Issue: December 2018
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Next deadline: December 14

ANNIE’S LESSONS 101 ON LIFE

Written by
Published on January 2018

The silence of the early morning was interrupted with a loud noise.  After Baby rubbed the sleep from his eyes he could see that it was Joseph dancing around in his stall.

“What happened Joseph, for you to be making so much noise?” Baby asked.

Joseph didn’t answer as he continued dancing.

“JOSEPH!!!!!!”

“WHAT!!!!!!’ came the reply.

“What’s the matter?”

A fly decided to have me for breakfast.”

“You mean all that was just over a fly bite!  Joseph, you have been bitten before.”

“Oh, I know Baby, but not on the nose I haven’t!!!!”

Baby tried not to laugh as he watched Joseph rubbing his nose on the floor of his stall.  He hadn’t seen him move that fast in a long time.

“Does it hurt?” Baby asked.

“Mumble, mumble, mumble.”

“What did you say, Joseph?  I can’t understand you!!!”

There was nothing but a mumbling coming from Joseph.

“I SAID………….”

Baby didn’t hear another word.  All he saw was one side of Joseph’s nose was swollen as big as an egg.

Just then Scout wandered in to check things out.

“Oh, I see you got a big one.”

“A big what?” was Joseph’s reply.

Joseph’s eyes widened as he looked at Scout but for some reason he couldn’t see all of him.

“Baby, look at me.”  The same thing was happening as it did with Scout.

“What’s going on with my eyesight?” Joseph asked in a worried voice.

“Your eyesight is just fine.  You have a big egg on our nose which stops you from seeing clearly, Joseph.” Baby answered.

“That’s what I mean by the big one.  Looks like the work of one of those hornets, not a fly.” answered Scout.

“Oh, great!  Just great!  I am not going out today looking like this!” Joseph said.

“When did you start worrying about your looks, Joseph?”

“Yeah, that’s my job.” Annie piped up.

“Just like a girl.”  Joseph said as he was hoping Annie would leave it at that.

“Oh, Joseph, what a big nose you have.” Annie said as she got closer.

“All the better not to see you with, Annie.” grumbled Joseph.

“That wasn’t very nice Annie, to say about Joseph’s nose and Joseph the same goes for you.” TC said as she made her way into the little barn.

“TC, Joseph does have a big nose.  Can’t you see it?”

“Yes, Annie, I can see it but that doesn’t mean we have to make Joseph feel any worse than he already does. First, of all, what happened?  Do you know Annie?  TC asked.

“No.”

“Okay, we better find out then.”

Scout then explained what had taken place with Joseph.

“Can that happen to me?” Annie asked.

Baby smiled to himself as he thought about what Annie’s reaction would be if she got bitten.

“It certainly can, Annie.” TC answered.

“Then I guess I’ll stay in with Joseph.”

“That is so kind of you Annie, to keep him company.” remarked TC.

Annie looked down at the ground.

“What is it Annie?”

“I was staying in so I wouldn’t get bitten and my nose wouldn’t look like Joseph’s.”

“ANNIE!!!!  You just made Joseph feel even worse!”  shouted Baby.

“What??? What did I say?”

Scout looked at TC.

“She’s all yours.  I just left the building.” Scout said as he walked outside.

“et me tell you a little story Annie, that Missy told me once.  There was this horse that always said things about the other horses and was always hurting their feelings.  Do you understand what feelings are Annie?”

“Yes, I do.  It mans when someone says something that doesn’t make you feel good.”

“That’s right.”

“One afternoon the horses were having a game of tag and they didn’t want him to play because he might say something that might hurt their feelings.”

“What did the horse do?” asked Annie.

“Well, he went off to the side and watched all the other horses having fun.  Then one of the older horses came up to him and asked him how he felt.  He didn’t feel too good because his feelings were hurt.  From that day on the horse started thinking about how others may feel when he said something.”

“Did they like him after that?”

“Yes, Annie, they did and he was allowed to play in the games.”

Annie walked over to Joseph.

“I’m sorry you got a bite on the nose, Joseph.  I will stay in and keep you company if you want.”

“Are you are doing it for the right reasons?” TC asked.

