Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Great Turkey Terror of 2010

All was confusion and chaos in one of the horse paddocks at the barn yesterday morning. The two ponies and the Thoroughbred gelding were frantic, trotting around and foamy with sweat under their winter blankets. What frightening mishap had occurred? What monster lurked in the back 40? Get ready…a hateful, horrifying, horse-eating…turkey. Yup, that’s right. One. Turkey.

That turkey's been around for a while.  We’ve been hearing gobbling in the fields next door for a couple of weeks. Apparently, hearing and seeing are two different things. After finally chasing away the offending fowl, Mary Ann and Holly had to hose off the sweating horses, cover them with a light blanket since it’s still chilly and windy, and move them to stalls so they could recover from their terrifying ordeal.

Honestly. Wouldn’t you think that a 1000-pound animal could figure out he was bigger and stronger than a turkey, and the turkey was no threat to him? But horses don’t think like that. They are prey animals, attuned to the smallest changes in their environments, and used to running first and asking questions later.

We’re so much smarter than horses, aren’t we? We reason, have the ability to weigh pros and cons, deal with what challenges we face in life. But how many times do we still work ourselves up over what turns out to be nothing? Or worry ourselves sick about things we have absolutely no control over?

When I worry and fret over the homeless in Haiti, rising tensions in Iran, the state of the world economy, or even what grade my son will get on his next Spanish test, I’m like those horses churning around fruitlessly in their paddock. My worry does no good to anyone in need, and merely saps the joy from my own life. What I now do instead—when I’m functioning well—is take a deep breath and ask myself if what I’m worried about is in my control. If it is, what can I do to improve the situation? If it’s not, I let it go.

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained,” said Arthur Somers Roche. I don’t want to fill my mind with worry and anxiety, allowing it to color and shape my thoughts. I want to focus on the good and uplifting in my life and the world in general.

Wishing you a happy, peaceful weekend. Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

Gratuitous picture of Tank.  He was NOT afraid of the turkey...
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8 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

Nice post! Interesting that a turkey freaked them out, but then, I let a few turkeys freak me out too!

Meredith said...

LOL, Kathy! Wonderful post, very well written. You are so right. We all have our own personal "turkeys," I suspect.

Have a great weekend!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Laure: With horses, as with people, sometimes it's the thing you'd never suspect that really gets to them. The trick is staying calm in the face of your own particular "turkey!"

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Meredith: So true--what scares me might be no problem at all for you and vice versa. Hope you have a great weekend, too!

Teresa said...

I SO enjoyed reading that! Thank you for the reminder... so true. Next time I'm tempted to stress out, I'll try to remember to not the let the turkeys get me in a tizzy! No turkey tizzies!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

No turkey tizzies--that's great! I'll have to post that somewhere to remind myself the next time I start to have one!

Scrappy Cat said...

I really really love your attitude - and the way you convey it. We all have our turkeys, don't we?

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Thanks! Yes, we do have our turkeys. Now when I get upset I'm going to start asking myself if this is a real problem or just a "turkey"!