The beginning of my story is ordinary enough. I once was a respected doctor in my hometown of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. Whenever I walked down the street, children and animals would follow behind me and all who saw me commented on what a clever man I was. I, of course, do not say this to be boastful; I am but a humble man who takes pride in healing those in need of care. Above all things, however, I enjoy caring for and taking in animals, and that is where the extraordinary part of my story begins.
I used to live with my sister Sarah on the edge of town, and I ran my office out of our house. At any given time, our home would be overflowing with different animals from the rabbits that lived in the linen closet to the mice that lived in the piano. Many of my patients were not pleased that they had to contend with my animals when they came to see me so I began losing patients.
Then one day, it was suggested to me that I should switch professions and become a doctor of animals instead. I brushed this off as nonsense; after all, surely there were veterinarians far more skilled than me. Why on earth would our town need another animal doctor? Then my parrot, who had overheard the conversation, spoke up. She told me that not only did she agree I should become a veterinarian, she could also teach me the language of animals so that I could become the greatest animal doctor there ever was.
Once I learned their languages, I went on a series of adventures all across the globe. After my latest expedition, I decided that I needed was a nice, quiet break away from everything. It was then that I learned about a wonderful place by the name of Storybook Farm. What intrigued me about this place was not just their wide assortment of animals, but the story behind their mission. I was impressed that their animals helped bring joy to the lives of those in need of emotional and physical healing. I sent word to them immediately and became a member of their family in January of this year.
Since my arrival, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. I adore the wide open pastures; the delicious food prepared for me each day and all of the friends I have made along the way. I am thankful for the kindness shown to me and all of the other horses, and I must say, moving here has been the best decision of my career.
Storybook Farm had another great Cowboy Roundup for the third year in a row. We polished our spurs and saddled up for some wild west fun. For all three nights of the roundup, cowboy grub was served by our friends at the Irish Bred Pub. The yummy menu included: shepherd’s pie, grilled chicken, potatoes, salad and cookies.
On the first night of the roundup, members from the Southeastern Raptor Center were able to come out and release four rehabilitated Barn Owls back into the wild. After that, all the head wranglers and cowpokes were entertained by real cowboys, Jared Humphry and Taylor Mcintosh, who did roping demonstrations out in the ring. Everyone also enjoyed Trent McFarland, the #1 rodeo clown in America, who put on an impressive show and even used his dog, Cowboy, to do some tricks.
The second night, before the cowboys did some roping in Paddington Station Arena, Bob Parsons from Walkabout Puppets performed a puppet show that brought down the house with his hilarious rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The cowboys and cowgirls also waded in the water panning for gold where they all found some nuggets to take home.
For the final night of the roundup, the cowboys graciously did roping out in the ring even in freezing temperatures. Along with panning for gold in the barn, the cowpokes also played snake in the boot. Everyone enjoyed plenty of hot chocolate throughout the night.
All three nights, Phillip Box of Box Forge demonstrated that not just anybody can make beauty out of a hunk of steel using only a large hammer and hot coals! He dazzled the children with amazing creations and some lucky kids took home handcrafted souvenirs - not to mention, the fire was a welcomed sight on a cold night! The hayride, bonfire, cowboy crafts and face painting were a hot ticket too.
About 300 head wranglers and cowpokes joined us and made bunches of memories in the process. Thank you so much to everyone who braved the weather to support Storybook!
Let the Spring Sessions Begin!!
This month we had two weeks of training for all the spring volunteers and enjoyed the first couple weeks of sessions with the riders on horseback. We are so excited to welcome eight new families to join the Storybook family this semester. The theme for this spring is centered around the Olympics, and each horse and rider represents a country. Sessions started off with the riders being introduced on horseback carrying their respective flag while that countries anthem was played. Then they collected items to pack in each horse’s suitcase around the ring. To wrap things up, everyone helped collect “flames” to light the torch at the opening ceremonies. It’s official now. Let the games begin….
Going for the Gold
Storybook’s theme for sessions this semester is the XXX Olympiad! Just like the athletes participating in the Games which begin on July 27th, the riders compete and earn points to win medals at Storybook Farm. Every $1 donated to each horse will earn them 1 point. As the points add up so will the medals. Visit the Going for the Gold page for more details on how the game works.
Storybook partnered with Vault Denim to host a trunk show at the Farm. Vault Denim sells overstocked designer jeans at discounted prices. Throughout the day, 400 pairs of jeans, shorts, capris and skirts were neatly stacked, tried on, stacked again, tried on, and on and on ...The final result? Only 350 jeans traveled back to Atlanta and the rest are now residing in local closets! All of these efforts raised almost $700 not to mention there are some pretty fancy jeans around town now. Thanks for sprucing up your wardrobes to help our riders! Look for more shows in the near future.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Horses at Storybook...VERY Happy!
We are so thankful for the very generous (and delicious!) gift we received from the Opelika Wal-Mart Distribution Center when they sent crates of apples to the Farm that had fallen off their truck. We received enough to feed the horses an apple a day for a very long time and even enough to enjoy ourselves and share with our riders and volunteers! The riders love giving treats to their horses after each session. A huge thanks to Brian Henderson and the Opelika Wal-Mart for their sweet gift.