“Yes, TC, I really want to be with Joseph.” Annie replied.

Scout, listening outside, walked back in.

“Missy would be so proud of you TC.”

?Remember the time she had to tell me that story Scout?” TC whispered.

Scout laughed and shook his head.

“Yup, we were just like Annie in some ways when we were young, weren’t we TC?”

“We certainly were Scout.  Some more than others.”

When the sun came out in the afternoon, Joseph decided going out might not be a bad idea after all.  He left the barn with Annie by his side.  The owners were working in the field next to Annie’s stall.

“I wonder what they are doing over there, Joseph?” asked Baby.

“Got me.  Maybe Scout knows.”

“Scout, what’s going on over there?”

“Looks like they are opening the field a bit more, Baby.”

“That will be good.  We will have more space to play.” Baby replied.

Sure enough, before they knew it the fence came down making the field much bigger.

“This will make you forget about your nose Joseph.  Let’s go exploring/”

Scout had seen so many fences removed that he continued grazing.  Annie, on the other hand………..

“Come and join us Annie.” Baby shouted.

Annie could see Baby and Joseph, but made no attempt to join them.

Annie could see Baby and Joseph, but made no attempt to join them.

“Do you think she heard me?” asked Baby.

“Oh yes, I have no doubt that she can.  She’s just doing that girl thing.” Joseph replied.

Annie continued to graze behind where the fence used to be.

“Joseph, I am not so sure.”

“What makes you say that Baby?”

“Just watch.  Annie stays on the other side.”

Annie continued to graze behind where the fence used to be.  “Joseph, I am not so sure.”

“What makes you say that Baby?”

“Just watch.  Annie stays on the other side.”

“Does she think that the fence is still there?”

“Maybe.  Let’s find out.”

“Come and join us Annie.” they both yelled.

“I will in just a minute.” Annie replied.

“What do you have to do that is more important than playing with us?” Baby wanted to know.

“Nothing, really.”

“Then come with us.”

“Not right now.  Later.  I’m just going to hang out here for a bit.”

“Why don’t we have a game of tag?  You’re it Annie.” Baby said as he reached out and touched Annie on the leg.  He wanted to show her that the fence was no longer there.

“WATCH OUT BABY!!!!!!”Annie yelled.

“Look out for what Annie?”

“The fence!!!”

“Annie, there is no fence there.  Do you see the fence?”

“I’m not sure.”

Baby was trying to think of a way to convince Annie when Joseph said, “Try and touch that stone by Baby’s hoof Annie.”

Annie stood looking at the stone wondering if she should try.  Little by little she inched her hoof towards the stone, then suddenly Annie pulls back.  Her hind legs were shaking with fear.

“We aren’t going to tell you to do something that is going to hurt you."

Annie, in her way, looked up to Baby and Joseph.  She didn’t think they would do anything to hurt her.  Then she saw Baby and Joseph nodding their heads saying no.  Annie then placed her hoofs firmly on the ground, partly closed her eyes and reached out for the stone.

“I did it!  I did it!” Annie shouted, jumping up and down.

“Why were you so afraid?” Baby asked.

“I don’t know why Baby.  I just was.  Maybe it had to do with trust.”

A few minutes later they had a game of tag in the new part of the field.

During the afternoon, there had been a lot of tractors passing the barn.  Scout put his nose in the air as high as it would go. 

“Oh, the sweet smell of new hay.” Scout said to himself.

Moments later a trailer load of hay arrived at the barn just before supper.  Everyone knew what was for supper tonight.

Well, all except Annie………

For whatever reason, the owners couldn’t find Annie’s feeding bowl.  Not wanting to keep her waiting while the others ate, they placed her grain in a spare bucket.  Annie looked at the bucket and jumped as far away from it as she could.

“Annie, it is just a bucket, like he one your water is in.” said Baby.                        

“I know.”

“Then why are you acting so afraid of it?”

“I can’t see the bottom.  I’m not putting my head in that dark hole.  Something might be in there.”  Annie answered

Baby looked at Joseph’s nose and said,

“Anything is possible.”

“I can show her.” Said Joseph.

