I have come to the conclusion that there are some animals out there, who spend the better part of their lives, trying to outwit the humans who put up barriers to keep them ‘safe’!!

In the 2 years we have lived here in the country, there have been many stories of animal escapes. It’s just a part of everyday life here, but a cause for more gray hair for me!!

Working with the sheriff’s department, a large part of the husband’s calls are reports of ‘cow in the road’. He even responded to a call about llamas in the road. When he got there, llamas and an alpaca or two, were wandering the main road. That was a fun roundup!!! Certainly not the kind of calls he was used to while an officer in Washington, DC!

‘Cow in the road” calls usually end up with there being no cow in the road, by the time the officer arrives. Said cow was just moseying around, and long gone by the time help arrived!

The husband has also been involved in escapes without happy endings- one night two horses got out and were killed by a truck.

One of his happier animal adventures was a drenched little dog in the road. This little guy had apparently gotten too close to the creek, after a huge rainstorm, and got swept away. The husband pulled up beside the dog, opened his car door, and the wet, muddy little bundle jumped right in, sat in his lap, and looked up at him as if to say, “Home, Sir”!  He was miles from home, but with the help of a neighbor, and the postal carrier who recognized him, the old guy was reunited with his owner!

The first animal adventure I came across after moving here, was a herd of goats in the middle of the road, as I came around a blind curve! When I stopped and got out of the car, they scattered, back the way they came!! From later talks with the neighbors, apparently the goats are regular visitors- and not very welcome ones!! They invade neighbors’ gardens eating and destroying as much as they can before being chased off! The herd lives on a nearby farm, owned by an elderly woman, who has trouble keeping up with their antics! There is a dilapidated, abandoned old house nearby, and it is not unusual to see an escaped goat or two, relaxing in the sun, on the remains of the old front porch!!

Near my home is a small piece of land with two rental trailers. One day, while driving home, I glanced over at the trailers, and there was the BIGGEST hog I have ever seen!!! There were three men standing around watching him root thru the dirt, and this hog was easily larger than the 3 men combined!! He turned out to be an escapee from that goat farm. I have no idea how they got that big boy back home!!! I was just happy he did not decide to come thru the trees to my property – my horses would have had coronaries at the sight, sound and smell of that intruder!!

There are always sightings and stories of chickens who have escaped the final destination of the local chicken rendering plant!! The daughter’s friend once rescued a turkey from the road. Somehow, he had fallen off the truck, and was sitting dazed by the side of the road. She put him in the back of her car and continued on to work. Aside from the poop and feathers he left in her back seat, he was content to wait for her in the car, and he now lives with her on her farm- as a pet, not an entree!

On a previous post, I have written about Miss Kitty coming for a visit. Miss Kitty is a horse- and she escaped late one night from her paddock several miles down the road, and fortunately (and amazingly) found her way to our house. We found her sleeping outside our paddock, with our two horses watching over her from the other side of the fence.

Also written about in an earlier post, the neighbors’ cows escaped one evening, and came right into our lush green hay fields!! That was an exciting night, when my van had yet another incarnation, becoming a cutting horse on wheels, as I helped the neighbors round up their cows!!

My own horse has a history of jumping fences -his motto has always been  ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’! He has only done it twice in the two years we have been here, because his paddock is usually very green!!. Age, and the electric fence has prevented any further incident!!!

I “found” two horses grazing by the side of a rather busy road, not too long ago. I made a u-turn and started knocking on doors til I found their owners. Apparently someone had not latched the gate too securely, in that instance, and the 2 grays wandered out. One of the horses was deaf, and always stuck close to his hearing companion. I still shudder to think what could have happened, if one of them had stepped out into the road!

My favorite story happened recently – to a friend of mine – who shall remain nameless – because he doesn’t want his friends and neighbors to make fun of him!! Friend was relocating his 1800 pound steer, and had him in the stock trailer. He had to go to the gas station to fill up the truck. As he crossed the railroad tracks, and pulled into the station, he heard a ruckus in the trailer. He pulled up to the pump, and went toward the back to check on the trailer, in time to see his bull backing down the trailer ramp into the gas station lot!!! Apparently, when he went over the tracks, the bolt latch on the trailer door became dislodged, and when the big guy bumped it, he realized he was free!!! The gas station sets on a busy road and backs on to an open field with a stream, so it took some fast maneuvering to box that steer in. The friend called some friends (ones who would not make fun of his predicament), and long story short – it took over 2 hours to get that steer back in the trailer!!! He just got tired of all the commotion and walked right back up the ramp!! Fortunately, he was relatively tame, or the ending to the story might not have been as happy!

I am finding, out here in the country – as peaceful as it is, it always pays to drive with your eyes open – you never know what might be around that curve! As much as we try to ‘protect’ our animals, from themselves and the world around them – they have minds of their own, and life with them is NEVER dull !!!

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All is well, altho’ dreary, rainy, and cold, at Mountain Meadows this Sunday morn, the last day of November…………………………

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