell, Nabu was hoping the foal was his to raise.
Ansel rinsed out a calf bucket and poured in the mare milk. The foal sucked down his mother’s milk like he was starving. The girls thought it was the cutest thing to see the foal drinking so greedily, but Ansel breathed a sigh of relief, since he knew if the foal was to survive, he needed the antibodies in the mare’s colostrum. If a newborn has a good appetite, its chances of survival are increased.
The foal finished half its milk and ran around the stall, through the deep straw, bucking and kicking. When he stopped, he ran beneath Nabu and peeked out from between Nabu’s legs. Nabu acted proud to have the wild foal, the girls laughed, and even Ansel had to smile at the foal’s antics.
Mom rang the dinner bell, it was time to leave and let Nabu and the new foal get to know each other.
Ansel said, “It’s dinner time girls, what do you want to name the foal?”
India looked up and without hesitating said, “Smokey Jeff.”
Imogen cried out, “His name should be, Don Whiskers.”
Ansel said, “Let’s talk it over during dinner and ask mom, what she thinks about the names.”
As they walked to the ranch house and the sun was setting, each of the girls was arguing why they thought their name choice was best.
Over dinner, mom listened to the story of the foal, and the story seemed to get better with each passing minute.
When it came time to discuss the name, the girls were still bickering.
Moms have a way of settling important disputes and she had a great compromise, “We will be getting our new puppy in a few days, he is a dark gray color. Why don’t we have one of you name the colt and the other one will name the new puppy”.
The Glenmore House became very quiet. This was an important decision, and not one to be taken lightly.
India Rose spoke first, “I want to name the new puppy, Don Whiskers.”
Mom looked at Imogen and asked, “Is that OK with you?”
Imogen looked back and forth at her parents, and in a meek voice said, “The foal’s name will be Smokey Jeff, but the puppy will be Don Whiskers.”
Epilogue: Yes, this is not a typical political essay, but with the attacks on traditional family values, along with the loss of Public Education and the University system to Leftist indoctrination programs, perhaps we should redirect our efforts. None of us will live long enough to see objective and open programs adopted by our education systems, if we begin now. Sadly, there is precious little effort to rid our education system of Leftist contamination and indoctrination; we aren’t making the effort and it’s for damn sure the Left isn’t interested in upsetting their carefully programmed and implemented indoctrination programs. Consequently, we should make the effort to raise up a generation of kids with an awareness of traditional family values, not just the experience of going to soccer practice in a late model SUV with mom driving; although, we should applaud these noble efforts from suburban parents, there is a simpler method that prepares children for life on a more basic and realistic level.
I am writing of exposing your kids and grandchildren to life on the farm and ranch before they become jaded to the basics of life. Read that last line slowly, “before they become jaded to the basics of life.” I write of the exposure to talentless dolts lie the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus types who rob them of elemental concepts of reality. Watching the birth of a calf or a foal, and learning when to assist and knowing the fundamental essentials for the survival of mammals is infinitely more important than seeing Miley Cyrus nude on a wrecking ball or listening to Kim’s latest sexual awakening.
Summer camp san be replaced with a stay with a ranching or farming family. Most of the appropriate families will appreciate the extra income, and eventually a child can become a “paid” hand, who can actually contribute to the farm or ranch.
We have become proficient counter-Alynskyites, and no one can say we are afraid to yell and bitch about the opposition, but it is time to sow seeds for the future and take advantage of life’s lessons that often exist just a few miles beyond the city limits.
Contact the Chamber of Commerce for little towns, find out what families have a good reputation and an interesting operation, let your children and grandchildren be exposed to a natural environment.
A professional horseman for over 50 years, Skook continues to work with horses. Skook has finished an historical novel, Fifty Thousand Years, that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The story follows a line of courageous women, from the Ice Ages to the present, as they meet the challenges of survival with grit and creativity. These are not women who whimper of being victims, they meet the challenges of survival as women who use their abilities without excuses or remorse, these women are winners, they are our ancestors.