Tag Archives: animals

New Heifers and Matilda Becomes a Star!

It was still winter at the farm. The heifers had experienced the first snows of their lives. The first snow was pretty light around Christmas. Not really much to see then. The heifers wondered what it was, actually. They heard the man from the house call it snow – if not for that they really would not have known what to call it. The second snow was a big one! It came up quickly and covered the ground. The flakes were big and flat. There must have been visitors at the farm because several people came to give them treats the day of the big snow that they did not know.

There were also three new additions to the group of girls: Priscilla, Queenie and Rachel. They came to the farm after the second snow of the season. They were very standoffish. These heifers were also about the same size as Ophelia. So they were bigger than most of the girls. After their second day in the pasture, Ophelia took them aside and explained the rules. “Now listen up, ladies. This is the way it works around here. Every day one or more of the people from the big house come down here and give us treats. We like this. So you need to either be friendly and like them or you won’t be stayin’ here long. If you’re thinkin’ you won’t like bein’ friendly I suggest that you stay back from us that DO like it! Are we all on the same page?” Of course, Priscilla, who was the most outgoing of the three, quickly reassured Ophelia of her understanding and cooperation. “Ophelia, I am a bit shy but I will certainly try to overcome that to make the people from the house happy. And wow! We really get treats every day?” Her big brown eyes with the dark lashes twinkled and blinked in amazement at Ophelia. “Yes, we do. And we appreciate them every day!”

The other two heifers were still a bit unconvinced that they could actually trust the people from the house and Rachel voiced their concern in almost whispered, stuttering words “y-you mean y-you want u-us to-to, like, go u-u-up to them? L-l-let them p-pet u-us?” Queenie snorted and huffed as Rachel finished the question. Ophelia was quick to respond “Yes, we do. If you can’t do that then keep your distance from them. Only come up to the group when they are done putting out the treats and we’ve let them pet us and talk to us. Then you can come up and get your treats.” Queenie and Rachel huffed their agreement. Ophelia added “and if you are that scared, then talk to Lydia. She is not sure of the people either and she’s gotten over it so she can get treats first, too.”

The last snow fell but it was really not that much snow and it melted really quickly. The grass and the flowers had started to turn green. They finished off what would probably be their last bale of hay for the season. Then it was time to graze on the green grass of the pasture and laze in the sun in the afternoons.

One afternoon the lady from the house came to the pasture. She held an envelope in her hand. She was smiling a lot, too, and seemed to be more excited than usual. She put out the treats for the day and then she was petting the heifers and talking to them. When she got around to Matilda she gave the heifers the news – which was the cause for her excitement. “Matilda, we entered you in the Cheese Cowgirls competition and you won!! You get to go to California and train to be a Cheese Cowgirl. You’ll be in commercials and even some movies!” The heifers began to huff their excitement – but not too loudly because they didn’t want to scare the lady from the house. Of course, Heidi being the youngest she got a little more excited than the others and actually stood in the trough and voiced her excitement in a loud “MOOOOO!” The lady from the house just laughed and petted her and teased her for standing in the trough. Then the lady told Matilda “they are going to pick you up on Sunday for your trip. We’re all going to miss you! But get your bags packed and enjoy the next two days with the other heifers. We’re so proud of you!” Then the lady went back to the house for the day.

The next day the man from the first pasture and the boy from the house came to visit at treat time. They were saying how exciting it would be for Matilda and how proud they were. Of course, the heifers were gathered around Matilda – they didn’t want to miss one minute away from her before she left. They would chat and huff and then push each other around playing like little calves – though they were bigger now. Sunday the man from the first pasture and his son came to get Matilda. The lady from the house cried when she left the pasture because she knew she wouldn’t see Matilda again – except maybe in the commercials. But the lady seemed happy when she cried. The man from the first pasture and his son loaded Matilda up after all the heifers said their goodbyes and off she went to be a star!

Chicken Olympics – Day 1

It was day 1 of the Chicken Olympics! The day dawned a bit grey. The clouds held the temperature to a cool 43 degrees and the breath from their beaks formed small tendrils of smoke. The Marion Young team laughed and joked between themselves, with Donny blowing smoke rings in the cold, wet air. Jack ribbed him about being so full of hot air.

