Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Muck & Cauliflower

We are loving the rain! We've had an inch & a quarter so far & more to come. Now the livestock doesn't quite appreciate the gravity of the past few years of drought so they mostly just stand around & mope on days like today. I put on the mucking boots & rejoice.

This evening was amusing. Mr. Potter had stopped at the Hyatt for their kitchen scraps. It was apparently a big "clean out the walk-in fridge" day as he had a good 250 pounds of perfectly animal-edible scrap (which they are kind enough to keep refrigerated until we pick it up!). In order to get the scrap back to the animals, Mr. Potter ties the large trash can to a moving dolly, tips it up & then wheels it back to a pasture. I keep a few steps ahead of him, opening gates as I go & quickly closing them behind. Today there was mud almost everywhere but especially at the gates where the animals had mulled around stirring up the mess. I walked ahead & opened the gates so that Mr. Potter could get a good running start & not get bogged down in the muddiest puddles. That worked just fine for the first trash can with Mr. Potter just slowing down & having to work a little harder in the deepest mud. The second trip did not go as well.

The second can weighed at least 150 pounds & the top was full of cauliflower stems. Mr. Potter shoved through the mud at the first gate & lagged a little at the second. I opened the third gate anticipating that the cows, goats & sheep would already be occupied with the contents of the first trash can & would ignore us for a moment. I was mistaken. Just as Mr. Potter reached the deepest section of mud in the middle of where the gates swing open, a dozen animals stampeded him. They immediately stopped the progress of the dolly which bogged down in the mud. Of course, the spryest of the goats felt they would have an advantage by jumping into the trash can. A few cauliflower stems toppled over the edge as the goats jumped at the can. The sheep shoved in to retrieve them from the mud as the goats tried to scale their backs to get a better shot at the goodies. Mind you, as all this is happening the other animals are calmly eating on the first batch of scraps that Mr. Potter had carefully spread at several places throughout the pasture so that EVERYONE could share....

Mr. Potter repositioned himself at the bogged down dolly & gave a yank to free it from the mud & the swarm of creatures. It heaved slowly to the right & toppled into the mud. Enough scrap tumbled out to shift all the animals to that side of the trash can. Mr. Potter tugged again on the dolly as I shoved the trash can to right it. With a nasty sucking sound the whole thing was uprighted again & freed from the mud. Mr. Potter tugged it on through the gate that I quickly closed behind him. Of course, as soon as the animals that had caused this mess saw that their goodies were getting away, they lost interest in what they had spilled. I waited to give Mr. Potter a bit of a head start through the pasture & then opened the gate to let the animals back into the pasture where they belong. The handful of scraps at the gate will be quickly eaten by chickens tomorrow when the sun comes up.

So we've had a good laugh for the evening, the animals are busily eating away, lots of perfectly good garbage did not go into a landfill & more rain is coming. We'll now have a cup of tea & feel like we've accomplished a little bit of something today.

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