I had a missed call from Crystal, so naturally my heart sank a little.
This is a very bizarre facet of our friendship, but whenever I get a call from this dear barn bud, it's because something bad has happened. And it's very much likewise. We laugh about how she dreads phone calls from me because 9 out of 10 times it means:
World, meet little Annabelle, the newest and smallest addition to the Camp Allen herd!
She's already got one ear on me like she knows I'm trouble. She's not wrong. I'll be stuck to her tiny little side all summer.
She's momma's little mini-me. Major emphasis to little and mini, because this baby horse is 22 inches tall and 20 pounds.
This little baby had a very busy first 12 hours of life, what with learning how to get those tiny legs to walk ...
and learning how to eat ...
and learning how to smell funny things ...
and learning how to manage a stall full of horse obsessed bi-peds who won't leave her alone.
And maybe also how to deal with couple of stinky fellow quadrupeds who are so dang curious they about had anxiety attacks (okay so maybe only the curly headed one had the anxiety and the other one kept his cool).
They're like, "Plz let us in?"
Seriously, Bowie just whiiiiiiiiined and whined. He wanted to see the baby so bad. He truly has a nurturing side. He licks Howie incessantly and once we got him a toy chicken that played a recording of a chicken. Not a squeaker, a recording. He so tenderly carried that thing around, basically weeping, and finally went and sat by the door like he knew his little baby needed to go outside. It was tragic. So Kenton performed surgery on the chicken and removed the recording device so B would feel a little more permission to obliterate his chicken with joy. Mission accomplished. That chicken is now in Bowie toy heaven along with a fluffy hedge hog and camo armadillo. RIP B's favorites. Anyway, back to cute horses and the baby whose face is smaller than my hand.
Little Annabelle is so special. She's so teeny tiny, looks just like her momma Fergie, and has THE MOST RIDICULOUS MANE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. It is CURLY. Like, RINGLETS. This is a never before seen for me, and confirmed even more rare because my horse expert pal Crystal has never seen it on a baby either. This picture doesn't do it justice. The curls are so fuzzy/tiny and little girl wouldn't stop moving so I couldn't get a good shot. But trust me, if you were having a horrible day and then saw this curly baby horse mane, things would be looking up.
Isn't her little face precious? Momma does a good job keeping that face nice and clean too. And baby likes it :)
Speaking of momma, isn't she striking? She's so pretty, and it's so special that she's a rescue and is enjoying a second chance at life.
It's been a big day and little Annabelle needs to sleep, but doesn't want to lay down. So with a little help from her friends, it's nap time.
Naptime is a good time for momma to give baby some love.
If you've never felt a horse's muzzle before, imagine the a mix of velvet and suede, only softer and warm. Horses use their lips like fingers, so in the photo below, Fergie is loving on her little baby with the softest, most caring touch she has. And look! You can see those little curls in these photos too!
But nap time is also a great time for momma to rest. She's done a big job today, and she's tired too.
This feels too sacred to intrude upon any further, so we all step out of the stall and let mom and baby rest together.
Soon though, momma's back up, because her work is never done.
But little A keeps sleeping, which is smart because goodness knows she'll need her rest as I'll be back to see her tomorrow!
So much gratitude to God who embellishes seasons of sanctification, like living in a cabin in the woods for three months, with little snippets of radical joy, like the day I got to hold a baby mini horse not 8 hours after she was born.
And so much gratitude for my dear friend Crystal, who called me with GOOD news, and who openly invites me into a life full of animals that I have dreamt of forever, and have now been given upon saying 'yes' to God and joining my husband in a season of summer camp assignment.
Hugs all around.