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November 20, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lawn ornaments and Drive-bys

How to get cowed.

Long horns in pasture. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“Out to pasture” in its’ best definition. (© image)

Bovines pleased with their lucky gene pool.

(As humans plead for luck and with everything above and under the sun to be spared. No masking uncertainty. “Just tell me what to do. Just tell me.”)

This pampered herd of lawn ornaments can enjoy the sun knowing they won’t ever end up as hamburger with their proud DNA and prized horns.

Besides, honestly, their meat is a bit stringy for modern tastes and their attitude more maverick ornery than spokescow Elsie. Longhorn cattle tend to go own way.

While the local pastures and wetlands are slowly being bulldozed and converted to small suburban lots, we can still get in the car within few minutes find fresh air and pockets of what once was.

This little ranchette dotted by a small “lake”, cuddles close to the neighbor’s “Stalls for rent” pastures for protection. Across the street is a small brick house (under DIY reconstruction), a lovely 4-6 stall horse barn, small covered riding ring once used for horse training, along with an updated by the new owners chicken coop.

It’s refreshing to see calm these days…although there’s always unexpected stuff to make you smile.

For example this piece of whimsy reminiscent of Hot Wheels toys:

Car vending machine. Carvana Atlanta. (image

Holy cow! Carvana’s Atlanta car vending machine. We have one here, but it’s not this tall. (image

All I can see is future target practice with this glittery, sculptural, new car dealership by the freeway.

You know it’s gonna happen.

Some people can’t help themselves. Attractive nuisance.

Nuisances can get ugly.

Sheltered on our double cup-de-sac is “The Little Princess”, a Downs Syndrome child who obtained that name because she rides her bike up and down the street for hours and hours waving just like the Queen to everyone she sees. Cats, too. The cats know she’ll stop and pet them so they line up on the curb. The fireplug, too. She happily chats to everything.

Over the years cowboy boots have replaced the unicorn sneakers and now upper elementary school age, she’s getting close to outgrowing her bike.

The wave is rare now as she tries to practice the scripted social greetings she’s been taught instead. Everyone drives slow and watches out for her as she does tend to have a new thing of slowly confronting cars in order make you stop so she can greet and talk with you. She, home schooled, is very lonely.

It’s all been pretty good, until this lockdown thing.

Down the block, another little girl finally got big enough and was given a bike….with little parent instruction or assistance. It’s been rough to watch – all the off balance wobbles as cars approach, the crashes, the lack of brakes knowledge, and the frantic hopping off at approaches of driveways and the intersection. But she’s managing. Gaining control and speed. Big on speed.

Only for some reason this new little biker has decided to not play nice and has started making fun of The Princess. Riding by with the shrill “Na-na-na-na-na-na-nah”. No doubt the older boy gang has told her The Princess is different…even if they do allow The Princess to hang out on the fringe of their activities sometimes. As they all grow older, they grow further apart.

Frowns and unpleasantness has entered her world.

Reality always eventually intrudes. Can’t be stopped.

The Princess will have to gain skills coping with it, but it is hard to watch.

Freedom to thrive is a right. No one should become cowed.

No getting shot down just for honestly being who and what they are.

Always hoping there’s a vehicle to get all to a sunny place.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

“LONGHORN CATTLE.The Texas longhorn is a hybrid breed resulting from a random mixing of Spanish retinto (criollo) stock (1500’s) and …”

Read more here to find out what Longhorns are made of, why some say they saved Texas, why they fell out of favor, who saved longhorns from extinction, and where the Official Texas Longhorn Herds live now.

“A true Texas longhorn is endangered right now,” said Davis, president of the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Registry which is striving to keep the bloodline of the traditional longhorn as pure as possible…” “Her passion, though, lies with preserving the traditional longhorn breed that survived on little grass and water as it roamed Texas and other parts of the West during the mid-1800s” Read more here.

Longhorn cows in pasture. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

And we’ll leave with a peaceful scene. No, I am not going across to pet them. One doesn’t pet most longhorns. It’s toss the hay bale and run. For those who care, the bull is the giant spotted one on the far left. Molly loves to drive by here as she knows it’s only 2 blocks to where she meets friends and runs like crazy. Cows and dogs in fields. Ah, we should all be so lucky. (© image)



  1. easyweimaraner / Nov 20 2020 6:56 am

    I feel sorry for the little Princess…. can you wave at her please next time you see her? or maybe the cats can do it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2020 8:03 am

      We will wave twice at her for you! (And Molly always shows her her most recent stick collected during walk. It’s a thing between the two now…not sure how useful that conversation pattern will be in her future, but sticks make both of them smile – and that’s all that’s needed right now. You can never had too many smiles)
      Thanks for running along ( and not biting the bike tires)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pix Under the Palm Fronds / Nov 20 2020 7:08 am

    I feel bad for her, too. After just experiencing 2 and a half years of bullying as an adult by adult bullies I have a true realization of how hurtful it is for her. We are adults and managed how we reacted, she is an innocent child. We moved, and yes the bullies in our condo community played a big part in our decision. So, I have them to thank for our lovely new house with wonderful neighbors. I imagine it is hard to watch. I hope she copes.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2020 8:10 am

      Kids are unfinished people – and a little nudge to change direction keep thing moving in the right direction. Our Little Princess will survive this – the youngest of 8 kids, she has a remarkable family who sail (they have their own crew HAHA), are very active outdoors and have a clear objective to prepare her for life. Her two oldest brothers are married and so we know she will alway be sheltered as needed and be watched over. But as a pre-teen, she’s getting that moodiness…not sure how much longer she will be willing to wear that bright orange road repair reflector vest or not venture off the block. The purple cowboy boots match her bike. Of course purple: a princess after all. Thanks for riding in with a comment

      Liked by 2 people

  3. disperser / Nov 20 2020 7:28 am

    It started with adding to my inner calm but then it damaged same, this post did.

