Creatures Great and Small

I came home with muddy shoes the other day. I mean MUDDY. Mud so thick my shoes were too heavy to wear. Mud so thick my shoes would probably never recover. I tried to get the mud off to no avail. So I put them in the garage to dry, thinking that once that once the mud dried, it might come off easier. As in…fling in all directions as I hit the bottoms of the shoes together with force. You know that routine, right? 

My husband noticed them days later, two big balls of mud sitting in the garage. When he looked more closely, he saw they were my Sketchers. So, he asked.

I told him the story. You see, I was coming home the other day from someplace or another and there, in the middle of the road, was a dog. He moved from lane to lane to avoid being struck by cars, but he obviously had no street sense or car sense. I think he might have just been dumped there because the dog seemed “dazed and confused.”

So I turned around my car and parked at the edge of the road. My intent was to catch the dog and bring it home with me. No solid plans on how to make that happen, I just knew I had to do something.

That did not happen.

What did happen? Luckily three other cars stopped to help me. Together, we got him away from the road and out of harm’s way. It was not what we intended, but it was better than nothing. The dog went into a wooded area and that’s where we lost him.

We all took off our shoes before we got into our cars. Our shoes looked the same. Like mud balls.

I’ve been seeing a lot of creatures lately. When I first saw this turkey, it was displaying its beautiful tail feathers in a fan. By the time I grabbed my camera and got out of the car, it was too late. He was just running…

I am an animal person. I love them all, great and small. Dogs, turkeys…well, except for those long, skinny, slimmy creatures. You know that question I posed in the last post? About how many cats? I am the person who would have 100 cats. My husband set the limit on two, which is the number I had when I met him. Two in the house anyway.
And this. I have been worrying about a certain cow. Yes, a cow. I have driven repeatedly for the last two weeks down a road that has a beautiful pasture. Lush, verdant green pasture land. In front of it is a small enclosure with a cow. The first time I saw it, I didn’t think a whole lot about it. I assumed that the cow was in “solidary confinement” because it was headed to be sold. But it has continued to be locked in that small area with no shelter. It has looked worse and worse every time I drove by. Last time I saw him/her, it looked terrible….what we call in the south “death warmed over.” I began to wonder if the farmer was an out-of-town hobby farmer and if somehow this cow got himself into that enclosure and is starving to death and nobody is around to know about it.
There is no home close to the pasture, so I have no idea whose cow it is.
So I did what any other “citygirl” would do. I stopped by the Sheriff’s Office and asked them about it.
The very kind and patient sheriff’s deputy told me that cattle farmers often separate sick cows from the herd to protect the herd from the sickness. He said that probably since the cow is in that small enclosure, then something is most likely wrong with it. He said that he will drive by and check on it anyway. (I apologize to farmers everywhere if that was an uncool thing to do…would you mind if someone, a stranger, is worried about your sick or dying or starving cow?)

Well, later when my daughter got home from school, she ran into the house and said that there was a tadpole in her pool.

Now when I say “pool” and you probably have visions of a beautiful, in-ground, inviting pool.

No. It is one of those little plastic round pools. You know, eight inches deep or so? We used for purple play-sand last summer and it collected rain water all winter and spring.

So, I go to see and indeed, there is a little thing swimming around in her pool.

Deciding that it couldn’t live for long in there with purple sand and no apparent supply of food, we got a jar so we could catch it. Then we brought it inside to decide what to do next with our tadpole.

My daughter enjoyed looking at it with her magnifying glass.

She found another squiggley thing swimming around in the water. And then yet another. I thought it was a good idea to keep him and study him. I thought it would be educational to watch him transform from a tadpole to a frog. I got out a flower vase, the kind so many people keep their Beta Fish in, and looked up what to feed tadpoles.

She then asked me if it would live.

“Hmmmm….maybe, maybe not,” I said.

“It would bother me if he died,” she told me.

Well, goodness knows there’s enough to be “bothered” about without adding to it. So we decided to find him a home in nature.

There wasn’t much time before her piano lesson. I thought about a creek close by and asked her if she thought that was a good home for her tadpole. She did.

Since that required us to walk through some woods, I told her to slide some pants on under her uniform (hence her “outfit” in the woods) and we’d hurry and get him and friends to the new home before piano.

