In the spring of 2021, I drove home from work one evening to find an intruder at the entrance to our farm. It was down in the ditch and I got out of my truck to see if it was hurt. He was as white as snow with the bluest eyes I have ever seen. It did not make a sound but looked up at me with a silly look that made me feel like I was bothering him. At the supper table, I shared my story and both my wife and son. They had also seen him as well and we wondered were in the world he had come from.
In a few days he showed up around our horse barn ,and again made himself very much at home. He was very smart and quick to learn that our red Rhino side by side was to be associated with good things to eat. He loved eating the horse feed we would put on the ground and loved carrots as much as the horses. We were quite amused as he waddled into the horse barn in front of us at times keeping us from working. If we yelled at him, he would get honked off at us and honked loudly right back at us. We knew he was gonna fit in real well around our place. He made us laugh many times as the summer went by.
I looked forward to seeing him as I went over to check in and on the horses. As we filled the horse water trough he soon taught us to fill a nearby puddle up and he would take a bath in the dirty water even though a pristine lake was close.
The lake was where he spent his nights At dark, he was very sure to go down and spend the night on the water as not to be easy prey to a bobcat or coyote. I feel silly telling you this but I worried about him and prayed for him along with our other critters.
The horses seem to like him as well. it looked silly but Silly would be right there a few feet from 4 or 5 horses. I think he knew nothing would dare to come around or after him when he was with his strong and powerful friends. His best friend was an older mare named Wish. She loves her grain and is quite selfish about sharing and shows great hostility as another horse tries to eat her fair share. She allowed Silly time after time to be eating with her and his bill would be inches from her mouth as they dined happily together. I will always wonder why this old gal took him under her wing . It sure went against the grain( pun intended).
He was with us all summer long. it was a Saturday evening the last time I saw him. I fed him and as I drove down to the lake he waddled down the hill. I was needing to get up the hill and to our house to get dressed for a wedding reception. As my wife and I were driving there , I told her I might have to build a cage for him for protection when our lake freezes over. The next morning I was sad when he did not come to meet me. I had yet a little hope as I thought he might be in the barn asleep in the hay . I saw a beautiful long white fluffy feather on the ground by the overturned boat he used often as a podium. In my office I have a fake book in which I keep things precious to me . In there are things such as pictures my sons drew or even notes they sent to me years later when far from home. Yes, that is where keep that Silly thing.
I am not sure what ever happened. We had seen an eagle near our farm a few days earlier. my heart sunk when I goggled that as a possible explanation. I still have hope that that maybe it was just time for him to move on . Online I learned that that is about the time when geese migrate south. We all talk about him from time to time and discuss just how awesome if he is alive and well and hope that he remembers us with fondness as well. It would be even better if he would bring his family or friends back here to spend the summer.
The other day I was up at the horse barn. I was bending over at the waist about to pick up a red bucket. I stood up and listened . My heart skipped a beat as I was sure what I had heard. The honking got louder and louder. Do you think ?
I prayed for him if he is still alive. I then thanked him not only for Silly but for all the critters he has allowed us to have known and loved down through the years. I thanked God then for all my human friends. I praised Him for the ones I have now as well as for those who have passed on or those who were a part of my life for even a short while. They are are a part of us and are a part of who we have come to be so far. I believe that anything that makes you think of God is a good thing.
I watched two Canadian geese come low over the barn flying low and in close formation and make a perfect water landing in unison down on our lake. They had came out of the blue and I enjoyed their air show , I felt a little blue and my heart remembered our own family friend.
After I raised my head and opened my eyes , I saw the coolest thing. I wish I had a picture to show you. All the other horse were grazing. Wish was still watching the geese, perhaps wishing her old buddy would come back as well.
Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you prove it wasn't a dream.
If fate clips your wings and cast you on the humbler plains of life, be a hero there. Billy Sunday
Certain thoughts are prayer. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.