On the other side of the track the Northwoods team stoically walked around stretching. Last evening, they went a little overboard at The Coop. Oakley, Cedric, and Mabel were still sick to their stomachs. Maybe they had a bit too much feed last night.

The track was almost humming its excitement and the spirit of the competition gave the air an extra zing of life. You could hear the chuckles and cackles and the occasional crow of the teams and the crowd as they trickled into the stadium.

Over to the south end of the track, you could see the Collegiate team warming up for the first races. The relays were first on the schedule so they were practicing handoffs. Tex, Red, “Frogger” (named for his hopping ability), and Ollie were handing off the multi-colored baton at intervals alongside the track. Their coach, Penny, was yelling encouragement and some words of critique as they moved along.

On the east side of the track, the Stillhouse team moved slowly onto the field. This was their first time to the Olympics. Their faces showed the awe of the moment. Even their coach, Tudor, had a hard time hiding the awe on his face, though he’d been in the business for years. Addy, Rancho, and Bungie were twisting their heads back and forth looking at the stadium, the other competitors, and the growing crowd.

The announcers began to test the audio system. The ground crews were finishing the last of the setup of the equipment on the field. You could hear the rumble of the crowd as they made it past the ticket booths and onto the walkways of the stands. You could smell the hot corn cobs, fried worms, and fresh grass nachos from the concession stands scattered throughout the stadium.

There were 10 teams represented at the Olympics this year. The chickens came from all across the world and represented all breeds of chickens. Countless hours of training and hard work were at stake here. Reputations were to be made or crushed. Records sat waiting to be broken. The papers held the full listing of participants and the records from past Olympics. The press anticipated a sold out day for the sporting events. It was rumored that the biggest chicken farms would be here looking for their next sponsorship target, their latest spokeschicken, and the next big athlete to represent them in the Pro Barn games. The Pro Barn games involved more than just chicken events and were the greatest sporting events of all time in the animal world. They even had a Miss Chicken Olympics contest that evening to crown the next beauty queen for the world of chickens.

 

To Be Continued…

Frank & Frangelica Unofficial First Date

Last time we saw Frank and Frangelica they were talking after physics class. Their friends Georgia and Corey were busy flirting with each other so they took the time to talk. Frank had hoped that Corey had been talking to Georgia about plans for the weekend so that he might be able to get Frangelica to go out, too.

After Frangelica and Georgia walked off Frank said to Corey “Hey, what were you two talking about? Were you making plans to hang out this weekend?” Corey eyed Frank a bit slyly. “Hmm, I think someone has a crush on the new girl!” Then Corey laughed out loud while Frank blushed just enough to notice. Then he punched Corey in the arm. “Just tell me if you were making plans, dude!” Frank didn’t want to answer any questions about his conversation with Frangelica. Corey then told Frank that he and Georgia had talked about getting a group together at a friend’s house and watching movies on Friday night. “So, Mr. Suave Franky, Georgia is going to see if Frangelica will come. Maybe you want to join the party?” Corey loved to tease Frank. “Heck, yeah, I wanna come to the party! Are you crazy? Besides it’ll be fun to hang out with everybody – we haven’t done something like this in a while. If she makes the party that’s great – just icing on the cake”. Frank tried to sound like it was no big deal to him. But inside he was nervous and wondered if Frangelica would come to the party. Then he wondered what he would do if she did come to the party. What would they talk about? What was he going to wear? Maybe he should get some new jeans or boots to wear. Would they really have anything in common?

Help Cleaning the Bookshelf

Tori sat on the futon watching Mom type on the computer – again. She had watched her type for quite a while now. Over the last weeks Mom had been doing a lot of cleaning out of stuff. There were piles all over the house. “Thank goodness none of my stuff is in the piles!” thought Tori.