    Truthfully, while I know the realities of life, I don’t know why it’s the Little Princess who has to learn to cope. The lesson should be imparted (forcibly and with extreme prejudice) on them who would make her life miserable.

    I’ve never know bullies to “change” . . . they just turn into assholes, and FSM-knows we are armpit deep in them. Culling a few would hardly make a dent but it might improve the life of the people around them.

    And, no . . . not advocating murder . . . just wishful thinking about how much nicer the world would be if we didn’t put up with certain things. By the way, I blame the parents . . . always. At least until the kids turn into teens. Then, it’s harder to ignore the fact they should know better.

    . . . still blame the parents, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2020 8:21 am

      Oh, we all know someone older than her has made some remark. Kids are pretty accepting until they see others aren’t. Patterns are learned quickly.
      The new bike rider is small, slender, and has trouble managing the bike which dumps her off a lot. Possibly she is embarrassed at her own abilities and is making distraction efforts to cover up her own inability to at least do as good as The Princess. But, the neighborhood is not going to let this without response.
      They live fairly close together, so Moms may have already chatted. The Princess is the youngest of 8 kids (and you’d never know it from looking at her lovely mom) and they are doing their best to prepare her for life – she will eventually encounter all sorts and have to have strategies to manage both them and herself.
      Something is also going on with the younger child as this is a sudden change. We’ll keep and eye on it for intervention. The unfortunate thing is that in “kid world” if adults are constantly jumping in and “fixing” situation, it can make it worse – and kids, as unfinished adults, never learn to deal with things themselves…intervention/redirection will have to be done carefully. Still if all the adults on the block firmly and quickly say “NO, you don’t do that” maybe she’ll get the message…and go take her own issues elsewhere.
      Cows are easier to manage. Thanks for adding a moooo-ving observation and comment

      Liked by 2 people

      • Spinster / Nov 21 2020 8:50 am

        “Cows are easier to manage.”

        If this ain’t the truth, I don’t know what is.


    • Spinster / Nov 21 2020 8:48 am

      Yep. Agreed.


  4. Kate Crimmins / Nov 20 2020 9:27 am

    From reading the comments it looks like she has a good support system. I agree there must be something going on with the other child. I don’t remember much bullying going on as a child and I was an odd one. I preferred reading and badminton to bikes and baseball. That made me an oddball in my neighborhood but we all seemed to respect each other. Even the loosy goosy one that gave all the guys their “first” experience.


  5. marina kanavaki / Nov 20 2020 9:37 am

    I don’t know if this ad ever aired over there, but this reminded me of that: Happy weekend, my friend! Paw waves too!


  6. RAB / Nov 20 2020 11:13 am

    You’ve let a lot of us fall in love with the Little Princess. Maybe there’s a way to pass along a wave from us all? Growing up is hard for everybody; I guess making someone else have it harder might be comforting to a certain kind of kid. Thanks to Molly, the Longhorns, the Princess’ family, and your kind eyes for doing what you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ally Bean / Nov 20 2020 11:50 am

    It must be difficult to watch the Little Princess deal with hostility when she doesn’t deserve the bullying. I wonder how much of it she understands. Her family sounds wonderful, so I don’t worry about her in the long run. But really, kids, all people, can be heartless. And it wears me out knowing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Curt Mekemson / Nov 20 2020 3:37 pm

    You have to feel for the child, and I know it is tough for the parents as well. I liked your comment on community concern, however, Karen.
    Speaking of longhorns makes me think of free range cattle. A common sign around here. But it also makes me think of all the cowboy books I read as a kid. Tons of them. Zane Grey, Luke Short, Max Brand and other writers of the purple sage.
    One last thought on free range. Bulls on fire range has made me thing of how bullies have been given free range in this day. Encouraged.
    Good piece, Karen. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sustainabilitea / Nov 20 2020 4:04 pm

    Sad about the Princess but I love longhorns!!


  10. shoreacres / Nov 20 2020 7:10 pm

    I have tried and tried, and can’t remember bullying as part of my childhood. Maybe it was defined differently, then. I know we taunted one another a good bit, and there were “those kids” everyone knew not to mess with, but no mother wearing combat boots stepped in to sort things out.

    To be honest, there are adults on both sides of every divide in our country who are acting like children, so there’s that. The kids have fewer and fewer decent role models to help them along. Thank goodness your Princess has a good family, and a caring community around her.

    And speaking of adults: “Freedom to thrive is a right. No one should become cowed.” That’s true for everyone, not just the kids. There are a lot of people attempting to cow an entire nation, for whatever reason. Thrive on!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Robin / Nov 21 2020 5:23 am

    I’m glad the princess has good family support, and hope she thrives in spite of the bullying. Bullying of any kind really touches a raw nerve these days (for obvious reasons).

    Love the longhorns. And my mind immediately went to Matchbox and Hot Wheels when I saw the Carvana thing. I was just playing with some old Matchbox (or are they Hot Wheels?) cars yesterday. I have a once-a-week Zoom playdate with my 4-year-old grandson that involves Legos, Hot Wheels (or are they Matchbox?), and usually reading a book.


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