Draw Your Own Conclusions!

Donna Ridgway

Vaughn, United States

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Different times I’ve called this photo, “Phe-ee-w!” and one time I named it, “I Sure Gassed Him!” but today the real title came to me, you can look at this photo, and draw your own conclusions as to what’s happening here!

There’s a herd of outfitter’s mules and horses that Robert and I like to visit on the Rocky Mountain Front, west of Augusta, Montana. This pair belongs to that herd. They never fail to entertain us when we go to see them.

One time when we were roaming in the Sun River Game Range, we saw this herd in that area. We knew they were in the wrong pasture, but weren’t sure why.

As we stopped our four wheelers on the road above the coulee where this herd stood, they noticed us and ran up the hill to be near us. We saw many animals in the herd were injured. Some were bleeding through their noses, some had large cuts and scrapes, and others had encountered a porcupine and had noses full of quills.

We came home, and Robert told me to get on the phone and find out who the herd belonged to. I had no idea how to go about this, but he said, “Call every number in the Augusta phone book, until we find out who they belong too!”

Luckily, Augusta is a small, rural community, where everyone knows everyone else…by the time I’d made the third phone call, we knew who owned this herd.

We gave the owners a call, and told them where we’d seen the animals, and what had happened to them, that they needed immediate help.

The owner told us, he knew the animals had entered the Game Range, probably chased through the fence by wolves or grizzlies, but the Game management had told him he could not go into the Game Range to find his animals, he had to wait until they brought the animals out to him!

He asked me for specific directions as to where we’d last seen the herd, and I had the feeling, the moment we hung up, he was loaded up and headed for his animals.

Later on, the owner of the animals called us, and told us one of his horses had spent a month at the vets office, before he was well enough to come home, the mules that had met up with the porcupine, had had the quills removed and they were doing fine. All other injuries had been treated and not a single animal was lost. We also received a nice thank you note.

It was so nice to know the outcome of this adventure had a happy ending. We’ve felt especially attached to this herd of horses and mules since this happened, and we’re always glad when we see them again. When we captured this photo, we laughed so hard, entertained once again by our good friends, the outfitter’s herd.
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Canon 10D, 70-300 mm lens
Photoshop Elements 7, I removed a fence and a mule’s nose from this photo.

Featured in Story/Image
8/11/10
Thank you!

Artwork Comments

  • gcampbell
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