This is a good time to introduce your youngsters to the questions you ask that identify nouns: who and what? The following blog will ask the questions in a parenthesis behind the nouns in the first paragraph. Have your children/students practice the same exercise in BeakSpeak. I’ll also give you one page of BeakSpeak with which to practice at the end of the blog.
If you recall, we left Legacy (who?) expecting her first foal (what?). I had been watching her closely all through the final month (what?). I was concerned she would need help (what?), since she didn’t have the experience (what?) to understand what would be happening to her. I vividly remember taking a flashlight (what?) to her pen (what?) the night (what?) of March 21, 2003, and finding her down in labor (what?) with two little front legs (what?) sticking out where they should be during birth (what?). Legacy (who?) was trying to stand to let gravity (what?) help her drop the foal (what?). I ran to the house (what?) and hollered to the people (who?) there with me. Even though I was so excited, I didn’t forget to call Claudia (who?), who rushed over herself. One friend (who?) there, Lori Ziegelmeyer (who?), joined me in the pen (what?) after I called for someone to help me. I had read that, as soon as a foal (what?) is born, if you rub it all over it’s little body (what?), it will bond with you quickly. I was having trouble (what?) getting the goo (what?) off of it. Legacy (who?) seemed unresponsive. She was evidently exhausted and simply glad to have that little boy (what?) out of her.
The little foal was all legs. He lay there with me for a few minutes before finally standing, all wobbly, and circling to Legacy, now a full-fledged mare, for her milk. We didn’t get our throw-back palomino, but we did get as sweet a little sorrel colt as could ever be, and his mom’s long-ago, tiny whinny, to boot. Most importantly, Legacy had a baby and another equine companion, for which she had so long pined.
So, Claudia and I were left with naming the little guy. First, though, we called Bob Galloway to come out to the Double Bar M and see his stallion’s offspring. We were interested in his impression of the tyke’s conformation, relative to Legacy’s and the sire’s. Bob said the foal’s bone structure and musculature were sound and should make for a good, quality quarter horse, whether for cutting cattle or showing. I was very worried about his hooves, since Legacy was born with one bad one. Bob assured us the little stud didn’t seem to inherit it. Still, we alerted our farriers to watch out for them as he grew, especially the right front one.
Because the foal’s dad was Freckles Cowboy Gold, and his mom’s granddad was the nationally famed Impressive, we officially named him Impress Me Freckles. He was then known to us, from that day forward, though, as Freckles, and, goodness, could he run! He would sprint round and round the horse pasture at break-neck speed numerous times before stopping. His mother finally just learned to ignore him. He also loved to jump and buck and get into all the trouble he possibly could, given the confinements of that pasture, the horse water trough, the neighbor’s dogs on the fence line – you name it; however, his very favorite thing to do was to slobber kiss the calves that would meet him just across the wooden part of the fence that divided the bovines from the equines. I wouldn’t open the gate for the horses and cattle to mix until Freckles was old enough to understand not to challenge big cows and the bull. He was smart, that little guy. He learned quickly, grew quickly, and allowed me to open the gate in just a few months time.
BeakSpeak p. 1 noun practice:
In a little, south-Texas chicken yard (what?), pullets (what?) and cockerels (what?) are gathered about waiting for the Headrooster (who?) to announce the start (what?) of Ms. Goldspeak’s English class (what?). Sue (who?), a smart, little Aracauna (what?) with tufts (what?) of feathers (what?) puffed out under her ears (what?), addressed the group (what?). “Hey, you clucks (who?),” she began, “let’s play some kick ball (what?) until Mr. Chanticleer (who?) crows, and we have to toe-the-line (what?) again.”