A Foal’s Life

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Jo’s Magic is meeting all kinds of fellow "critters" on Chris and Tabitha’s farm. There is a big grey tomcat ("Fraidycat") who calls the barn home, and who likes to follow the horses and sleep wherever they’ve been lying down. Fraidycat thinks it’s terrific to have the mare and filly in the usually-empty front pen, so close to his barn.

Sydney, the farm Blue Heeler, is Jo’s introduction to dogs. Sydney and Fraidycat are best friends–unless Chris comes anywhere near, at which point Sydney pretends to harass the cat. She isn’t pretending to harass the horses, though–she thinks it’s her duty to keep them herded in a small corner of their pastures. Sydney’s a house dog, so at least they don’t have to put up with her too much.

At night, Jo gets to listen to the constant howling of what seems like dozens (but is probably only three or four) of coyotes in the neighboring woods. The broodmares always let me know if the coyotes are too close–they pace their stalls at feeding time and leave half their dinner in the bin. I haven’t heard of any problems with horses or other livestock in the area, but it’s one more reason that I’m glad our little rejected filly has a new, protective guardian.

Jo also knows a raccoon that’s made his residence in the barn’s hayloft, and that scampers around the rafters when I lead the horses through the barn aisle to their stalls. I’ve seen cars pull up to the area and release raccoons from "safety" traps, so I guess it’s not surprising that we’re dealing with this unwanted resident. Fortunately, other than tipping over the feed containers every once in a while, he hasn’t caused any real trouble

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