Thursday, November 4, 2010

Piggy Tales: Barnyard surprise and a true friend

I was hopeless when I was growing up. Okay, let me clarify that.  If you were to ask my mom, I'm sure she would tell you something different, but I was hopelessly crazy about animals.  

My cat Marion
First it was a gerbil or hamster named Mickey when we lived in Okinawa, then in Kansas we always had cats roaming the barn, a cow in the pasture, rabbits, dogs, chickens, and let's not forget all those strays that I wasn't supposed to feed. Mom even used to let me fix birthday cakes for my cats! (Yes that is a Farrah Fawcett t-shirt I have on - loved Charlie's Angels)

Have you ever heard a young child ask for a pony or horse for their birthday?  I must have asked every year, from the time I realized what they were, for one, but knowing it wasn't going to happen.  Doesn't hurt to ask! Every year I was met with a smile and nod from my mom.  She was probably thinking - "Yeah right!"  That's what I would have told my kids.  I exhausted the library of almost every book about them, and have the whole series of The Black Stallion.  My favorite book was The Blind Connemara by the same author who wrote the Billy and Blaze book series.
That day when I got off the bus, I had no idea my life was about to change.  My parents told me they had a surprise in the barn for me.  Right away I knew that it had to be Pansy, my Grandma Wilson's milk cow, probably had calved while I was at school.  It's always fun to play with the new calves - let them suck on your fingers, or watch them attempting to stand on wobbly, untried feet.  So I headed out the door, but they stopped me about 1/2 way to the barn and put a blind fold on me.  Now I was really curious!  What could be the big deal about a new calf? As I was guided to the barn, the pungent odors of the straw and cow manure excited my senses. Once inside the barn, they positioned me facing the milking stall, where I could hear Grandma talking in low tones and the rustling of straw.  "On the count of three, open your eyes," Mom said as she removed the bandanna... I must have screamed of something, because there before me was the most beautiful 3 yr. old Palomino horse I'd seen! I was a little nervous about getting on her that day, and if you want to read about how that adventure turned out, check it out in my other post.

Have you ever had a friend of the heart - someone that knew all your secrets and life and didn't tell anyone?  Katie was that person for me. I never actually met her or even saw a picture of her. but I could see her physical features in my mind.  She was my best friend from 3rd grade, all the way up until a few months after I had our first child, when we stopped communicating.  I have thought of her many times, have written her, but the busyness of life took their tool, and our relationship slowly came to an end. I have mourned that loss and have been tempted to pick it back up.  I'm crazy huh?  I mean really with the age of the www and Facebook, surely I should be able to locate her, right?  I actually know where she is, but she has suffered much neglect.  You see, she resides in my attic, as well as in my heart, because Katie was the name of the person I fabricated and wrote to in my cream colored, locking blank book - my journal. By giving her a name, I felt more free to write my thoughts as if someone real person were going to read them and so began my life-long love affair with writing and my fictional friend, Katie.  

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If you would like to read more Piggy Tales from other ladies, click on over to Mommy's Piggy Tales.   If you would like to join in and start recording your own Piggy Tales, contact Jana at Mommy's Piggy Tales to find out how  (jannajoy25 (at) she has a third session starting up in February.  If for some reason you missed any of my previous posts, you can find them here.


Rachel said...

So many kids (including mine) ask for a horse . . . but how many kids actually GET one? How cool!

Anonymous said...

I asked for a pony ALL the time, but with a front yard the size of a postage stamp, it wasn't going to happen. That's so exciting that your dream came true! As for getting back in touch with your childhood "friend", I say go for it. Writing in a journal is good for the soul!

Janna said...

I was never an animal lover but I do love the zoo. If I could have an exotic animal I would.

Love all the imagery in your post. I just wrote about journaling today and the comfort it is to me. I understand your need to talk to "katie"