There were many other animals at Sunnybank and they were called “The
Little People” a name given to them by Terhune’s daughter.
Lets start with the horses. In his Omnibus Terhune talks about the
horses, especially Fritz and Belle. Fritz used to follow Terhune
around Sunnybank, even trying to enter the house! Fritz was known for
darting at passing women and men taking their hats as he went by!
There was also The Don, Terhune’s saddle horse.
Then there was Jack the Frog. He lived in the Goldfish pond for
twenty years. They knew him by a scar over his eye. Mrs Terhune used
to scratch his back and feed him flies. In his twentieth year the
Terhunes went on vacation and came back to find his car flattened
body on the road. Terhune figured since the frog never left the pool
some visitors to the kennels took him out and dropped him off
deciding they didn’t want him anymore and he was run over.
They also had three peacocks. Simon Peter Rhadames died after only a
year. So, they brought in Caruso and Melba. They would follow the
Terhunes around the yard. Melba had five chicks. One day Caruso came
up to Mrs. Terhune and fell down dead shot by a neighbor kid. Melba
mourned for him and died ten days later, followed by the chicks one
by one. They had cows one who they loved died from eating a nail,
the other hit by lightning went crazy with anger.
At Sunnybank there were 70 pigeons, all snow-white except one. He used to feed the
squirrels and many of them became like pets coming to him when called. I read that he
captured them in New England.
They had many cats in the barn, but several cats became house cats
and close friends. Eyolf, who was a barn cat used to join Terhune
and the collies in their daily romps in the snow and ice. Juliet who
would swim into the lake hunting trout and would bring Terhune gifts
of dead chipmunks. Peter Grimm who slept on Terhune’s bed and used
to join Terhune and the collies in their romps and was run over by a
car going to one of these walks. Tippy, Mrs. Terhune’s persian lived
to be more than 15.
Terhune writes about the birds they fed, made friends with and
enjoyed. If you get a chance, read The Terhune Omnibus to learn more
about Sunnybank’s Little People.