We have many animals at the Anstine Ranch. We have horses, mules, an occasional steer or buffalo, dogs, and an emu and then we have two characters you have to see!
One of these characters you have to meet is Thomas, aka Tom. Tom, of course, is a turkey. What else would you name your pet turkey right? He has been with us for nearly two years. He was a grand champion at the 4-H auction in 2009. Just look at him now!
Tom has survived attacks by skunks, raccoons, and even coyotes. He is a little rough around the edges, but if you ask him, he is the most beautiful gentleman a hen would ever see. He must weigh over 30 pounds. Amazingly, his little legs can carry him. We tried getting him some friends, but none seemed to survive. Yes, a couple has been to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but many others have been the unfortunate victims of bobcats, mountain lions, and the like (and you wonder why I hunt these predators). Tom is the sole survivor. He is a tough guy and keeps on keepin’ on.
“Spend more time with your family and friends, whether outside, hunting, at the shooting range or around the table, savoring all life has to offer.” MM
Last fall we had our eyes set on another 4-H trophy. We love to do what we can to support the kids. We have a friend whose daughter lost two sheep and a goat to a bear. The bear got into their barn the week before the fair, and the unfortunate girl lost almost all her hard work. We decided her remaining animal would be the item we bid on in the auction. Hank doesn’t like to eat goats so I knew this might be another animal to add to the collection we have at the ranch, but buying the goat is for the benefit of the 4-H-er, so I said let’s do it. The goat was a svelte young lad, and we bid until we decided we were at our maximum. Guess what?! No one else bid any higher, so we were the proud new owners of “Buster Brown” the goat.
We brought Buster Brown home and didn’t know what we would do with him. We argued over having him for a family get-together (yes, bar-b-que), but several other friends and I lost the debate. Buster instead became part of the Anstine family just like Tom.
Buster and Tom have become wonderful friends. The two emerge from their coops in the morning and run to greet each other. Well, Buster runs, and Tom waddles. Tom with his missing feathers and then there is Buster. Buster is twice as round as he once was in the show ring, and he has hair that is about two inches long covering his entire body. The tips of which are silver-colored creating the appearance of frost on his back and sides. They are a sight to behold. The two former show animals that run amuck at the ranch.
Buster and Tom spend early morning hours tormenting the hunting hounds. It is somewhat of a “Foghorn Leghorn” moment as Buster stands just out of reach of the dogs. He butts his head forward and stomps his front feet in front of the dogs. They bay and howl and hit the ends of their chains. Tom stands aside and cheers (gobbling) at the antic. Little do the two of them know. It is the hounds that have kept the predators at bay. There have been no new incidence or attacks since the hunting hounds came to the ranch.
Last weekend Buster and Tom tried out a new adventure. They joined the Little Gal and her friend as they skated and played on the lower pond. What a sight to behold! The gorgeous, or maybe not, 4-H animals slipping and sliding across the pond!
Ahh, the joy these two characters bring to the community. We are pleased to have them in the family. We are happy they have become great pals. Now off to chase the predators who keep taking their friends!
It’s always an adventure!
These two bring fond memories. Here is our ode to Tom – https://miaanstine.com/2011/11/10/tom-you-will-be-missed/ As of 2020, Buster Brown has been laid to rest, having to be put down due to old age and its agonies. He’s survived by his buddies, John and Justin (Boers). We do have a new turkey, Double T.
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3 Replies to “Buster and Thomas – Life on the Ranch”
How delightful a read this one was … do I see a children’s book in your future, featuring the adventures of Tom and Buster? And Little Gal?
Well, I’m glad Buster has a good friend like Tom. Goats are really sociable and they wither away when left alone. My mom had a neighbor once that kept a single goat tied up near the gate to their property, and she would cry piteously when people drove by, so desperate was she for attention. Made me want to kidnap her. No pun intended.
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