At the Pro Farm you never knew what you were going to see or what you might experience. During the years we lived on the animal farm we had many interesting animals. Because of the way the animal’s lives started they adapted to their environment and acted differently than their breed or they just had extraordinary traits or instincts. There are animals amazing animals that lived with us during those years; a duck, a rabbit, a dog, a cat, and a tree frog.
Lady Wrestler of the 60's and 70's
Growing up we had a duck we called Lady Donovan. She was called Lady Donovan after a wrestler we watched on WWWF in the late 60's and early 70's. The woman, Lady Donovan was the valet/manager of Dandy Jack Donovan. Her real name was Verne Bottoms. Lady Donovan, the person, was sassy and tough.
Number and Size of the Eggs
Lady Donovan had a great success rate of hatching all her eggs. If she took on a project, she would finish it well. She would come off her nest followed by five little ducklings right behind her and a single file line of three following behind those five. She usually hatched seven to ten little ones each hatching. What was most interesting, is that it did not matter to her what kind of egg was put under her to hatch.
My father loved to name our animals according to their personality. This Muscovy duck was sassy, tough and the best of Mothers. Lady Donovan was the duck who got all the eggs that were deserted by young mother's, orphaned, or from nests that had too many eggs.
The Duck's Bill
Now, the trick was getting that egg under her. She was known to pinch if she felt threatened. If you have looked at a duck's beak there is a little bead like part right at the very end of their bill. She knew how to turn her head just right and catch your skin. She would then pinch and flutter pulling your skin. It really hurt when she got a hold of you.
Days later, she would waddle off her nest with little Muscovy ducklings following, along with one white chick or perhaps a goose or two. She raised ducks, geese, pheasants, quails and chickens during my years with her. You did NOT want to mess with one of her little ones. You could just get too close and she would tear into you. She brought blood on occasion and definitely left a bruise.
Red, Yellow, Black or White
Lady Donovan was a Mother Extraordinary. We could always count on her to hatch that egg that was unclaimed. And when it came out bigger, shaped differently, or squawking differently she did not care. She had hatched it, it was hers. It did not matter to her if it was red, yellow, black or white she raised her babies.
We laugh about how sassy and rough Lady Donovan, the duck, was, although, we were very proud of her mothering skills.
Thumper, the Wild Jack Rabbit
Thumper was a rabbit that daddy brought in from an acreage he was plowing. My father had accidentally plowed up the rabbit hole. The mother had run away and this infant was injured. The rabbit spent weeks under the light in a cardboard box recovering from the shock of losing his parent and seeing his burrow destroyed.
He grew into a large rabbit and ran through the house depositing his pellets in the flower pots and eating the plants. He acted like a cat. He would lie on your lap to be petted. He would sleep a large part of the day. He lived in the house for over a year till momma set her foot down and said "out with it." She got tired of having the leaves eaten off her house plants.
Trigger, the Pit Bull Dog
Trigger was a dog that was dumped on our road. When we first got him, we tied him to the clothes line so he would have plenty of room to run. Daddy felt if we wanted him to stay, we needed to keep him safe and others safe until we could find out how he would act. When Trigger arrived all the hair around his neck was gone. He had lots of scars and cuts, some were old, some were still fresh. Daddy doctored him back to health. With constant food and returning health we discovered why he had been dumped. We lived out in the country. The country is where some of the non-law-abiding people try to hide. People would fight pit bull dogs and Trigger was not a fighter. He was a lover.
We had a momma cat that was not really a good mother. She would leave her kitten unprotected for long periods of time. She did this one day and Trigger gathered all four of the kittens up and took them to a hole in the ground where a post had been. Then he proceeds to guard the kittens. If human or animal walked by that day he stood over the hole and growled. Later in the day, when the kittens were hungry and crying, we had quite a struggle convincing Trigger that he could not take care of all the needs of baby kittens.
No Name Tree Frog
The reason he is called No Name is because he was new and daddy did not have a name yet. The tree frog and the oldest daughter met under the most unfortunate of circumstances. The daughter was home from college for the weekend. daddy was hiding the tree frog in the guest room restroom. The daughter woke and preceded to take a shower when something jumped on her. It was the tree frog! It was a shocking experience for both of them. When the daughter dressed and went to the living room her father was trying his hardest not to laugh. The daughter was very vocally telling the father about her experience. Momma was at work and daddy asked that the daughter not tell Momma about the frog. We do not know how long the tree frog lived in the restroom in the guest room.
Baby, Buddy’s Buddy
Baby is a female tiger cat. She is black and gray in color. I think all three of us girls have fed her or had her as a pet. She has really large eyes, with dark rings around them. We also have a picture of her nursing a little puppy, which was named Toby. She has the best of temperaments. There was a male cat by the name of Buddy who just chased and tormented her terribly. That is how she came to be known as Buddy’s Buddy, much Not to her liking.
To say the least things were never dull around our house. We had lots of chores to keep us busy and plenty of curious and amazing animals to keep us entertained.