Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reindeer Station Rodeo

When Beatrix wouldn't go in the fence with the other sheep yesterday and we had to chase her around the ominous music should have started playing because it just got better from there. How, you ask, could it possibly get better than Beatrix running circles around the electric fence with Max at her heels and Rob and I chasing her with a fish net and bug net respectively? (I didn't grab the nets, just so you know. Rob did. But they came in handy.) Oh, just hold onto your socks, cause that's just the beginning.

Today I put the girls in the winter pasture with the boys so they could continue their acquaintance and learn how to all get along (preferably with no spitting.) A couple hours later I got a call that the sheep were out. It's odd how when you get strange animals all of a sudden you start meeting your neighbors. The lady next door has lived in that house for years, but I'd never met her until tonight. She's very nice. They had the sheep put back in the pen before I even got down to the barn. She was tickled to see the llama and alpaca up close and personal.

She got to see them from a bit further away just an hour or so later when Rachel and I tried to bring them into the barn and they bolted for the high road. In fact she got quite a show as we chased them around her house and through her yard, and then Rachel went back for Josh. And then the three of us chased them. They ran across the street stopping traffic . . . a guy in a car who laughed his head off at them and then drove away. We cornered them for awhile by one house. The people came out to see if we wanted help and started snapping pictures. We're probably plastered all over Facebook and YouTube by now. (I have to pause here to say that it did cross my mind how ludicrous it all was . . . picture this . . . a nice, well manicured lawn, classical music spilling out of the house. I can see the lady inside getting dinner on the table. And just outside we're racing like lunatics around and around their house. You should maybe peek outside because the same thing might be happening on your lawn. Hey, you never know.)

Sadly, we couldn't corner them there so we chased them around some more, invading loads of other neighbor's yards. Fortunately most of them weren't home. Then back across the road (fortunately) and onto our meadows where the kids pushed them back, back, back to Rob's grandparents' where there were fences. I still didn't think we had any real hope of catching them when Josh, in a feat of heroism, made a desperate lunge at Roux and managed to grab hold of his neck. It was all over after that. With one of us on each side we quick-marched him back to the barn and Jak-Jak had no choice but to follow.

After that Lucas had to talk me down out of a tree.

When I could think and speak rationally again he assured me that life would go on, that everything would be okay, and that he'd help me figure out a safer way to get them in and out so I never, ever, under any circumstances have to go through that again. Which is good because I'm getting really attached to them. Well, Roux anyway, and I really don't want to have to bring them back. They give the farm a certain je ne sais quoi. Though tonight they mostly just give it mild heart failure.

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