RAISING DINKY PART 1
h year over forty-thousands foals are born of these there is no record of how many of them are in need of a nurse mare or how many nurse mare foals are born. In order to bring a mare to milk, she must have a foal. In the world of the horse industry, the foal of a nurse mare is a necessary byproduct and by many called a ‘junk foal.’ They have no other purpose; many are sold to tanners, where their hides make pony bags, cordovan leather for couches and shoes. Some get rescued, our Dinky is a nurse mare foal, he is one of the lucky ones, and he had a chance at life and a home.
But to achieve that, Dinky had to live the first few months of his life, with the loss of his mother, fear for his future and the lack of understanding of his place in the world. He had no mother or adult horses to teach him how to be a horse. Though at least he had his fellow nurse mare foals and caring humans around him to help him through some of the roughest times of his life.
To many in this world hold life (except their own) worthless and animals are dumb creatures without soul, feelings, thoughts, or heart. It is sad, for one only has to watch the interactions between any animal to see so clearly that it is not so. Animals think, feel, care, are curious about their surroundings and recognize friends and family.
I am not going to tell you that raising Dinky was or is an easy task. It wasn’t and isn’t. He came to us at about five months old, so thin it broke our hearts, needy, frightened and in need of comfort. As with many who adopt nurse mare foals, the tendency to pamper and comfort was there. Only loosely training, for the sweetness and sadness of this little foal touches one's heart so deeply.
Alas, many come to the realization that they made a mistake, treating this small foal as if it were a puppy when it becomes five hundred pounds or more. Ken and I were fortunate, we had some experience with large horses and this headstrong young colt though a handful began his real training.
Dinky has a stubborn streak, we had no wish to break his spirit, nor stem his curiosity, but he needed to know that we were Alpha to him. It was imperative that he learn this for everyone’s safety and his happiness.
The first few times he tipped over the wheelbarrow full of manure, attempting to push it was cute, the fifteenth time it was not. Much of what he does and did remains cute and funny though he has learned over time that there are times and places for it.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about Dinky, Lucky, Kaylee, Little Jimmy and many of the other nurse mare foals I met. I will write about their antics, hardships, and where they are today.
Stay tuned for the early days.
WHAT IS FREE?
Why I no longer pick up free eBooks.
There is a school of thought that believes giving away free books is the way to get your name known and it may be true. But I have come to believe that the only person that is truly being helped by this is Amazon and other retailers who subscribe to the idea that if a person is on their site and picks up a free book they are apt to buy other things. I believe this does help Amazon and others sell lots of kindles, and other digital readers as well as many other products.
I, however, believe it does more harm than good for authors. I remember a time I worked as an administrative assistant for an extremely fine Chinese restaurant in Chicago. It was the second restaurant they had opened, one being in another section of town. Their egg rolls had won international awards their food superb, unfortunately, their lease was not. So they began a serious of give-away parties in an attempt to draw in diners. Instead, what happened was people just waited for the next free party. Oh a few people dined there during off party months, but most went elsewhere and waited.
Is that what we as writers are doing, continuing the expectation that writers, musicians, and artists should not earn money from their labor? It is a question that I am struggling with and until I can find a way to believe it is something that in the long run truly help anyone, you will seldom if ever find me giving away free books, nor will I pick up a free book. I will put it on my wish list and wait till it is no longer free. I will support an author, musician, or artist in any other way I can, but I won’t take that free book.
I do, however, believe Amazon’s new match program to be worthy of looking into, for it seems to be more of a buy one get one free thing. I suspect if Amazon instead had a way to price eBooks lower than $.99, and enabled people to run ½ price eBooks I might support that, but I am not sure either. Don’t get me wrong, if in my opinion, if the book is priced too high for an eBook, I won’t buy it either. There again, it is a matter of perspective, because the cost of printing, paper, and ink are involved I understand and agree with paperback and hardcover pricing. But, in this digital world without those costs I take issue with an eBook that is over $4.99 or so, especially when in most cases it is the publisher making the profit and not the author.
So there you have it, I would like to see Amazon and others, offer packages of eBooks, or buy a kindle/kobo etc. and get x amount of free books (of your choice) but pay the author. I would like them to offer an option for novelettes and short stories to be priced under $.99.