Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Fighting Uruk-hai

Editor's Note - Ohiofarmgirl's Farm is pleased to provide you with this special presentation. We'll return to our regularly scheduled programing momentarily.

We can hardly believe that our little Kai is a year old. Her birthday was last week and of course I'm a little sad that I can no longer call her a "puppy" - she'll always be our little girl. All 90 or 100 lbs of her....My friend SD says Kai still has a puppy brain - and we see it in Kai's bright eyes. Just the other day we were ooohing and aaaahing over how regal she looked...and then she started chasing her curly tail. Puppy brain.

Kai's name comes from two sources.... in front of decent folks I say, rightly, that "Kai" is the Hawaiian word for "sea" or "ocean" and if you say "OK, Kai" it kinda sounds like you're saying "from the sea" (o ke kai).

Then there's the rest of you (you know who you are) and since you already know what a sci-fi nerd I am....so chances are you already know that I named her after part of a quote fromThe Lord of the Rings... and we say she's My Fighting Uruk-hai who fights under the white hand of the momma. Such. A. Nerd.

But we love Kai because she's such a happy girl. When she wags her curly tail she kinda does this little hippy hop, booty bounce so we started singing that Ricky Martin song about shakin' her bon-bon, shake your bon-bon..and she and I do a funny little dance together. While she hasn't entirely come into her "hell yeah"...and she won't for probably another year... she's got a stout heart and will one day be a brave hunter. Until then she's kinda girly and a little bit of a princess.

In honor of her birthday we present the greatest Kai tale every told. I blame my pal FJ for this entirely...and also SS who egged me on. We arrived at this epic story because of a bad case of green bean bugs. I innocently asked how I should handle an infestation of those stupid little fuzzy yellow bugs who were eating my Hill O' Beans. 

FJ suggested I ride to battle with a flame thrower....and then it all just got a little silly. So go ahead and identify all your favorite sci-fi scenes...and those of you who are true ancient battle history nerds may see a few references as well. Thanks, FJ, here's your story in it entirety - and the best battle 'tail' yet of My Fighting Uruk-hai.

Part One: The Capture of Lucky

The scene - on the battlefield in the upper garden, smoke rises in the distance, helo's piloted by the guineas fly low over head, the geese lay down suppressing cover from their turrets as the goats belly crawl their way into the line of fire.

The battle against the enemy had been raging and the weary troops prayed for a victory over the incessant scourge that would not leave their land. Initially they had been told that the solution was to burn the enemy to the ground, but the first wave of flame throwers attacks were rebuffed. Now the land and all its inhabitants were in an all out war. The ground was savaged, the army was fatigued, supplies were running low, and the commander had an altogether different problem on her hands...... 

In the middle of the action, OFG and Kai were squaring off, nose to nose. OFG raging mad, Kai just as defiant - the pup's battle gear in a pile in front of her, a sparkly tiara on her head.

OFG was shouting, "Soldier! Get your gear on and get back into the fight!"

"NO! And I'm not a soldier! I'm a princess!" Kai's resolve held fast. "And I want a tea party!"

OFG, was now growling, "YOU. ARE. NOT. A. PRINCESS!"

But the pup would not budge and answered back,  "I am! I am a princess!"

Kai's commander had reached her limit, a vein bulged out of OFG's forehead, and she could be heard above the battle noise, "Your name is My Fighting Uruk-hai PoodleKiller and you are soldier in this man's army - now get in there and get to work!"

Now in tears, Kai wailed, "No I'm not and my name is Princess JellyBean!"

"Princess WHAT? Oh you just wait until your father gets home...." OFG had just about enough of this insolence...

But Kai would not relent and thru her tears, accused, "He's not my father - you're not even my real parents... you... you... (gasps) BOUGHT ME!"

Shocked, OFG started to retort, "Wha...." But her attention was ripped away from the angry pup by an urgent call over her comm and she turned her face toward the battle.

In the background she watched as her second in command, a dog warrior named Lucky, blasted his way into the thick of the fight with a gat, was knocked off balance by a mortar round, and was swarmed by a horde of the destructo-bugs. As he was knocked to the ground, he yelled into his comm, "Request retrieval!!

