SANTO, TEX. -- Annie's got herself a creek full of catfish, a backyard full of noisy cardinals and a forest full of deer and wild turkey.
She's got a horse who thinks he's a dog and an armadillo who thinks he's a horse. She's got a hoot owl who lives on the creek and a quirky cat who lives at her side.
Annie Golightly's built herself a country home and a country dance hall and spends most of her time smoking ribs and frying catfish and belting out country-and-western ballads for a curious country audience.
They call her the Singing Savage, and with her coal-black hair, dark eyes and high cheekbones, Golightly could look and act the part. But the darling of the late-night sing-along circuit has taken her guitar and moved to the country. And she loves it.
Long a fixture on the North Texas nightclub scene, Golightly, 56, closed the Fort Worth club that bore her name and said farewell early this year to a few thousand friends and 35 years on the fast track.
She loaded up her guitar, her stereo, her horse, her cat, her John Wayne paintings and a few million memories and headed off in her pickup truck in search of the good life. She found it in the scenic seclusion of 130 wooded acres along Buck Creek near this remote little hamlet, an hour's drive west of Fort Worth.
She built a functional but stylish two-story house in a grove of oak trees overlooking serpentine Buck Creek. She lined the walls with photographs of her five children, her own oil paintings and scores of autographed pictures of friends and celebrities ranging from the late actor John Wayne to golfer Arnold Palmer.
"It's just a home made to live in," she said one recent day while spreading butter over slices of fresh, home-baked bread.
Outside her house, a horse named Blue was making a noble attempt to climb into a truck driven by a man who had come to repair a leak in Golightly's miniature water system.
"Stay out of that truck, Blue!" she snapped, adding with a shrug: "Damn horse thinks he's a dog."
Golightly is surrounded by animals. Deer and turkey and raccoons come each morning to drink from the creek and an armadillo who lives nearby spends each day "working like a horse," she said.
Her children are scattered from Mississippi to California but return home at least once each year bearing gifts for a Christmas assemblage -- at Thanksgiving.
"We kind of had to do that because I was always busy cooking Christmas dinner for somebody else," said Golightly, who since 1969 has raised money and prepared holiday meals for the poor.
For the first time in 18 years, she is not involved in a charitable Christmas project, but she is already planning a Christmas party in July for youngsters at the New Horizons Ranch for abused children in Goldthwaite, Tex.