Thursday, September 15, 2005

Annie Buttons Blog #1

Hello Tom,
   If I write something, does it get sent to you?  You could be my protector--save me from myself in case I write something that will cause great distress to someone who doesn't deserve it (like me).
   Well, I guess we'll see.
   I wanted to talk about Annie Buttons, my darling first horse.  Fat old thing.  She was 11 and VERY fat when I bought her, with 400 dollars of my own money (my entire savings) plus 200 dollars my parents chipped in.  This doesn't include the 185,000 dollar house that just happened to come with 10 acres and a horse barn and fenced in paddocks.  Or the hay (about a dollar fifty a bale), wood shavings (another dollar a bale?  it was a long time ago, I don't remember that well), or the grain and saddle and bridle and other horse paraphernalia.  It was not as expensive as it might have been because the fellow my folks bought the place from threw in all the shovels and buckets that were in the barn (which was his ex-wife's domain).  And the barn came with its own cat, Ugly, the cat with a 100K mortgage, as Dad said.    Ugly was a 'fraidy cat, so people-shy she'd run for her life--we could just see her thick bush of a tail as she whipped around the corner of the barn wall--whenever someone approached the barn.  She'd been abandoned when Mr. Mills moved from the house, but he wasn't a cruel man, just a preoccupied one, so he'd buy huge sacks of cat food, cut them open, and leave them there on the barn floor.  So Ugly didn't starve, though I wondered how many raccoons she'd had to share that food with.
   I worked on Ugly for weeks, trying to get her to used to me.  I cleaned up the old food, started leaving a tasty mixture of fresh Purina with powdered milk and water in the barn.   Ugly wanted that food--I mixed it with hot water so the smell would entice her--but there was a catch: She had to put up with me being in the barn while she ate.    You know how these wild animal stories go: First the critter won't go within the tamer's sight.  Then the critter will grudgingly tolerate the tamer's presence from a safe distance.  And then before the critter knows it, the tamer is within a few feet of it, telling it sweet and foolish words of affection.  (Makes you wonder who's taming whom?)  And so on until the animal allows itself to be held and cuddled and made much of.    Ugly never was happy to be picked up, but she did love to be scratched and scritched and held, as long as I was sitting on the ground and allowed her to crawl into my lap.
   But back to Annie Buttons, the reason for my presence in the barn in the first place.  Her former owner was deeply attached to her and couldn't bring herself to accompany Annie B to her new home, but she did write a lengthy letter

And here I was interrupted (by Tom), which disrupted my chain of thought (if there was one), so now I'm quitting in a huff.


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