OFG,  now with an even bigger problem to solve, was still raging at the defiant pup in a tiara who wanted of all things, a tea party. This would have to wait. She turned and shouted, "Colonel Ti!"

The big dog, in full battle regalia, strode forward, "Sir yes sir!"

"Show this recruit how we do business around here!" She commanded as she pulled on her helmet, "We've got a man down and I'm goin' in. This place crawls."

OFG fired up the flame thrower as she shouted commands to rally the hens into their battle line, and pushed her way through the fight to Lucky.  They could see the dog soldier had been bound and gagged and was being dragged off by the bugs.

Alone now on the hillside, Titan glowered at Kai and knocked the tiara off her head, the enormous dog leaned in close to the frighted, yet still defiant pup,  "These are the rules. Everybody fights, nobody quits. If you don't do your job I'll bite you myself."

* The scene faded to black with a long shot of the battle field, just as OFG and the hens reached where Lucky was last seen......*

Part Two: The Press Conference

The scene: Oval Office Press Briefing Room, a flunky introduced the Administration's spokesperson. A carefully coiffed and smartly attired representative stepped forward to address the cadre of reporters...

"Thank you for coming. We'd like to address the rumors that there has been some kind of military action in the upper garden. The fact is this just is not true. We have it on good authority that a weather balloon may have crashed in that vicinity. Reports of some kind of bug uprising have been greatly exaggerated and I can assure you that there is no "destructo-bug" within our borders. The widely circulated youtube videos showing a soldier known as Lucky being held hostage by some kind of insurgent insect regime is a hoax and not credible."

"We are not taking questions at this time. Thank you for coming and help yourself to some green beans on the way out."
The press instantly jumped to its feet, flashbulbs pop, questions are hurled at the representative, microphones are everywhere......the scene erupted into chaos and immediately the pundits started spinning the story in all ridiculous angles

Part Three: Duck Team Six

The scene: Somewhere in a bunker in the upper garden, the command center is taking direct hits.  Pieces of rubble and dirt fell on the map spread out in front of OFG.  Her comm officer - a white duck hen named Daisy - was desperately trying to relay a message and was shouting over the din of the raging battle outside 

"Sir! We have located Lucky - he's being held by the insurgents under the grape arbor!" Reported Daisy.
Titan immediately turned to his attache, one of the younger hens, "Tell my men to be ready to move in 5...."

"Belay that order, Colonel!" Bellowed OFG from her position at the map table. She had not looked up.

"But sir," questioned the Colonel,  "We need to get an extraction team to the location. We need to rescue Lucky. If those bugs...."

"Yes, yes of course, Colonel," She answered heavily, "We'll send in a team. But not you. I need you to mount an offensive with the heavily armored mounts - a direct attack. You need to buy us some time."

"You mean...." Started Ti.

"Yes, bring out my hog riders!" Commanded OFG.

Ti, saluted and hurried off, barking his orders, "Unleash the pigz! Mount up, boys its time to hunt bugs." 

The old veteran knew his duty...and he knew that his commander of all those long years had something more in store for the evil menace that was destroying their world. Those bugs would pay. Until then he and his men would unleash hell.

Back in the Command Center, Daisy asked, "But, Commander, who will rescue Lucky? They have him held deep in the grape thicket!"

For the first time OFG looked up from her map, she answered "We have no choice but to bring out..... Duck Team Six."

A collective gasp from the command center brought everything to a silent stand still. Daisy, breathlessly dared to ask,  "You cant mean... "
"Yes, Daisy, you heard me." OFG answered, her jaw set firm and with hard eyes.

Young and inexperienced, Daisy pressed her commanding officer,  "But sir, them boys aint right!"

A little too sharply, OFG retorted, "I'm aware of the risks. Issue the order - bring out... the runner ducks!"

Rebuked and a little frightened, Daisy hurried away relaying instructions and looking worried. 

OFG looked out at the raging battle..... "Hold on, Lucky, momma is coming for you... just hold on a little while longer...."

In the distance Col Ti could be seen leading the charge on foot as the barn cats, Shine and Bobbi, rode the pigz on a direct collision course to the Insurgent Insect stronghold.....

Part Four - The Battle Rages

Daisy, the Comm Officer, received a sudden transmission and alerted her commander,  "Sir! we have the satellite feed from the Duck Team Six operation."