“But, I am just sitting here. And I am bored. Last week I watched her take all the books off the shelf and put some in a pile. Maybe I can help with that”. So Tori walked over to the bookshelf and hopped onto the second shelf from the bottom. Then she proceeded to use her paw to hook each book and push it to the edge of the shelf. Sometimes she needed to give it an extra push to make it fall over the edge. “This is kind of fun! I can watch each one fall over the edge and plop onto the floor!”. Tori kept doing this until almost all the books were gone. Then she looked up at Mom and said “Hey, Mom, did you see what I did? Is this helping?”. Well, Mom just laughed at her and said “Tori, Tori”. So Tori took that as affirmative – she was doing the right thing. She went back to knocking each book off the shelf until there were none left. Then she wandered off bored again.

Before Heidi Met the Back Pasture Heifers

Heidi wandered around the pasture, stopping to chat once in a while with some of the cows. She took a moment to exchange some hellos with the new calf. The two new bulls were a bit too excited and playful for her to approach today. Sometimes, when she felt a bit more childish she would join in their fun – especially when the other calf did. Heidi is the only heifer in the pasture now. Soon she will be moving to the back pasture with the other 5 heifers. In the meantime, she is enjoying the big pasture and all of the cows to talk to.

The man on the vehicle came out today with the lady and a new person – a cute little girl. Of course, the lady is one of Heidi’s favorites. She gives good head scratches! But it has been a while since Heidi has seen her. So she is a little timid in approaching them today. Heidi walks up to them. The little girl is a bit louder than the man and the lady normally are but she isn’t scared. She knows that the man won’t let anything bad happen to her. The lady has this box and she keeps putting it up to her face. Heidi wonders what that is. But she approaches slowly. The lady holds out her hand for Heidi to sniff. “Yep, it’s the lady! The head scratching can begin!!” Heid says excitedly. The calf and the two bulls are watching curiously but don’t even think about approaching. Heidi turns slightly to them – not wanting the lose the scratching hand – and says “you should really check this out. It feels pretty good to have your head scratched. And if you move your head around she’ll scratch just where you want her to!”. Of course, the little ones weren’t so trusting.

The other cows sat or stood sedately around just watching the man, little girl, the lady, and Heidi. The bulls got up to wander off to the cows or to keep some distance. They weren’t sure that Heidi was all there. She was really friendly and sometimes didn’t seem scared of things that she should have been scared of. So they were a bit leery of her and her adventures.

Heidi wandered around to the back of the vehicle to scratch her head on the metal. She watched the lady, the man and the other cows as she did. The lady got out of the vehicle with that box. She put it to her face several times and a light flashed from it. “I wonder what that box does???” thought Heidi. One of the bulls, only a month or so old, moved on over toward his mother. He wasn’t sure what the box was either and she seemed to be looking at him a lot. None of the cows seemed to pay much attention to the people so the other bull and the new calf  just wandered around a bit watching the crowd.

Heidi then noticed that the lady had come around the back of the vehicle. She didn’t have that box anymore. So Heidi decided to see if she would scratch her head again. Heidi leaned in and stuck her nose up for what they consider a kiss in the animal world – noses touching. Then she gladly closed her eyes and let the lady scratch her head. She was content. But then it came time for the lady to get back in the vehicle and them to go back to the house. Heidi guessed she would see them next time. She has lots of chatting to do now about them anyway…

Frank and Frangelica Meet

Frank is a teenage frog. He lives at the pond by the big house at the farm. Frank has a whole community of frog friends and neighbors, mostly because he has lived at this pond all of his life. So he knows every branch, fish, lily pad, and any other animal you can think of that lives on the farm and visits the pool. He even knows the back pasture heifers. Frank grew up in a fairly large family, as frog families go. He was the third of 7 frogs born to Firenza and Fortney. So he has watched his older siblings grow up and watched their antics, too. Frank is a smart frog. He makes good grades, As& Bs, at frog school. He competes in frog water polo on the school team. He is quite the accomplished player but doesn’t want to pursue polo after high school. He likes living at the pond and can’t imagine moving away. He has had the opportunity to visit other ponds and enjoyed the travel.

One day at school a new frog joined the class. Her name was Frangelica. She was from another pond in the county that had some algae problems so they had to move to this pond. Frank’s first reaction was “gosh, she is cuter than a baby tadpole”. He was drawn to her dark brown eyes and long black lashes. Frangelica tended to look down and you could almost see her blush. But when she laughed her eyes lit up! Frank got up the courage to introduce himself to Frangelica a few days later after physics class.

