The Acts of my kind hearted kids

Back in February, we were in the middle of an extremely bad drought. One of the worst for 70 years, the dry days ground on, and the stream running through the centre of our farm dried up. Here and there were small pockets of water gradually vanishing as the weeks without rain dragged on.Even our dam down the back of the farm had completely dried up. One morning, my youngest Michelle vanished off for a few hours. She told me she was going down to the stream to check the water level. I hadn't noticed, she had also taken a bucket and a couple of old soft drink bottles with her. As lunch time drew near I called her up.

Up Michelle came with a bucket loaded with freshwater native Crayfish and a dozen or so native fish along with them. She said something about fish, but I thought initially they were eels.

It turned out that indeed they were native fish! And a land-locked population at that. This fish in the photo is known as a Banded Kokopu. We also indentifed a second species of fish called Inanga. Then Michelle mentioned there were yet more to be rescued from a rapidly evaporating pool of water.

 So Inaya joined in as well rescuing what many would see as just whitebait to stick in their fritters for breakfast. Actually, the presence of native fish and crayfish in the stream gives a good indicator on the state of the water quality. There were my kind hearted kids doing what they thought was right to help the fish and crayfish survive.

With all the fish and crays that could be found rescued, the kids released them into a deep part of the stream which still had plenty of water in it. Michelle would go down on a daily basis to monitor the water levels. We hope they did survive what was a tough dry summer for us all. I was glad when the first drops of rain fell. And yes while the great rescue operation was taking place, the Terrorist naturally had to supervise. One thing as a parent I do know. I've taught my kids to care, and that has made me smile - a lot.

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
Margaret Mead


My little dark shadow

 I have to admit it but since I've had Shadia, I've watched as she has transformed from being a nasty, angry and frightened little shadow of a horse into a more confident happier horse. I rarely now see her with her ears flat back, or trying to cause problems with the other little horses she runs with.

When she first arrived, Shadia was a shell of a horse, who didn't even know how to act around other horses. She made herself a real bundle of hell, fire and brimstone until Ranger and the old man put her soundly in her place. She was kept out of the group by both the larger geldings until she had learned her place. She's so much more trusting these days. She's still wild, and shaggy looking but I don't mind taking my time to turn her around. There's been a 100% improvement in her attitude. She's realising that none of us here on the farm are going to hurt her in any way.Abused animals always remember a bad experience, undoing her problems will take a lot of patience and time. Eventually I guess we will have a great little mare. I would be heartless to send her on to anyone else. We are her last chance. I think somehow she will die of old age here, rather than elsewhere. That will be a very long time. I really like her a lot. I just wish people who breed these little horses, put more thought into their decisions about breeding for the sake of breeding. The tragedy is for horses like Shadia, is that they end up with people who don't know what they are doing. and the result is a badly handled, poorly treated little horse nobody even wants to take on. Mini horses are beautiful, and need the right handling just like a bigger horse does. One thing I do know about this little horse. She is worth the time to get her right.


A feeble attempt to give me a case of the guilts

A rather patchy looking (my youngest child Michelle had been brushing out all the loose hair in said jersey cow's coat) Terrorist showed up and decided she should attempt to step up to come inside the house! She was firmly denied any access, reminded by me that cows do not belong inside my house thank you VERY much! I was slimed by her sandpaper tongue yuk.

After she was given her marching orders, the Terrorist nuisance decided to stand for a while and sulk. I'll be glad when the fencing is finished, so I don't get any more unwanted visits by said troublemaker for a while any way.

Oh dear with a look like that, it's definitely designed to make one feel utterly guilty.! No thanks I don't need a house cow. Not again - ever.