Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sure Foot

The last few days have been pretty nice - some high temps in the 40's, with low temps hoovering around the freezing mark. At any rate, the ground is one big mud pit, and a lot of the snow we had has gone "down the creek".

Most of the past 8 or 9 days has been spent in a cloudy, foggy, dreary, haze. Even the big drifts are diminished greatly. They have gone from "waist high" down to low ridges on the ground. If you step in them, you sink in a pool of slush that lies underneath them.

That is, until this morning.....

We awoke to temps in the upper 20's and a pretty good breeze out of the northwest. Mabel was waiting for me, so I grabbed my milk bucket, and headed out to the barn. I was only about 10 feet from the house when I spotted Shadow and Tractor Buddy by the front porch. They also saw ME.

The cat headed for the barn where she expected me to serve breakfast, while Shadow came bounding toward me. The warm weather had reduced the 4' drift in the front yard to a 1 1/2 foot tall slope that was about 15 feet long and 6 feet wide.

I'll never know what was in the dog's mind (other then breakfast), but he came running toward me at full tilt. When he hit the slope of the drift, instead of sinking in and getting traction, all four wheels went out from under him and he slid across the frozen drift like a bullet car over Bonneville Salt Flats.

The next thing he knew, he was lying in a heap at my feet. I guess he ended up WHERE he wanted, it just wasn't how he had envisioned GETTING there. He collected himself, stood up, and shook himself off.

Dogs don't blush, but it's sure easy to tell when one is embarrassed.

Instead of following right behind me to the barn, he kinda hung back a bit. Maybe I shouldn't have laughed so hard at him....

I went about the morning routine of feeding the critters, and milking the cow. The trip UP to the turkey hut was uneventful, but the trip BACK wasn't.

I always make sure to feed the dairy goats first thing - they are the biggest whiners in the barn. It takes them about 2 minutes to inhale breakfast, and another 2.593856245 seconds to start complaining about starving to death.

Well - today was no different, I feed the Loud-Mouth Ladies, then headed for the chickens and turkeys. Of course, by the time I reached the turkeys, the Milk Maids had finished stuffing their faces, and headed up the hill to pester me into giving them more. They hit me just as I was finishing up with the feather dusters, and latching the door.

All they saw was a bucket in my hand - they didn't care that it was empty. They ran out in front of me as I headed back down the hill toward the barn. Two of them - the Kinders - Sally and Annie, were in a "funny" mood. I guess they were all excited with the thought that more food was heading toward their trough.

They started kicking up heels, standing up on hind legs, and romping around. At the end of one particularly "happy" jump, both of them hit a small patch of ice on the frozen ground.

The wheels went out from under BOTH of them and they slid about 10 feet down the hill. Bad thing was, they ended up running over a gaggle of three other goats standing by the hay feeder.

It looked like a strike from "Bowling For Dollars"....

Five goats all sprawled out at the end of the "lane". Nobody was hurt (ok, some pride was a little dented), and they all got up grumbling. The three innocent victims giving evil glares at the two culprits, and the two goofballs looking around with "Yeah, I MEANT to do that", written all over their faces.

I just wish the chickens would have been gaggled around the feeder instead of goats -

Now THAT would have been a sight to see.

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