Frangelica had another frog, Georgia, as a lab partner and Georgia, liking to flirt with Frank’s lab partner, Corey, had walked up to their table just as the bell rang. While Georgia and Corey flirted Frank asked Frangelica “so how do you like the pond?” Frangelica, again with her eyes looking down and blushing, replied “I like it a lot so far. There are more teenage frogs here than in my previous pond so that is more fun. Plus, we have a great little house just off the pond but you can see it from our front windows and my bedroom window.” Frank was so awed by Frangelica that he stumbled over his next words. “So, uh, well, then, are you going to do any sports or UIL events? I play water polo….” “Oh, gosh!” Frank thought to himself. “That was so lame! She is going to think that I am totally brainless!” Yet, Frangelica was thinking to herself “Frank seems kinda cute in a nerdish but athletic way”. Frangelica told Frank “mmmm, right now I haven’t decided. I played volleyball and was a twirler at my other school. But I have to see how well I can do with my grades first. I promised my parents…” Frangelica’s parents took grades and school very seriously. Her older brother didn’t do so well when he was in school and he was still living at home, much to his parents dismay. Frangelica said “I may get a job, too. It would be nice to be able to buy my own shoes and have money to hang out with friends.” She blushed again as she said “I have about 30 pair of shoes right now. My parents said they aren’t buying me any more of what they call frou-frou shoes – only the necessary ones”. Frangelica was obviously disappointed at this situation. Frank told Frangelica “I know what you mean about getting a job. I want to get one so that I can get a vehicle. My parents, with 4 other frogs at home to raise, can’t afford to buy me one and give me money to hang out and for gas”.

Frangelica then noticed that it was getting time for the next class bell and she didn’t want to be tardy to her next class. Georgia and Corey were still flirting. So she said to Frank “guess I will see you in class Monday. I’ve got to get Georgia and get to our next class.” Frank nodded ok quite dazed. He certainly hoped that he would get to talk to Frangelica on Monday. In fact, he might ask Corey what he and Georgia talked about. They may have been making plans for the weekend and maybe he could get Frangelica to go out as a group…

The Chicken Olympics, Day 1

There were 10 teams competing this year:

  • Farm Athletics Coopsters,
  • ProSport Chickens,
  • Coop Pros,
  • Big Pond Athletics,
  • Leghorn Athletics,
  • Crowers,
  • Eggers,
  • Fast Leg Athletics.

Each of the teams had participants in all of the events. There were some anticipated winners and some unknowns on the roster today. As the crowd filled in the stands and the crew completed the setup for the first races – relays – the teams lined up in the lanes and the judges lined the track. The gun sounded and the first leg of the 400 meter relays began. The seasoned competitors, team Leghorns and Big Pond Athletics were neck and neck for the first two laps on the track. Fast Leg Athletics were hot on their tracks for third place. The freshmen competitors, ProSport Chickens, were holding their own in fourth place. As the third lap drew to a close the Big Pond Athletics moved into first place by just a few paces and Fast Leg Athletics were tied with the Leghorns for second. At the mid-point of the last leg of the relay the ProSport Chickens overcame the other teams to move into second place. The crowd roared their support and cheered the teams thru the final leg. The anchor for the Big Pond Athletics broke thru the finish line with the ProSport Chickens hot on their feet. Now the teams would wait for the presentation of the medals.

Next came the 100 meter hurdles. The Coop Pros had their ace hurdler on the ground for the competition today. Cracker was known for his long legs and ability to almost fly over the hurdles – though flying was against the rules. Several times he had been evaluated post-race because of his great agility in the race. “Frogger” from the Chicken Athletics was rumored to be serious competition for Cracker. The chickens lined up at the starting line. The crowd began to cackle loudly and had to be reminded over the loudspeakers to quiet down so that the runners could hear the starting gun. And they were off!! It was a short race lasting only a couple of minutes but it seemed long to the crowd as they watched Cracker and “Frogger” go beak to beak toward the finish line. At the last second “Frogger” broke thru the tape and lifted his wings in celebration of his win. The crowd went wild with cackling, crowing and wing flapping. Corn flew over the crowd as the chickens jumped in excitement spilling their snacks. Next up were the field events…