So here’s a lesson I learned in the last week: I am never going out in public again without a five-gallon bucket of hand-sanitizer and cattle prod with which to deter anyone who exhibits so much as a sniffle from coming within a five-foot radius of me ever again. Because listen, having a fever that lasts for three days is basically like spending a long weekend in one of Dante’s inner circles of Hell and I have done my time, okay?
I could spend another few days just whining about how bad last week was, but suffice it to say I was miserable, and I’ve never been happier than when that damn fever broke on Friday. By Saturday I had the urge to start about eight new projects, which is how I knew my brain was back to normal, even if my body still needs a little extra rest before I’m back to full-strength.
I did manage to get caught up on about a weeks worth of farm-chores over the weekend, which brings me to the story of the day… one that revolves around this little guy.
This is Doc– aka Houdini– frolicking around outside of the pasture the weekend before I caught the Plague.
You can basically see the thought-bublle over his head, “Freeeeeeeeedooooommm.”
I thought it was funny for about 5 minutes and then realized dude was not coming back in on his own, and in the ensuing chaos Parker also escaped and it took me and two neighbors the better part of an hour to herd them back into the pasture.
Carrots were just not a tempting enough bribe to bring them back in, and what I learned from this scenario was that:
- I need a bigger fence ASAP.
- I need a better bribery system.
My mom, actually dusted off some old horse knowledge from her days at camp and suggested I train them to come when they hear the sound of oats in a bucket, so I immediately went to Tractor Supply, procured oats and a bucket and started with Bribery 101…
So far so good.
I also decided to start taking the boys out around the property on the leads so that it wasn’t such a BFD if they ever broke out. I finally got a chance to take them out on Saturday, and a personality difference between Doc and Parker quickly became evident.
This is Doc (and his too-big halter… I had to special-order smaller ones that haven’t arrived yet.)
Doc is like, “What up, Freedom? I’m just going to hang around out here and munch on some grass.”
Parker, on the other hand…
He was so unsure about this whole thing that he spent the entire half-hour with his face pressed up against my leg like a two-year-old. If I moved 2 steps away, he’d walk right back up to me and lean in.
Besides just straight-up melting your heart into a big pile of goo, it’s actually a pretty astounding thing when you think about it, that an animal–particularly one that was neglected– would say, “I’m not really sure about what’s going on out here, so I think I’ll just hang out here next to you.”
If nothing else, it tells me that the time I’m putting in to building trust with these guys is totally paying off.
Plus the nuggets totally come when I whistle now…
I might just have a knack for being a farmer after all.