“I almost love him,” she said as she carried the jar through the woods and down the path to the creek.

She found just the right spot where she wanted to release him.

“He’ll sing to me when I come in the summer,” she said.

Daughter was so excited. She told her piano teacher about the tadpoles she saved. Her piano teacher assigned her a song about frogs, in the tadpole’s honor.

She couldn’t wait until Hubby came home so she could tell him all about it.

Later, when I showed my husband the picture, he zoomed in.

He then told me that we had saved a mosquito, not a tadpole.

I haven’t told daughter the news yet.

I leave you with a question. Why would someone (me), in their right mind (questionable actually), hang a Cinderella laundry basket on the highest door hinge on the screened-in porch? Why would that same someone drag out the big red rug and hang it over the rail outside of the screed-in door that leads to the screened in porch? And drape red dish towels over the door? And a red t-shirt over the latch?

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Jenny says:

    Tender heart. I worry about children the way your worry about animals. I see little ones that just look lost and I want to save them all. And they haunt me because I can’t. I suspect you might be needing some new sketchers! Hmmm…. red and pink, too early where you live for hummingbirds and butterflies … ummmmm, golly, I don’t know! Something fun for your adorable daughter perhaps?

  2. Rebecca says:

    Ahhhhh…spring…animals abound:)

  3. Marie says:

    If only more people would make time to have an important tadpole gone mosquito moment w/ their children !!!Or try to save a dog,appreciate a turkey, all things I’ve done myself !!! You will surely see life in a much warmer way than many !! Keep your heart out there !!!! A country girl who loves life !

  4. I had a feeling a twist was coming. Not sure why, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a tadpole. (Certainly didn’t see a mosquito coming though, very funny story to tell when she grows up (get to embarrass her in front of her friends 😉

  5. Gary says:

    Wonderful Bloggie Rebekah…!
    I’m a Critter Lover too, and I feed a feral Cat and a Possum who stop by often. Both of them are beneficial at geting rid of pests, and the Possum hunts snakes, so he’s my fave.
    Next time you have a "doubt" about the welfare of a Domestic Animal, you can also call the SPCA, Humane Society, or the PETA Hotline at 757-622-7382 + option 2.
    Muddy shoes… ahhh yes… I’m a Hillbilly stuckn in a swamp at present, and Mary Jane published a Great homemade shoe/boot scrubber in the Oct-Nov 2008 issue. It’s a cinch to make, and I’ll e-mail you a copy of the JPEG photo of it. When used with a spray hose it get’s ’em clean as a whistle in a couple of minutes.
    Oh… I can’t wait to hear the hanging laundry basket story…
    GodSpeed Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  6. auntpammy says:

    Awww. Love your "tadpole tale!" So sweet.

    I am an animal person as well. I have a cat that we rescued from our alley.

    As for the red stuff, looks like your spring cleaning a bit…maybe? Who knows I only know we are in for a good yarn about it all. I can hardly wait!!!

  7. Betty J. says:

    I do hope you have dumped out the water in your "sandbox." Mosquitoes carry diseases that infect horses in our area.

    I, too, also collected tadpoles when I was younger–possibly 60 or so years ago. They like pools of water and especially the quiet ones. Of course, since you did not have tadpoles, I do hope your little one finds one soon because they are such a delight as they grow legs and lose their tails.

    Betty in Pasco

  8. Aunt Jenny says:

    How funny! I wonder how many mosquitos MY girls have saved? I am an animal person too. I draw the line at snakes, and snails, but just about anything else is "save-able" for sure. They may not be able to come inside the house..but our mudroom is fair game.
    I have 3 cats. Only one is allowed inside.(Alice, a very snooty himalayan rescue cat we got as a kitten about 5 years ago) Our male cat, Pumpkin has lost his indoor rights..over and over again. He is 13 and has been with us since his kittenhood. He has a friend for outside….Fiona just showed up winter before last and made herself to home. I had her fixed after she had a litter of kittens under a tarp in our barbque area (I didn’t think she was old enough to have kittens and only 2 lived..and I really hadn’t accepted that she was our cat at that point)She is here to stay but is pumpkin’s shadow..never lets him get out of her sight. She is a big fluffy calico.
    Dogs are my favorite pets for sure (well, besides Mona..and I would have done the same thing about that cow!!) we have 3…two bassets and a mini weiner dog.
    We have a refuge meat hen, 2 bunnies and 6 baby bunnies, 2 sheep and an angora goat and alot of chickens (chicks coming too) and of course Mona the milk cow. My kids know I am a sucker for pets. If it has fur I am very likely to say yes when they ask.
    Your little girl is adorable!