I don’t think so Joseph, You will stuff your mouth and Annie won’t have any supper.” Baby replied as he walked to Annie.

“Look” Baby said as he stuck his head in the bucket and came out with a bit of grain in his mouth.

“See, I’m okay.  Now you try it Annie.  You only have to do it once to succeed.” Baby told her.

“What’s succeed?”

“Getting over your fear of this bucket.”

She took a deep breath and in she went.

“See, it wasn’t that bad, Annie.”

“Easy for you to say, Baby.”

“You did it and that’s what matters.”

“Are you saying I succeeded?”

“Yes, Annie, you did.”

Everyone, even Annie, was finished the grain when the fresh cut hay was served.  Now, Annie, on the other hand……

“Joseph, look at Annie.” Baby whispered.

Annie was doing circles around her hay.

“What is she doing?” Baby asked Joseph.

“I don’t really know but if she’s not going to eat that hay I sure can.”

“JOSEPHS!!!”

Scout was watching Annie as well.

“Oh, I had forgotten about this.” Scout said to himself.

“Scout, is Annie alright?” Baby wanted to know.

“Yes, Baby, just another hurdle.”

“Annie, are you going to eat the rest of your supper?” Scout asked.

“Don’t think so Scout.”

“Can you tell me what’s wrong with your hay?”

“It smells funny.  My hay this morning didn’t smell like this.”

“That’s because it was old hay from last summer and this is fresh off the field.”

“What that got to do with it?” Annie wanted to know.

“This hay has a fresh, sweet smell of clover and timothy.”

“No way.  I am not eating clover and Timothy!!!!”

“What do you think it is Annie?”

“I’m not really sure but I do know they aren’t going in my belly.”

“Annie, it’s only the names of some of the grass in the hay.  Just taste it.  Can you do that?”

Annie still wasn’t sure as she moved it around with her hoof.  “I have to trust Scout as well.” Annie said to herself as she quickly grabbed a piece and much to her surprise it tasted good.

“Good, isn’t it?”

Annie didn’t answer Scout.

“I guess that is a yes.”

Joseph was watching Annie as well. 

“Guess I won’t be getting any extra hay tonight.”

“Oh, Joseph!!!!”

Just then Murphy peeked down from the loft.

“Hey, Murphy, where have you been?” Baby asked.

“Sleeping in the tall grass in the new field and up here.”

“So, I guess you know everything that has been going on.”

“Heard and saw everything.” Was Murphy’s answer.  Annie looked up at Murphy.

“Is it right that cats have nine lives?”

“Yup.  I still have all nine and plan on keeping it that way.” Murphy said as he disappeared as fast as he came.

It had been a quiet day for TC but she still wanted to check on the Little Ones before bed.  Annie came running to TC to get a hug.

“Annie, what a day you have had with all that has happened.  I think we should call this day, “Growing Up 101”.

From the other corner came, “Maybe I shouldn’t say this but I’m proud of Annie too.  She acted just like a donkey should.” Joseph added.

“How so?” TC asked.

“Well, TC, she made sure that everything was safe before she tried anything.  You see us donkeys are cautious by nature.”

“Oh, Joseph!!!  You mean I passed the donkey test and I am a full donkey now? Annie shouted out.

“I wouldn’t go that far but you did pass the first donkey test 101.”

Everyone laughed and watched Annie as she paraded around feeling very proud of what she had achieved. 

“It’s bed time Little Ones and fast to sleep before too many more questions are asked.”

“TC’s right.” Scout added as he looked out his window thinking how the day had turned out, even Joseph’s nose had lost the egg and at the end of the day what matters most……being happy.

Good night TC.

Hi everyone.  We hope that you all have had a wonderful and safe summer.  Our Doctor Doubleday had a baby boy.  That was great news.  Oh, did we learn things this time!  We learned that we can hurt other people by what we say.  We have to trust that someone is not going to tell us things that won’t hurt us.  Trusting is sometimes hard as well.  Next time our story will be about Saying Good Bye.  See you then.

Baby, Joseph, Scout and Little Annie

Uniacke Newsletter
2018-01-16
https://www.uniackenewsletter.ca/stories/annies-lessons-101-on-life