Thursday, March 12, 2009


I think I came into the world loving animals. I remember Mother keeping little baby chicks in a box by the heater. We weren't allowed to play with them. And somewhere in my early memory, I see a very little piglet, all pink and noisily sucking a bottle, the milk running from his mouth. The runt was often separated from the litter and fed by hand. He was not strong enough to wiggle his little body in between his siblings to nurse.
I will not eat veal because I could not put it into my mouth without seeing the precious face of a calf like the ones who lived in our barn. Always curious, the sweet little muzzle would poke through the fence and if I extended my little girl finger, the calf's rough tongue gently wrapped and pulled it into his mouth where it was sucked like kids suck a candy cane.
I've read where the calves raised for veal are kept in a tiny space with no opportunity to run outside, kick up their heels and enjoy the short time before being killed.
Pam's Jack. I love this face.

Having always lived in rural areas, having grown up with animals, having had pets, dogs, cats, horses, I can't imagine living in a large city such as New York or Los Angeles. Like Barbara Mandrell, I was country when country wasn't cool. And I love the country life. It is a rich life where, with today's technology, I can enjoy my love of learning things I don't experience in my daily life, and I can enjoy the joys of nature that I see every day. Sitting on our deck we hear the donkeys a few miles down the road when they break into their afternoon braying that goes on and on.

Just a short drive takes us to a Lama farm where we can learn all about this animal who was not among our farm animals fifty years ago.

I can sit in my living room and see and hear the most beautiful voices in the world on my television set, or visit countries I'd love to see by simply tuning to the Travel Channel. It matters not where we live today. No longer are the children in most rural areas limited in their opportunities for education.

Our rural county, Clay, in NC has been rated one of the best school systems in the state. I think this proves that tons of money is not what makes a good school. It depends on good caring teachers, the community leaders and the parents who take time to be a part of their childrens' lives.
I wish more people cared for the animals in their lives. We face the euthanization of many dogs and cats in today's economy as families move away and leave their domestic pets because they can't feed them anymore or for whatever reasons. Owning a pet is a commitment that some folks don't take seriously. No one should take a dog or cat unless they plan to keep and care for that pet as long as the pet lives. If they cannot, for some reason, take care of the pet, the kind thing to do is turn the animal in to the local shelter or find a good home with someone they trust.
I believe the Creator meant for us, the more intelligent species, to care for those animals in our care. That is why I kept Pretty Thing, my 32 year old horse until her quality of life was gone. And putting her down was one of the saddest days of my life. I'll never forget it.
Those are the joys and the sorrows of rural living and I'd not want to change one thing about my country roots.

If you like cute photos of farm animals, visit Pam on


Brenda Kay Ledford said...


I love this posting about animals. When I was a child, Daddy had an ulcer on his stomach and got some goats so he could drink their milk. I loved the goats. They were so cute, but Mama didn't think too highly of them. When she hung the clothes on the line, they would eat the clothes. So Daddy had to get rid of the goats.

Anonymous said...

I love the country life too!
My Mother, sisters, brothers, and their families all live in metro Atlanta. It is like a whole different planet there.
After a visit up that way, I can't wait to get home. As I drive down my long secluded driveway, it is a relief. Peace and quite. Fresh air. It is home and where I am meant to be at this very moment in time.

I agree. I love Jack's face too!
Have a great day.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Pam, thanks for letting me use Jack's photo. Brenda, isn't it nice to live here in our beautiful rural setting?
Glad you both came by.