OFG spun around in her big chair to better view the central monitor, and ordered, "On screen!"

The monitor sprung to life. Fuzzy at first then it clearly showed the scene up on the battlefield. A huge black cage was being pulled into position by the younger ganders.

OD the lead gander, a patch over one eye, marched beside the wheeled cage and mercilessly whipped the younger ganders as he snarled,  "Put your backs into it maggots!"

At last the mighty cage came to a full stop. With great effort, and to the sound of iron on iron, the door ground open loudly. The door keepers panicked and ran for their lives as the runner ducks burst out of the giant cage like crazed berserkers. Each a shrieking, screaming, whirling demon. And the peeping! The horrible unholy peeping! The enemy was momentarily transfixed and seemed to take a collective step backward in sheer terror....

Initially the dozen demon ducks scattered in all directions... then suddenly came together to form a battle phlanx and rushed toward the enemy.  Then as they gradually picked up speed they morphed into a giant wedge headed directly into the fray.  Just as they were about to smash thru the faintly failing enemy lines..... a contingent of potato bugs appeared from the nearby garden. The potato bugs roiled down the hillside, surrounded..... and overwhelmed Duck Team Six.

OFG leaped from her command chair, aghast. The entire Command Center held its breath, unable to comprehend what had just happened.

A red shirted ensign, previously unseen, stood next to Daisy and awkwardly broke the silence,  "Sir. They've been destroyed!"

Almost silently OFG, croaked thru her shock,   "Insect b*astards. You've killed my ducks." And then she slumped back into her chair, lost in her own horror. 

Col Ti burst into the room and made his grim report, "Sir, the battle is turned, we will be taken."

OFG, eyes distant, spoke her thoughts out loud,  "So much death. What can farmers do against such reckless hate?"

A heavy silence filled the air. No one moved. They'd never seen their commander at a loss.

"Ride out with me, Sir." It was Colonel Ti stepping forward.

Rage started to build within OFG, her shock giving way to a bottomless anger and desire for revenge, "For death and glory?"

"For the farm, for Lucky!" Answered Colonel Ti.

OFG was gathering strength, the others could feel it, "Yes....yes....bring my mount, fetch my sword! Fell deeds awake - now for wrath... now for ruin.... and the red dawn!"

In one smooth motion OFG leapt on the back of her trusty mount, TurkZilla, and with a mighty gobble they thundered out of the bunker, Col Ti at her side and a mighty company of war hens following, drawing swords and fighting for all their worth.....

The red shirted ensign was immediately slain. 

The battle raged and the sun rose over a field of death as the army fought with wild abandon now that they had nothing to loose.

Part Five - Somewhere on a high hill

Somewhere, alone on a high hill and completely unaware of the battle taking place, Kai hopped and popped along in her tippy-toe, little pup run-walk.  She wiggled her bottom and shook her pom-pom tail and sang her theme song.  From time to time she jumped up to bite the head off the tall grass that lazily swayed in the afternoon sun.  She saw a butterfly alight, lifted her gaze, and turned to follow it...then suddenly her laser-sharp nose zeroed in on something familiar.  She whipped her massive head around toward the scent.

Instinct took over and she got low in the grass, snuffing the ground and prowling the ancient stealth of her forebearers.  Like a ghost she glided thru the tall grass, her eyes seeing everything... the grass parted to reveal as open glen. Suddenly she brightened, and then bounced and danced toward a lone figure leaning against a tree...

"Lucky! Whatcha doing here?" She nearly squealed with excitement.

But she couldn't hear his reply which sounded like, "Mwfff  tthuuu eeeez!"

"What? I dont have to pee."

Lucky tried again, "WWfff  tthuuu EEEEEZ!!!!!"

"What? Sail the seven seas? What are you talking about Lucky?"

Frustrated the pup suddenly reached up and ripped the duct tape off the older dog's mouth. 

"AAAUHGHGHGH! " Cried Lucky.

"Ooops!" She laughed and then Kai saw that Lucky was bound to the old pine tree with heavy chains.

"Quick!" Urged Lucky, "Get the keys! Right over there - get me out of here!"

Pausing and with an impish glint in her eye, Kai, tilted her head playfully and answered "Humm..... well. Maybe. Only if.........."

