As Lee and I was chasing a bat through the house at 3:30 this morning, I was thinking just that, ah, back to nature. That early morning hour had found me walking down the hallway, heading to the bathroom, when I heard and felt something soft and with wings brush against the side of my face, pushing the hair back from my face. Holy Count Dracula!! Was that a BAT?!
I charged back down the hallway, yelling, "Leeeeeeeeee! Thereís a bat in the house! I hope itís a bird, but I think it was a bat!!"
Lee, being an action kind of guy, fought back the bed covers and hobbled out to the hallway. Remember, heíd had knee surgery just a couple of weeks ago but he can hobble now with the best of them.
Fortunately, the bat was as surprised as us to find himself in such a situation. I still canít figure out how he got in the house, unless he happened to follow us in that evening as we ran in and out of the house. We tend to have bats that hang out at our security lights around the house and barn.
We found him hanging upside down, first in the kitchen and then he moved to the basement. With a bright light, we surprised him and Lee was able to capture him in a container and set him free in the outside night air. Iíll have to admit, that was one of the prettiest and healthiest looking bats Iíd ever seen. Hey, we know how to raise them around here.
I couldnít help but think of the odd situations you find yourself in if you live in the country, or in an area that allows you to own goats. As I was picking up the third tick that had been crawling around on me the other day, it reminded me of a new neighbor weíd had years ago.
She had moved from a big city from another state and was wanting to get close to nature. Before she had completely unpacked, she had marched over to our farm and informed us she was with Peta and she saw we owned Angora goats. She also informed us we were the cruelest people in the world for shearing these goats.
I glanced out at our Angora goats, who were sweltering in the summer sun in heavy ringlet coats, and thought they would totally disagree. After they are sheared they are bouncing around like kids, glad to be cool and feeling so light on their feet.
My new neighbor also informed me that I was inhumane for banding our little boy goats. I just politely said it made them easier to live with. With a haughty look, she trounced off.
A month later I received a phone call from my new neighbor and in a trembly voice she said, "Did you know there are ticks out there?"
"Out where?" I asked.
"Everywhere outside! In my yard!!" she wailed. "I just knocked one off me while I was in the yard and then I ran back inside and Iím sitting in the middle of my bed now and Iím not moving from this spot!"
"There, there, itís all right. Just keep your yard mowed close and that will help a lot in keeping back the ticks," I said. All I heard was weeping in the background.
About a month later I heard from her again. "I just liberated some Pygmy billies from an owner who didnít want them. Was going to band them! Now they can live out their lives naturally in my pasture. He just gave them to me when I said I was with Peta. Iím sure he was a kind man wanting the best for his animals. He gave me fifteen."
That year there was an overabundance of Pygmy goats in the area. The little dickens were not only hardy but were also prolific breeders. Iím sure as soon as other people heard there was someone who would take the little billies, more people would be calling her.
"Uh, good for you," I weakly said.
Two months later I got another call from my back to nature neighbor. She tended to stay clear of me most the time since I was a dastardly and inhumane person, that is, until she got into trouble.
"I canít take anymore," she wailed. "Those billies smell so bad it is making me sick! And, they are constantly riding each other or urinating on themselves or me! If they just brush against me I canít get rid of the smell. I donít have fresh country air anymore!"
"Now, itís all right," I tried to soothe her. "It the nature of the billy to be that way. Itís breeding season, why not advertise in the free sale ads these billies at a cheap price. After a month, if you can take it, then haul them to a sale where Iím sure someone who needs a good breeding billy will take them."
I didnít add that probably the ones who would take them would be for meat since Pygmies have a very high meat yield for their little stature. It would only make her feel bad.
So, our back to nature neighbor did just that and got rid of her smelly problems and also quit harassing me about my cruel and unkind ways towards my goats. I think she also dropped out of Peta. After one winter out in the country, she moved back to a big city and is very happy. Things are very peaceful now in the country. No one harassing us about banding goats, no one reporting every time a gun is fired and calling the sheriff on any neighbor getting rid of a varmint that is in with the livestock, you just hear a few complaints about errant bats and wandering ticks. Ah, nothing like getting back to nature.