By Ralphine Major

Perhaps it is this time of year—in the fall—that has caused me to look back at some old photos.  Or, perhaps it was my brother’s recent birthday celebration that reminded me of earlier times.  It could be because this year marks the 25th anniversary of our father’s death.  Perhaps, it is a little of all these and more that prompted me to stop in the middle of my workday and reflect on days that have long ago passed us by.

When I was younger, I often walked around our barnyard with my camera in hand.  The animals were great subjects most of the time.  Horses seemed to cooperate the best.  Penny came to our farm from neighboring Grainger County.  The young boy she belonged to wanted a motorcycle and decided to sell the beautiful bay mare with a black mane, black tail, and black feet.  My brother bought her.  When Penny became too old to ride, Wayne kept her for a pet.  For the next 25 years, Penny lived out her days on our farm.  Our father wanted a jenny, or female donkey.  “Jenny” as we called her was one of the last animals to arrive on our farm.  Her tall ears and loud bray was a sharp contrast to Penny’s shorter ears and soft nicker, but the donkey and the reddish-brown mare became best friends.  They were always together—in the barnyard, grazing on the hillside, or drinking from the pond.

Penny and Jenny.  The two best friends brought us much joy through the years.  An old snapshot of the two brings much joy to us now.