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My "odd" little camping companion

People always ask about our farm name. The Odd Farm. We named it mainly after our horse Odd Todd but there are many, many other reasons. Like when the vet comes and says " I have never seen this, heard of this, diagnosed this or seen this color blood." That also means that whatever the illness is, it will be expensive.
We have also had the odd assortment of animals including but not limited to our ugly pig, lame and starving horses we take in for the SPCA, our very simple greyhounds and the cats who won't die.
Now I am nursing a rat. What will he have to do with endurance riding? More on that in a few more paragraphs. As I was putting away my biggest horse (Arab/Andalusian) I heard loud squealing. I thought it was a bird but as I pushed Lance back, under one of his big 'ole feet was a fairly hairless, newborn rat. But did it die? Oh no, and as I picked it up I saw a small cut on his side. I thought he more than likely had internal bleeding and would not last long. My daughter just happened to come out so I handed her the rat to take to school the next day.
The Spanish teacher at school has a very large snake. Snakes eat rats. I could not bring myself to feed the rat to one of our dogs (I love to eat them mousies, mousies I love to eat. I bite dey little heads off, and nibble on dey tiny feet!) or throw it out so I had high hopes that the teacher would take care of it. After school, Allison gets into the truck with the rat. She said the teacher wasn't sure what I wanted her to do with it so she sent it home. OK. Now the rat has not eaten in at least 24 hours. Is he failing and listless, on the brink of death? OH NO, OF COURSE NOT! I have $5 in my purse that we can spend at the pet store on milk replacer. There is that extra cash flow, bad luck equation.
John said if I took that stupid rat to the vet, I had better pay cash because he did not want to see any proof of rat health care. ( We already had a file on our hamster who had to go in and get stitches over it's little eye after a big fight) He wanted to know, what was I thinking trying to save this rat because he spends lots of money on rat poison to kill the b@$(^%#! and here I was feeding cat milk out of a syringe to this thing. What could I say?
The rat is thriving, growing hair and starting to open his eyes. Now that I have saved his life (even if it was under protest) and we have bonded I have plans for him. He can be my winning edge in endurance riding. When we go camping, I can teach him to sneak out and night and gnaw the competition's leathers from the inside so that when they tighten the saddle the next day, they will break. OOOPS! Too bad. Or maybe he can call all his friends to camp, eat all the horse food and then my competitors won't be able to give fuel to their equine companions. Oh, I can just see endless possibilities as to how this little fellow can be an asset.
Oddly enough, he will more than likely choke on the leather. I will then have to perform the Heimlich after which he will require 2 weeks hospital stay because I broke his little ribs. Or the feed he and his friends munch up will be beet pulp that hasn't been soaked yet and all that will be left of them after they explode will be their little feet and a few pieces of fur. Then I will have to explain that to the kids that I was responsible for blowing up the rat and they will be in therapy forever. Maybe I will just leave him at home and let John feed him.
Ride 'em any way you can. Lisa Salas, The Odd fArm

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