  9. Karin Weaver says:

    Thank you so much for your story. I am working far from my grandchildren and this makes me miss them but at the same time puts a smile in my heart. It makes being away a little easier. THANK YOU!!!

  10. Karen Lord says:

    Don’t worry about the cow incident….I would have done the same thing! There are too many who don’t take care of their animals be it cat,dog or cow and it is so heartbreaking! A friend once told me that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their pets (or livestock). If they neglect their pets what are they doing to their children or the rest of their family?
    If I had the room I would probably have my own animal managerie…for now my black lab Maggie and my chocolate lab Doc are my babies. Watch out once I finally get my 100 acres!
    I hope you and your beautiful daughter continue to save the tadpole mosquitos!
    Looking forward to the story about cinderella and the red carpet!

  11. louise fredieu says:

    Oh how i love animal lovers. And i know that you are raising your daughter to love animals too. That is such a good thing.
    I have a little story i’d like to share. One day when i was about to leave to work, i saw a dog outside our chain link fence in the backyard. He was a beautiful dog, the kind that is black and white with light blue eyes, about the size of a german shepard. He just kind of stood there watching me.
    Well, after working all day, tired and not looking forward to cooking, i opened the patio door, and, lo and behold, there was the dog again. Or was it again? Had he been there all day in the heat? I called my teenage son to walk out with me to the fence. The poor dog had gotten his leash tangled in some shrubs and couldn’t go anywhere. He watched us closely. He did not seem angry or afraid. I told my son to stay with him and talk gently to him while i drove around to where he was. Needless to say, my son was very anxious for me. I told him not to fear, that i would be very careful. When i got around to where he was, i could tell that the dog was friendly, but not too happy, and probably not feeling too well since he had been in the Texas sun all day without any water. I asked my son to go get him a bowl of water, which he did. Oh, the dog lapped up every drop. Then i gently untangled him from the brush and removed the chain. The dog ran off. I watched, very pleased that i was able to help a four legged friend. Then, to my amazement, the dog stopped, turned around and began running to me. He jumped up on me, licked my face once, and then turned and ran away. I never saw him again. Can you believe that? A polite and grateful dog! I will never forget that day. My son asked if i was afraid when the dog was running toward me. I was not afraid because i could read his posture, ear position, and tail movement. I did not think about it, i just knew it because of having been a dog person all my life. Thanks for letting me share my little story about that precious furry, four-legged friend.
    Louise Fredieu

  12. Katrina says:

    I actually think that was a dragon fly larvea. Mosquito larvea is much smaller.

  13. Darlene Rowland says:

    This isn’t exactly about the article but it just took me back to when I was young and looking for entertainment. We had hollyhocks in the backyard and my Mother showed me how to make hollyhock dolls. I was very young and I don’t remember how to make them. My daughter can’t believe we did this so I would like for her to see one. I hope you can help me.

  14. judith says:

    So many times I have clicked on this website and saw the lovely lady sitting with her toes turned in and thought, "she doesn’t look at all like a farm girl" and wondered why you were on there. Today I decided to read your blog out of curiosity of what a perfectly coiffed blond with black high heels could possibly know about the farm. There I discovered that you actually own a farm that you visit, have a daughter in private school who takes piano lessons, you helped a "dazed and confused" dog who was most likely dumped onto a country road, starving and had no water, to go into the woods to survive in the wild instead of getting plowed over by a tractor, you don’t know a mosquito from a firefly, nor do you not know that mud turns into concrete, oh and that you wear Sketchers. Being a retired court reporter and having worked in criminal courts, I would probably not post a photo of my child on a public website these days but each to his own. You do have a knack for writing. I found your post quite humorous and was glad that I had an opportunity to read it. Love visiting the MJ store in my little town. Judith

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