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J. J. Brown, Wordslinger

"I Sling Words As I Go Along."

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Animal Tales

So, every morning, I get to do the most amazing thing…….

………I get to feed horses and bask in their grounded presence.

While with the horses, I’m also privileged to see real magic in this world – nature.

Nature just is.

Just a couple of blokes, hanging around…..

There is no good, there is no evil.

Just pure instinct in motion – like a red-tailed hawk capturing its breakfast or a hummingbird taking a long drink of water from a puddle.  Or four turkey vultures unwittingly re-enacting a scene as the Fab Four in The Jungle Book (1967).  Or a four-foot long gopher snake sunbathing before slithering off into the bushes for a quick snack.

There is so much more that I’m witness to and I wish I could have you see what I see.

A young red tail hawk.

I truly feel like I’m living a Disney movie – sometimes the G-rated cartoon (because it does get silly and whimsical), but most of the time, it’s more organic and earthy, like Middle-Earth.

Nature is magic.

It has both light and shadow.

It is primal and ancient and has no regard for you.

Treat it with respect and you will be granted more than you asked.

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So, I’m working on some posts for my Patreon page….

…..setting some of them up to go live at a later date.  I like setting up multiple posts this way, so that I’m sure my subscribers are getting fun things to look at.

“What? The waste basket was trash-talking me.”

One of my tiers features the thoughts and adventures of Henry the Gray (my cat) and Best Bud Mare (my horse).

Henry the Gray is very laid back in his approach to life, which I find admirable.  He’s also somewhat sarcastic and does not approve of changes in his schedule.

His favorite things include: having morning meetings at the kitchen table; early morning inspections of the back yard; late night inspections of the garage; treats.

His dislikes include: vacuums; the garbage truck; the gardeners; having his stomach touched.

 

“Don’t look now, but there’s an apple on the ground behind you. Look out!!!”

Best Bud Mare has come a long way since I met her three years ago, when she was a little bit spooky and not sure of her surroundings or what was expected of her.  Now she comes right up to the gate, to see what I’m doing and always wants to be a part of things.

Her favorite things include: getting her itches scratched with the blue curry comb; taking selfies; learning how to do new things, like having her feet handled by the farrier; eating carrots; having her mane brushed out so that there are no more tangles; hanging out with her human.

Her dislikes include: loud noises; backing into a sneaky fence; being left out of projects; not hanging out with her favorite human; not getting brushed with the blue curry comb; apples.

 

So, their stories and thoughts and observations will be found over at the Patreon page I’ve established.

I’ve left some posts unlocked, so that those who are not familiar with my writing style can have a sample of what I’m offering before they subscribe.  You can find the unlocked posts here, where you’ll also be able to learn about the different tiers and what they have to offer.

Feel free to take a look.

Best wishes.

So, it’s Henry the Gray’s tenth birthday today…..

……and in the eight years that I’ve known him, he’s mellowed into a mildly sociable and funny personality.

Henry the Gray is my cat. This is him, trying to convince me that I want to give him my dinner.

Henry the Gray using mind control.
Henry the Gray using mind control.

Henry the Gray was not the most congenial of cats when I met him. At two, he was angry, aggressive and spoiled by his owner, who felt guilty for not spending time with him. Because Henry’s previous owner was moving and could not take him to the new place, she turned to me. I took him in. I couldn’t not take him in. If I didn’t, he would go to the pound or a shelter and aggressive animals don’t last long there.

After we established that I was his boss, Henry the Gray relaxed and took on the role of my watcher. He enjoyed surfing the internet with me (although I suspect it was the cursor on the computer screen that had his interest more than anything else). I would leave the local jazz station on when I left my apartment for the day and found him relaxed or sleeping when I came home.

Henry the Gray sleeping.
Henry the Gray sleeping.

When I decided to move back to my home town, Henry the Gray came with me. He loves to explore the garage and the back yard and has an on-going negotiation with another cat that has decided to make its home with us.

Henry the Gray (left) and Otis the Orange (right).
Henry the Gray (left) and Otis the Orange (right).

As a cat, Henry the Gray takes his duties very seriously. Whenever the kitchen waste-basket trash talks him, Henry the Gray takes it upon himself to establish who is boss.

Henry the Gray displays fierce hunting skills and asserts dominance.
Henry the Gray displays fierce hunting skills and asserts dominance.

Because I am concerned for his safety, Henry the Gray is not allowed outside on Halloween or the Fourth of July.

He does not approve of these rules.

Henry the Gray sulking because he is not allowed outside due to his safety.
Henry the Gray sulking because he is not allowed outside due to his safety.

It is amazing to me that he has grown to be such a funny and curious cat in the time I’ve become his human. His personal growth touches me and reminds me that we are all capable of such change, given patience, love, guidance and consistency.

Many Happy Returns of the Day, Henry the Gray.

Henry the Gray relaxing after a full day.
Henry the Gray relaxing after a full day.

So, you may recall that I have this horse……

…….named Best Bud Mare, and we discuss a lot of things. A couple of weeks ago, because I happened to be wearing a Dodgers ball cap, we got to talking about baseball, which happens to be one of my favorite non-equine related sports. I have a few favorite teams (Dodgers, Angels, Cubs), but I’m more interested in the game itself than who wins.

I tried explaining this sport to Best Bud Mare, who immediately loved the concept of running the bases and between the infield and the outfield. But she had a hard time understanding the need for a bat and why you had to hit a ball to run.

Best Bud Mare: I don’t get it. Why do you need to hit a ball with a stick?

Me: So that you can run the bases. And then the other team has to run to catch the ball.

Best Bud Mare: That makes no sense. If you want to run, you should run.

Me: Hey, I don’t make the rules. Talk to the umpire about that.

Best Bud Mare: Umpire? Do you mean to tell me that the game is run by blood-sucking umpires?

Me: Um, no, you’re thinking vampires.

Best Bud Mare: (panicked, not hearing) No wonder you need wooden sticks to play this game! So that you can stake the umpires!

Me: (shaking head, gives up trying to explain the difference between umpires and vampires)

It took awhile to calm Best Bud Mare down. Once she realized that umpires are NOT vampires and that bats are not used to stake them, she became quite interested.

Best Bud Mare: Why is it called baseball?

Me: I think it’s because when you hit the ball, you run to a base.

Best Bud Mare: Oh. (thinks) Can we play?

Me: We need two teams. And a field.

Best Bud Mare: Oh. (thinks some more) What’s a team?

I can see that this is going to be a little more detailed than I’d originally thought. So, I tried to explain baseball teams to Best Bud Mare.

Best Bud Mare: You mean there are teams of two and they pull wagons, like horses?

Me: Um, no. Wrong kind of team.

Best Bud Mare: Ah.

Me: So, anyway, there are different baseball teams and they have names like the Cubs, or the Dodgers or the White Sox or the Phillies….

Best Bud Mare: Ah-ha!!! So there are horses in baseball!

Me: Um, no. Wrong kind of filly.

She wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day after that.

So, I have this horse…….

…….and, as happens on occasion, I pondered Life, the Universe and Everything with Best Bud Mare and came to this conclusion.

Me: You know, the only thing better than being surrounded by horses and good friends is being surrounded by books.

Best Bud Mare: Yup, this is true. (pause) What’s a book?

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