In-between Marion, South Dakota and Parker, South Dakota there is a farm surrounded by cornfields and pastures. This is the land that my grandparents moved to so many years ago. My grandfather plowed and harvested these fields for 45 years. He milked hundreds to thousands of cows here. My grandmother raised five healthy kids here, the youngest being my dad. This is where some of my best childhood memories take place. Out back we have a little pond, this is where all the elements meet for me. The water in the pond is high from all the rain and the dirt of the Earth where I sit is soft. The air surrounds me and the fiery sunset signals the end of another day. I can hear the leaves rustling and a cow mooing from a distant pasture. The sunsets here are the most beautiful I have ever seen.
This is where my love for animals started. We have beautiful horses that run through the pasture. One of them has bonded well with me over the years. Her name is Mary and she is a very shy Quarter horse. She is brown from head to hoof, except for a white circle in the center of her forehead. When I first started working with her, we couldn’t even feed her in the barn because the other horses would nip at her and not let her get food. Now she eats right beside them. Her muzzle is soft and fuzzy, it tickles my hand as she eats the treat that I placed there for her. It is such an amazing feeling. If she is in a good mood I can lead her around the yard just by placing my hand under her jaw. Horses are such social creatures. If I walk Mary too far, out of site from our other Quarter horse nam ed Misty, Misty will cry for Mary. Nothing hurt me more than when we had to put down Misty’s foal, Stormi. He was a huge Paint horse and his hooves were foundered so bad that he was in too much pain. I watched Misty cry for her baby, I saw the pain in her eyes. Pain is not just exclusively for humans, and neither is love.
My name is Chantelle Stucky and I am from Tea South Dakota. I am a Nursing major from Augustana University.