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In the Well Trained Girls! post, I promised there would be more to come from Sheba’s first visit to the Baobab forest of Mirrah (see Sheba & the Baobab Forest).

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Well, somewhere between our picnic under the trees and our encounter with the zebu calf herd, a man rode by and asked if I wanted to ride his horse. To his surprised, I said I’d love to, and hopped on.

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Sheba however found this very confusing and although she liked horses and the prospect of a potential ride, she was not sure whether she liked this sudden change or not…

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Once I set off, she joined with passion,

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…for no ridgeback will want to miss any action, that’s for sure!

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Her concern however was grew as I circled around the others and did not seem to know where I was heading. “Esther, you came without a horse. You did not PLAN this. What do you intend to do?”

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“Hey Esther, HELLOOOO! Remember me??”
(“Of course I do, Shebes! No need to worry about that!”)

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With that, all was well, and Sheba launched into a phase of joy where she tries to communicate with the equine by bouncing in front of its path.

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However, things grew complicated in my rigeback’s world when the owner of a horse put a lve rooster in my hand! This certainly caught me off guard (not to mention the stallion!)-

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…but who would not want take the opportunity to win the craziest photo award of the year???

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From then on, Sheba’s focus switched completely from her owner to the bird in my hand. Could this be meant as an early Christmas gift, perhaps?

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Eventually, the stallion outgrew his patience (modeling for cameras was not really a manly thing!), I handed the rooster back to its owner.

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Sheba was very sad to part with the bird, as she had a completely different outcome in mind.

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The horse owner however left with a smile, having made new friends in the Baobab forest.

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Luckily for Sheba, we had other plans in store for her,

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and continued to enjoy our outing under the beautiful Niger sky!

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As for the end photoshooting proess, it was the picture above that ended up as my 2009 Christmas greetings (the rest were saved for this post). No one ever asked me why I was riding a horse with uneven stirrups holding a rooster in my hand, but hey, that’s Africa!

Hope you enjoyed the story behind it! For other stories around the world, click here!