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Tiny Thumbelina rescued from floodwater threat

September 17, 2008


Thumbelina got close to big water at Niagara Falls while on her US tour.

The world's smallest horse rode out floodwaters from Hurricane Ike on an armchair in her barn.

Thumbelina, who stands just 44.5cm tall at the withers, was in her barn when the remnants of Hurricane Ike delivered its hit to the St Louis region of the United States.

For the first time ever, a nearby creek breached its levies and rushed into Goose Creek Farm, where Thumbelina lives with the Goessling family.

Mark Goessling said is was fortunate his 67-year-old mother, Kay, was awake when the overnight flood hit.

"Within minutes, the waters were nearly three feet deep around the barn," Mark says.

"Kay rushed to the barn in her sneakers, braving the fast moving, waste-deep currents.

"Because the barn sits a bit higher that the surrounding pasture land, the flood water inside had only reached about 1½ feet (45cm) but was rising fast.

"She quickly found Thumbelina, who was understandably unsettled by the whole experience. Mum was able to picked up Thumby and put her on a chair where she could ride out the rest of the storm.

"By the time I reached the farm, after several failed attempts due to road closures, the entire property was overwhelmed by currents that nearly swept me off my feet.

"When I finally reached the barn entrance, I was relieved to see my water-logged mother tending to the horses. She was smiling because the waters levels had begun to go down and she knew that everyone would be all right.


Thumbelina and her minder, Mark Goessling.
"After clearing out some floating debris, I went to the barn office to check on Thumbelina. I wish I had had my camera because there she was standing on the arm-chair, wrapped in towels to keep her warm.

"Within the hour, the waters had receded enough to walk Thumbelina out to the Thumbymobile (her vehicle) where she could relax and dry out. Today she is back to her old self, bossing the other horses around and playing with the dogs.

"It will take weeks to get the farm and house back in order but we are very thankful that everyone made it through."

Thumbelina and Mark are scheduled to begin touring again next week, with appointments in Chicago, Peoria, Indianapolis, Lexington, Knoxville, Charlotte and Huntersville.

The final leg of the Thumbelina funrdraising children's tour will begin in October and should cover most of the US southeast.

 

 

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