Last Sunday our cousin Sharon, her twelve year old grandson Doug and their friend Kay visited our guesthouse. We all claimed our spot on the back porch where we visited and Mike entertained us on his keyboard. Monday morning we visited Rocky Ridge Refuge for a look at the final days of Lurch, the Watusi steer featured in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest horn circumference in the world. Lurch's cancer is beginning to take its toll. His days on this earth are limited, but he is still a gentle soul. All the animals showed off including the game between Zwebiscuit, the zebra, and the dogs who chased each other on opposite sides of the pasture fence. The water buffalo, the donkeys, and the miniature cows surveyed the games while grazing nearby in the pasture. Doug's enthusiasm for the prospect of kayaking, however, was his main focus. On Monday afternoon Mike hauled a kayak, Doug and his grandmother upriver to Crooked Creek where the youngster paddled to his heart's delight. While Mike and Sharon toured by Jon boat, Doug explored all the nooks and crannies of the creek as only a pre-teen can do. He excelled so well that Mike declared him ready to try the river. The swift water delivered him safely back to our campground boat ramp. Nothing affirms the joy of living in the Ozarks quite so well as a boy's big smile and his pride in taming the river.
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