In search of ponies: Rat had chip on her shoulder

While sitting in the dentist chair, my attention was suddenly drawn to an announcer on the softly playing radio. “Doritos inventor Arch West, dead at 97… to be buried in his beloved chips,” the voice said. It was apparently something the family wanted to do and they planned to toss handfuls of their loved one’s […]

In search of ponies: Human vending machine wants more from pets

Hair tousled, with grungy slobber on his shoulder, he approached me, held out his thumb and proceeded to tell me how the horse had bitten it and wouldn’t let go. “Were you giving them peppermints?” I asked my visiting family member. “No, I didn’t have any with me today. Why would he be so mean […]

In search of ponies: Picking up after hen egg-sasperating

Sharna Johnson Oh yeah, I’m sure the neighbors think I’m odd when they see me trudging around. Head down, eyes to the ground, I sweep my foot through the few patches of tall grass that have managed to grow — incidentally sprouted near spots on my multi-patched hose where the mends have given out. Some […]

In search of ponies: Growing up for the birds

So they just topple over the edge and then they’re gone, sailing into the sunset to go forth and do their thing, right? Wrong. Sure it happens that way sometimes. And then sometimes they wander too close to the edge and fall out before they’re ready or they jump out and then hang around. But […]

In search of ponies: Death part of owning animals

“What did you kill this week?” It’s the question I hear every week when I turn in my column for editing — asked in jest of course. In response I usually joke back that I’ve set a limit of one a month or some such thing. But it does highlight an often unspoken truth about […]

In search of ponies: Yankee makes home in Southwest

Sharna Johnson “Oh man, the flies are awful here!” my visiting family member exclaimed by way of a greeting when I arrived home from work. “Actually they haven’t been bad this year at all,” I replied, a little confused as he guided me to my kitchen counter, turned-killing fields and proudly showed me the carnage. […]

In search of ponies: Only the fish die young

Sharna Johnson The first one to go was the algae eater — initially construed as a bittersweet sign that at least the tank was clean. But by that night the second one flopped on its side, gills flaring for the last time. Then a third died — the one that lived under a rock, which […]

In search of ponies: Stowaway cats meet adventure

Sharna Johnson The dark pockets and crevices, nooks and crannies surely held a plethora of mystery and fun, or that’s how it must have looked to Kisten anyway. Several hours later, whatever fun might have hidden there was long gone as Kisten — wide-eyed and dropping thousands of stressed follicles by the minute — climbed […]

In search of ponies: Swallows keep pests away

Sharna Johnson I struggled with the thought of knocking it down, but they were working so hard I just didn’t have the heart. Instead, I sat in the front yard and photographed the swallows as they swooped in and out, fluttering under the eave with beaks full of mud. Over several days I watched as […]

In search of ponies: Critters offer children endless amusement

Sharna Johnson “Hello, do you sell feeder ants?” I asked the lady who answered at the pet store. “Put it back where you found it,” the voice on the other end of the line responded. “Excuse me? What do you mean?” “The horned toad. Take it back where you found it, you can’t keep it,” […]