Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Beast Charmer

When Julie was little, she was a beast charmer. One day when I was pushing the kids in the stroller, and we were waiting for the walk light, I looked down and she had her little face hidden in the fur of the mangiest cur I've ever seen. This dog was licking the back of her neck and wagging it's almost bald tail with great enthusiasm. When it walked away, a nearby woman told me that she hadn't said anything while the dog was there because it could probably smell fear but -- this was a dog that bit a lot. She had never seen it react to anyone with anything less than a snarl and semi-lunge. Indeed, she had at first thought she must be mistaken and this must be some other dog, but then she realized that there probably wasn't another dog on the face of the earth with just those mange patterns.

We moved to Fairbanks when Julie was four. A couple of weeks after we arrived, the Tanana Valley Fair opened, and we went. As we left the horse barn, I realized that Julie was not with me. Since she loved horses it took little detective skills to realize that I needed to backtrack and I would find her. And, indeed I did. Sitting between the front hooves of and having the back of her neck nuzzled by a horse which was roped off with a sign saying, "Stay back. Extremely vicious horse." There were about forty people standing around looking dumbstruck and worried. Julie was petting the horse and kissing its cheek.

And a couple of years after that, we were at the Alaskaland park and Julie got in trouble for picking up semi-wild ducks and geese. She would sit quietly, holding out the broken cones that the ice cream parlor gave out for feeding them, and they would come close enough that she could, ever so patiently, reach around them and pick them up.



I don't know if the fact that her dog, Samantha, allowed her to crawl into the dog crate and attend the birth of puppies was due to Julie's beast charmer skills or Samantha's incredible good nature, nor if she was able to manhandle Thor the night he tried to eat Grandma (the parrot) was more a reflection on her or on him, but she certainly had the magic touch.

7 comments:

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I never COULD get in good with the geese, though...they always want to bite me if I try to get near their babies. ;)

Joy Des Jardins said...

Julie had some special vibe she sent out to animals....true. I think they must have sensed her sweetness and warmth and trusted her to get that close to them. Judging by her pictures, I think she probably still has it.

Autumn's Mom said...

Julie definitely has a gentle way about her. I like that about her ;)

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

Wow! Pretty wild. Glad all turned out well all those times. She surely has something that animals feel good about.

And, Jules, geese don't like anybody. Not nobody, not no how. Period. So don't take that one personally. LOL.

Maya's Granny said...

authormomwithdogs has got it right. Geese don't really like people at all.

Yes, Julie still seems to have it with animals. She loves them and they love her.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Proof that authormomwithdogs speaks the truth, found here:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007220205,00.html

Maya's Granny said...

J That's funny. In Stockton, I once saw a very dignified looking gray haired man in a business suit trying to get into his BMW while geese were getting between him and the open door of the car. A couple even fluttered up into the car, and he kept saying, "Go, Goosie, go away. Stop."