Getting out of the back of the truck I stood in at a ranch
that was set back from the dirt road
just enough to be completely shaded by the biggest oak
tree I had ever seen.
The house was square with a rusty old screened in porch that went all the way around.
I found out later it was built around 1860 and was completely constructed with square nails.
To the left was a very impressive
carriage barn with several vacant
I could tell by the ware on the wood of these stalls
that at some time in the past
this now quiet barn was a very active and important part of life on this ranch.
The trunk of the oak tree was the corner of a fenced off section, out from one of the stalls strolls a huge cow.
It was the biggest animal I had ever seen.
This cow comes right towards me as if we knew each other.
I step back away from the fence thinking what it wants.
She lifted her head enough to get it between the top and second fence rail
which was good because she was still moving forward
when she bumped the fence and it strained and squeaked trying to hold her as she pushed that enormous head towards me
Rodger said that's daisy Rodger
Seemed like everything daisy did was in slow motion
and I was fascinated by the gentle animal...
We became close friends over the next couple of years
and she marked the beginning of my life long affection love and understanding of animals.
Over time, I managed to explore every inch of that place.
Today I am proud of the knowledge I have about the place that I call home.
Well a couple summers went by
and Kenny asked me to go with him to help his brother over at the ranch of course I went.
While Kenny was talking with Roger, I went to hang out with Daisy.
Standing at the pen I though how strange.
For the last two years since we met, whenever I was around the ranch she was at the fence watching me.
I looked for the gate to be opened but it wasn't
so I went into the barn and there she was,
I walk up talking to her and shaking the bucket of apples
but she didn't move
Daisy's head was stuffed into the corner of the barn like she was frightened.
I drop the pail thinking something is wrong and I have to tell Roger.
I ran as fast as I could out the barn accost the pen
and normally I would go over the fence
but I was in far too big of a hurry
so I dove on me belly and slid right under the thing.
I ran around to the front of the house and up on the porch.
Where's everybody I yell as my eyes searched the house in seconds.
They’re not in the house maybe the fruit shed!!!
As I leap
off the porch on the other side of the house,
The vet I see explains what is wrong with Daisy and sends me in to a fright before my feet even hit the ground.
Temporarily hidden in a cloud of dust I hear the silence of death.
I took off for home, about an hour's walk through the woods
but it took me all day for some reason.
I remember walking in the house well past dark.
I knew my mom would be worried sick.
I was never home past dark without telling her.
Mom and I had a deal.
I could leave in the morning and be gone all day without checking in.
but I had to be home by dark without fail.
When I came in the house, my mom was standing in the kitchen with her arms out
and I broke down in tears while she hugged me.
Mom said Kenny came by and told her what had happened.
The next thing I know it's morning.
For the first time in my life
I entered the day with a huge hole in my heart
that only a day before wasn't there.
That's when I was acquainted with the feelings of loss.
Over the years I have acquired many of these holes
and before my time is up their will be plenty more.
Some of the lessons life taught me come from love and happiness
and some come from love and sadness.
I think they are equally important teachers.