What better way to celebrate Earth Day (weekend) than a visit to Black Beauty Ranch, the refuge started by author and critic Cleveland Amory?
It proved to be a wonderful time to be on their grounds, 1,300 acres of green pastures, forests and fields all making a home for animals rescued from canned hunt venues, zoos, circuses and now the slaughter house.
I saw Friendly again, one of the original burros rescued from the Grand Canyon in the '70s.
I also got to see two of the newest residents at the ranch, horses Mariah and her daughter Sahara, who came to the grounds last week.
They are being called "Miracle Horses" because they were actually in the last open U.S. horse slaughter house in DeKalb, IL, when a court decision effectively ended horse slaughter in the U.S. at least until someone finds another loophole.
Mariah and Sahara and a few other horses wound up routed to sanctuaries like Black Beauty.
They're currently in Black Beauty's infirmary, a bit thin and rattled from being transported back and forth on trucks, but they will have a permanent home on the grounds.
I believe it was Sahara who came over to the fence as our group passed by, stretching her neck a bit to reach some weeds that were a tad greener than those inside the pen.
Sometimes, the grass really is greener.
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