In the great distance they could see smoke but barely heard what was happening.

The Unexpected Hero


The air filled with the thunder of a hundred paws and claws tearing the ground as the great company raced across the field. The army of hen warriors led by OFG was hard charging its way to the final holdout of the Insect Insurgents.

OFG called to her front ranks, her most trusted personal guard, urging them on,  "Hold the line! Stay with me! Hold the line!"

Her confidence and hard, battle worn face belied her worry. It had been days since they saw Lucky dragged away by the cursed bugs. Her army had crossed the the length and breadth of her empire. They couldn’t find her second in command anywhere.  She had sent out her best scouts. None had returned. Her hunters could track a falcon on a cloudy day but they could not find Lucky. 

A look of concern crossed OFG's face and she fought to control her emotions when she caught Col Ti's cold stare. He was right, she thought, this was no time for weakness.

OFG's shoulder groaned under the weight of the constant battle. A scar crawled down her leg and a bandage covered another wound on her fighting hand. Fell deeds had been awakened, her wrath had been unending. Ruin would be her legacy for these...these... "farm enders"... these demon bugs. They were an army unlike any other, crusading across the county in search of the promised land... a garden of fresh, young unpicked green beans. When they destroyed one garden the moved onto the next.

The hen warriors spread out in a mighty fan, the battle line would hold. It had to - the farm depended on it. Each warrior was carefully chosen for their steadfastness in battle, each trained and tested, each fearsome, bold. Each readying themselves to see what grotesque spectacle they would find over that hill.... what horrible demons had been coughed up from the darkest reaches of the insect empire. They neared the top of the hill.

Col Ti's eyes were wild with battle lust, his war cry was loud and long as he raced to stay by OFG's right side. On her left, her standard bearer, an old war wizened veteran hen, Franhilde, was mounted on Nibbles and proudly held aloft the battle flag - an image of a fox and an axe on a blood red background.

OFG's voice carried over the mighty sound of the charge as she cried to her men, "To victory! To farm victory!! If you find yourself alone grazing in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Valhalla and you're already dead! Brothers! What we do in life echos in eternity!

The air was filled with ruckus laughter and a great "huzzah!"  The warriors leaned further forward, pressing on to the fight. They would fight for her. They would die for her, for their captain, for their king - for the farm and for victory.

Just as they crested the hill OFG pulled her mount up short and bellowed, "FULL STOP!"

TurkZilla danced and flapped trying to keep from spilling his liege, but OFG skillfully lept free and tossed the reins to a waiting page. The back ranks were still crying "Forward! On! On!" .....and so the hens crashed into the ducks, who fell forward into the geese, who bonked into the turkeys...who weren’t about to fall beak first into the goats.

Col Ti barked orders to form up the ranks as he shouldered his way forward, "Sir? What...." 

He followed OFG's gaze and then he took up the same opened mouth, head cocked to the side look...trying to make sense of what they were seeing. He blinked and shook his head, was he mad? "Sir?"

OFG shook off her war cloak and shield and took a hesitant step forward.

There in front of them was an elegantly set table.  It was half the size as normal furniture, in fact it was child sized. The linens were crisp, the setting sterling, and the teapot a handsome blue willow pattern.  At the table sat Kai and Lucky, sipping tea and quietly chatting.

Col Ti, angrily strode forward, "What the... Lucky! Attn-hut!"

Instinctively Lucky jumped to his feet, spilling the tea in his lap. Unfortunately for him, the chair was a bit small and it was stuck on his bottom.  He tried to free himself, turned quickly - and knocked into the table spilling the tea cakes. Some of the younger hens rushed forward and began pulling on the chair. At last it gave way but the sudden release sent the hens and the chair falling backward in a tumble...and Lucky sprawling forward, right at OFG's feet.

"On your feet, son." Commanded OFG.

Lucky scrambled to his feet, desperately snapping a salute.

"Sir yes, Sir!" Replied the young dog trying to pull himself together.

"What's that on your head, Lieutenant?" Asked OFG staring in disbelief.

"Well, Sir, its..a....its some kind of princess hat, I believe." He offered.

Both OFG and Col Ti looked at him quizzically.

Kai, was still at the table trying to mop up the spilled tea with a frilly napkin, she said loudly with irritation - and a cheeky coyness that got under OFG's skin, "Its a ti-ar-a."

