Tag Archives: animals

2047. Animal Farm

Farmer Jack loved animals, and had all sorts of different mammals on his farm.

He had goats which were alright. Goats were the most common farm animals around the world apparently. He could see why but they simply were not at the top of his list.

He had cattle, but they were not the normal cattle beasts. He had a breed of oxen that had been originally bred to pull heavy machinery in the old days. Personally he found them too strong altogether, and difficult to manage, but they were certainly a talking point with anyone who dared get involved with them.

Sheep were smelly; oily and smelly. In fact they were a lot of work. They had to be shorn and crutched and so on. To get them even to the lamb stage was a substantial hassle.

Pigs, like sheep, were smelly. He had only a few and it was a good way to get rid of household scraps.

Then he had horses. Horses were his favourite. Horses were wonderful! It warmed the cockles of his heart to see horses cavorting in the fields. Yes! Of all the animals on his farm, horse meat was definitely his favourite and the tastiest.

1792. The Gentle Redneck

(This will be the second of two postings today because I’m fixing up the numbering system and having two postings on one day is the easiest way to do it! Sorry about that – I usually have a personal rule of only one posting a day!)

I hate it when people call me a “Gentle Redneck”. Just because I live in the foothills of North Carolina doesn’t mean to say I’m a Redneck.

Glad to have got that off my chest, but it’s not what this story is about. This story is about how I like to shoot animals and birds. I used to keep a list of the critters I shot, but now I do it just for the heck of it. So it doesn’t matter about keeping a list.

My favorite was the Bearded Screech-Owl. I shot it down in Mexico a couple of years ago. Had to wait up all night for it to make an appearance, and when it appeared I was pretty pleased with the result. I have it now on a shelf in my billiard room. It takes pride of place and I like to think it supervises the billiard games with my buddies. It’s endangered as you might know and there weren’t (back then) many of them left. Being quite small it provided me with quite a challenge.

I’ve shot some quite big animals too; polar bears for example. And not just mammals from North America. I got literally dozens of koala bears when I was visiting Australia. In Madagascar I was lucky enough to get several varieties of lemur.

I used to have a really good one of a New Zealand kiwi. It was stuffed by a “talented” niece. I seem to have misplaced it. I don’t know where it is now. I like to keep an eye out for endangered species. Sometimes the scientists do a cull as part of the breeding program. Don’t ask me how that works but apparently it does. If I find out that a cull is going to happen I step in and ask if they would mind me shooting a few first. I’ve never been turned down.

So there you have it. I’ve shot dozens of creatures over the years. The highlight was when the National Geographic used a photo I shot in the Amazon of a three-toed sloth. That shot got an honorable mention from the Photography Society that I belong to.

1773. After the pandemic

It was only a few years after the pandemic that swept Planet Earth. No, not the Coronavirus (Covid-19) several hundred years earlier, but a new and far more fearsome pandemic. Without warning, like a tidal wave of infection, it swept through the world’s population, killing them, and leaving only half a dozen or so humans, who had some sort of natural immunity, on each continent.

What a dream come true to have the whole of the North American continent almost to oneself! What a wondrous fantasy come true to set ones bed up in a corner of St. Peter’s in Rome and be able to say, “This is my bedroom”! When a vehicle ran out of gas, it was easy: just pick up another limousine!

Oh, but the stench! The several dozen on the planet inevitably wore face masks for a few weeks to facilitate breathing. What a happy thing it was when quite by accident a survivor bumped into another survivor! One couple early on were even able to start a new family.

Don’t think that these survivors were irresponsible creatures who didn’t give a hoot about others. One of the first things each did, almost automatically, was to wander through farms and zoological gardens and open gates and doors. That way the animals were free to fend for themselves and not be enclosed and starve to death. Of course, there were so few people that only a small percentage of animals were freed, but it was enough.

Time ticked on and new families began to form. How marvellous to have no pollution. The growing populations didn’t just sit on their haunches and do nothing. They learned to make their own flour and cider and everything else.

But the freed animals from farms and zoos also grew in numbers. They needed to eat. It didn’t take long for the tiny human populations to disappear.

Without humans the planet thrived.

1709. Molly, the last of her kind

It was a sad day when the animal known as Molly died in the zoo. She was the last known specimen of her kind. For years thousands of visitors would line up to view “MOLLY, THE LAST OF HER KIND.” No one was exactly sure what evolutionary line she belonged to, although scientists had categorized her all over the show. They definitely knew her to be some sort of mammal.

