Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's a Jungle Out There...

...though around here, it's not the jungle you imagine.  Last week held a couple of encounters with wildlife that we were not expecting!  It all started on Wednesday evening as the sun was setting and it was time to lock the hens up for the night.  The dogs were barking like crazy, which was an indicator that something was up.  I went to the back door to see what the fuss was about, and the dogs were both barking at the back gate.  I opened the door and called for the dogs to come in for the night.  They weren't interested which is very unusual for them.  They are always more than ready to come inside and snuggle up on the couch or on the floor with one of the kids.  This night, they were too focused on something back in the chicken pen to even listen to me.  I sent Nathaniel and Natalie out to investigate...I am not a fan of varmints.  Natalie thought it was nothing, and pranced right into the chicken house to gather eggs for the night, but it was only a second before her flashlight was bouncing and I knew she was QUICKLY headed back towards the house.  I yelled from the back door, asking what it was and she let me know "It's a possum!!"

I, of course, suggested the gun as a great solution, but my husband, in all his wisdom, knew that would not be the best idea.  Instead, he used a rake to literally scoot the possum out of the hen house!  He expected the animal to "play possum", which would have made the scooting easier.  Instead, the possum decided he would try to escape Nathaniel's raking attempts.  All of this is happening in the dark, with the kids each trying to use their flashlights as spotlights on the action.

Once the possum was out of the hen house, he ran underneath the barn.  Crazy animal!  He had also successfully scared half of the hens off of the roosting poles and out into the chicken yard, which meant Nathaniel and Natalie had to round them up.  You see, chickens cannot see in the dark.  This is why they head to the roost at dusk and stay there until sunrise.  Thankfully I was able to step outside with my flashlight and watch the two of them wrangling and chasing the chickens back into the hen house.  One of them was terrified, and when Natalie grabbed her, she screamed like a girl.  The chicken, not Natalie!  I truly thought it was someone else screaming out there, but it was just the hen screaming for her life.  I guess she thought she had been gotten by the possum!  Haha!

Fast forward a mere twelve hours, and there was another encounter.  No, it's not the possum as one might think.  We wondered if it would return the next morning, but it didn't.  The second encounter was with a deer...and in the car!  Nathaniel left for work in the dark of night as usual, but called me once he arrived about 7:30AM.  It is unusual for him to call me that early, so I knew something was up.  He went on to tell me that as he was leaving for work, not even 100 yards from our driveway, several deer had run across the road in front of him.  He had seen them, and was able to slow down and allow them to cross.  There had been three hop the fence of my parents' farm, cross the road in front of Nathaniel, and then hop the fence onto our property to head on into the woods.  This is not altogether unusual...we live in the country and both properties have tanks which the deer love for drinking.  Anyway, after the three had passed, it seemed there were no more, so Nathaniel went on only to be blasted on the side of the car by a fourth deer!  It decided to ram right into the car hitting the passenger front panel, then banging down the passenger side of the car, leaving hair and hide in the cracks, as well as quite a few nasty dents.  Nathaniel had checked the car, deemed it drive-able, and had gone on in to work. He was just calling to let me know.  Typical man!!! 

Most importantly, Nathaniel was safe.  The only damage was to the car, and now Nathaniel is driving a loaner car while ours is in the shop for a fix.  The deer bent the panel so much that the passenger door wouldn't even open.  Seriously, paying the insurance deductible is not my idea of a good time.  I would much rather enjoy dinner out, or a manicure, or some other fun.  But I am so very very thankful that my man is safe! 

So yes, lots of experiences with difference wildlife this last week.  It really is a jungle out there!

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