Both OFG and Col Ti looked at her quizzically.

Col Ti leaned in close to Lucky said in an angry voice, "You're not in uniform, soldier, now take that thing off your head and fall in line!"

OFG started forward toward the pup - who was nervously fidgeting at the table. "Kai, whats going on here?" She gently asked.

From behind her, Lucky called, "She wouldn’t get me free unless I promised to have a tea party with her!"

OFG turned a cold look toward Lucky - which instantly silenced him.  Then she leaned down to be at eye level with a very-ashamed-of-herself-pup. All of a sudden Kai spilled out her confession, "Well you wouldn't let me be a princess and so I ran away!  Then I found Lucky. And now we are having a tea party."

"A tea party?" OFG could not believe that this young pup, who refused to take part in battle, found her missing Lieutenant. Alone. In this hostile land. This one young pup did what her entire army could not.

"And you found Lucky yourself?" Asked OFG.

"Uh-huh.... I followed my nose." Answered little Kai.

"I see," Said, OFG nodding, "You have a good nose, honey. No one else could find him. But...but... where are the bugs?"

"Them bugs flew away! The eagles came." Said Kai excitedly and looking up.

OFG looked up also and asked, "What eagles honey? There's no eagles."

Kai pointed toward the horizon, "There - those eagles."

"Oh no, honey - those are barn swallows." 

Kai laughed and said, "Well, they sure swallowed those bugs! Then the rest of them bugs went over to the bad neighbors - over there."

Still a little perplexed, OFG asked, "To the bad neighbors?"

"Yep! He's always firing off his gun and he scares the eagles... I mean, them barn swallows so all the bugs went over there."

"I see." OFG turned her head slightly back towards the troops, but her eyes were still fixed on Kai. She ordered, "Colonel Ti - move these men out. We're going back to base - it looks like this Insect Insurgence has been neutralized."

In the background Colonel Ti issued orders, dressed the lines, and signaled the rear guard to begin the marching cadence. The troops moved slowly back toward the barnyard.

OFG took Kai by the paw and started to lead her back home.

"Momma?" Asked the young pup.

"Yes, honey?"
"Can I....can I be a princess now?"  Kai asked tentatively, looking up with her hopeful eyes.

"Yes sweetheart," Said OFG gently, "You can be a princess now."  They walked a while in silence and then, "I'm glad you found Lucky, honey."

"Me too!" Replied the happy pup as she dreamed of a new tiara

Kai skipped and hopped alongside OFG, shaking her pom-pom tail and dancing along in her tippy-toe little pup run-walk into the sunset.

And that's what happened. 


Mr. H. said...

Wow, you're on to something here. Between the glorious battles and tea parties I was riveted to my seat throughout. Three cheers for Princess Jellybean.

Chai Chai said...

Wow, so many allegories and ironic references....at least there was a happy ending.

The red shirted Ensign never, ever makes it....and is Col Ti developing a drinking problem?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Mr. H! She says that Rowdy can come over if he has a tea party with her.

What do you hear, CC!? The red shirted ensign never makes it. Col Ti is developing a drinking problem - and I hear he has a cheap wife...and calls me "The Old Man" behind my back.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

This is one time when you , like me reading that venture "need a nap" :o)

Heiko said...

Wow, Tolkien hasn't got a patch on you! Can Eddie the Beagle join the tea party too? You have to be careful how you name your animals> Eddie was named after the famous yet inept ski jumper Eddie the Eagle. Last week on holiday in France, he decided to live up to his name and flew, ears flapping and all, out of a first floor window! Not a scratch on him though luckily.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Nothing but action and adventure here, Ginny!

Send Eddie right on over - but no flying! Poor Eddie! I'm so glad he's ok. Kai says she'll make a special pot of tea for him.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Dumbfounded, you are either a genius or bonkers. In a good way.

Coco said...

Wow - you have a future in youth fiction.

And a wide ranging familiarity with pop culture to draw upon.

And apparently a lot of time to think while you´re standing over pots of boiling water.

So say we all.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Dave, I'm guessing "bonkers."

Coco, I got too much time at the helm.. I mean... stove... and not enough scifi, for sure. So say most of 'em anyway.

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