The zoo had hoped to start a breeding program. Fairly early on there were two females and two males, but the males and females seemed to show little interest in one another. Then three of them died of some unknown and sudden cause, and that left Molly on her own for what must have been a good thirty years.

And now she’s gone. Forever.

When the Spargundians invaded planet Earth and ruthlessly slaughtered the billions of what seemed to be an intelligent species, they took home only the four samples of the species. The proposed breeding program at the Spargundian Zoological Gardens didn’t pay off. The leader of the Spargundians has since decreed that when further planetary invasions take place, they must bring home a minimum of twelve intelligent specimens for a breeding program.

In the meantime, Molly is in the hands of a taxidermist getting stuffed.

1477. Selling up

That old lady, Mrs Tucker, has let her farm go to wrack and ruin. It used to be so well run, so orderly. These days, buildings are falling down; it’s under stocked with very few head of cattle; there are never any crops. I don’t know why she ever bothered to think she could farm the place. It was great while her husband was alive. And then her boy took over but he died in the flu epidemic way back. After that I don’t know what got into her head that she thought she could do it herself.

She is such a silly old lady. We hardly ever see her, and no one ever talks to her. She’s a bit weird really.

The other day I accidentally bumped into her in the grain shop. She said “Hello, Nigel”. I got a hell of a fright because I wouldn’t have thought she knew my name. And then she said she was hoping to sell off her remaining animals and then sell the farm all together. She said she didn’t know much about farming and had been doing her best since her husband and son had died, but the time had come to bite the bullet and sell up. So did I know how to go about selling the animals?

I said to her – I like to call a spade a spade – I said, lady if you don’t know how to do that after all these years then you never should’ve started. I’m not here to give free advice.

She said thank you and went on her way. Such a strange lady. A bit weird really, as I said. No wonder the farm’s so run down.

1161. Dreams of being a vet

Throughout his childhood, Bonito loved Nature. He collected leaves of different plants and pressed them. He knew their names, both Common and Latin. He had pet macaws, and bred them. He even had a pet chinchilla!

Throughout his adolescence his love of Nature never wavered. His parents had a few acres, and he was allowed to have an alpaca. He called it Juan Carlos.

It was a natural step, when he left school, to begin studies to become a vet. He would become a specialist in veterinary services for farm animals. How exciting it was to begin the course in Biology at the university!

In the second week, the students had to dissect a guinea pig each. That was the end of Bonito’s dream. He walked out of class and never came back.

1005. Dogs

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I love all animals, but especially dogs. I seem to relate to dogs. That’s why I run an animals shelter. All sorts of dogs come in here; unwanted dogs and puppies abandoned by their callous owners. The local city council helps by giving money for the food. Thank goodness.

Of course, not every dog is a purebred. Some people want only a purebred, and other people don’t seem to mind. I must admit I’m a natural; I love every dog to bits!

You’ve no idea how many dogs come in here. There are dozens every month. I’m practically bursting at the seams. It’s almost impossible to find enough suitable people to take and care for them as household pets.

Only this morning this man came and said he wanted a dog. I said, there they all are. Pick one. And what did he do? He picked a girl dog. A girl is no good, I said, you wouldn’t understand her. You’ve no idea how a woman feels. You need to pick a boy dog. He said, but the boy dogs have all been operated on and I wouldn’t know how that feels either. Silly man. He left without taking a dog.

Then there was the toffee-nosed hoity-toity lady. She wanted a purebred. You could tell she wanted it so she could be la-de-da. I said, sorry madam, but there are simply no dogs currently available.

The little spotted dog is called “Measles”. A man selected him and said, “We’ll have to change the name”. Change the name! The dog is used to its name. There’s no way I would let him take it away to cruelly name-change.

So many people wanting dogs… Of course, I insist they do a basic two-week dog handling training before having a dog. And I like to personally inspect their yard to make sure it’s suitable for the breed of dog they want. Do they have children? Because if they do, bring them in so I can see if the children and dog are compatible. Also I insist a prospective owner visit five or six times first to test compatibility. It’s amazing how often people give up because they’re not suitable.

So many abandoned dogs! So few true dog lovers! Here comes a lady now. Goodness! She’s dropping off eleven unwanted puppies. Awwww! Aren’t they just sooooooo cute? I’ll have to give them names.