So help me, if I hear another HELP! from my animals, I’m going to... I guess I’ll do what I usually do after checking out the problem, either laugh my head off or say, “Good Grief.” When I hear someone calling for help out in the pasture or down at the barn, usually my heart is in my mouth as I go running, stumbling, falling down the hill to see what is wrong. Once in a while you find an adult goat down, calling for assistance, but usually it’s my kids just totally surprised at the world around them.
We also have a new livestock guard dog pup, Dusty Sue, who can get perturbed over the oddest things and bark for help, too. But, that’s a pup for you, the whole world is a brand new experience for them. She’s six months old now and even when younger, she was always a quiet very studious dog. She’d sit on the hill or in with the goats, and just quietly contemplate life. Maybe because when she did move, all those big bones, big joints, big feet just sort of went in all awkward directions and she could easily crash.
But, now she does know the important things to be wary of, June bugs. Our June bugs appear in May and all throughout August. I don’t know how they got the name June bugs. They are big ol’ harmless green things that can’t fly worth a hoot. They are all the time accidentally dive bombing you. You keep expecting a little voice to say, “Ooops. Excuse me. Wind currents, don’t you know. Sorry.”
I am constantly saving them out of the water tubs and buckets where they have once again missed the mark and dive bombed into water. They struggle along in the water tubs, trying to do the breast stroke to stay afloat, but they are worse swimmers than they are flyers. When I scoop them out of the water, they cling to my fingers for dear life and it’s hard to convince them to let go. I listen for a June bug voice to say, “That was a close one. I thought I’d bought the farm that time. Am I really out of the water? Maybe I’d better hold on tighter. Don’t want to fall back in.”
So, when Dusty Sue comes snooping around the barn and starts getting dive bombed by big awkward green bugs, she’s totally flabbergasted. I found her one day barking in a high pitch puppy hysterical bark at the ground in the barn. I went over to look, and, of course, it was a June bug awkwardly wallowing around trying to get set up for another chance of uncontrolled flight. After checking on her several times when she barked about the crazy June bugs dive bombing her, I just started ignoring it.
One day I was busy with chores and Dusty Sue started her hysterical puppy bark. I just continued on with what I was doing and ignored her. I did notice that she was a little away from the barn this time, but I figured it was just another June bug. I know for over a half hour she kept it up. Once she stopped suddenly and went off to have a good BM. After all, you can only take so much excitement, but she immediately came back to bark at the ground.
Okay, I decided I’d better check it out. She had a huge black snake all coiled up and keeping its eye on her. It had been heading for the barn when Dusty Sue found it. And, Dusty Sue decided it wasn’t right for this thing to go to the barn. Lee came and saved the black snake and Dusty Sue by picking the snake up and carrying it to a spring on top the hill.
The other day I heard a kid frantically calling for help. I hurried around the hay barn to see what was going on and found a kid in the old bathtub that was used to catch rain water. The tub was empty of water, but the old tub was the kind that use to have legs that had long disappeared and we now had setting on blocks. Kids love to play in those tubs, taking running goes and leaping in and when several leap in at the same time, sometimes the tub will get knocked off of the blocks on one side and tilt at an angle.
That’s what happened here, the tub was at an angle and this one kid just couldn’t figure it out. Why couldn’t she stand upright in her favorite tub? She kept losing her balance and sliding down the side of the tub, jumping up, losing her balance, sliding down the side again and again. “Help! Help!” she called frantically.
By the time I got to her, she was going, “This isn’t so bad. Hey! This is fun!” and all the other kids were standing around the half tipped tub going, “I want a turn! I want a turn!” She got so happy and excited that she kicked her heels up and leaped out of the tub, running laps around the new play tub. Good grief.
After that close call, I decided I’d better go in and check the hay feeder in their run-in shed and happened to notice a kid walking around carrying a three pound coffee can I had forgot and had left there. That can was over her muzzle, covering her eyes, and she was hesitantly walking around. She wasn’t alarmed. My goats tend to be bucket heads anyway. Soon as they see an empty plastic feed or water bucket, they immediately stick their heads in it, pick it up and carry it on top of their heads, drop it, and do it again, unless someone else steals it to carry around like that, all very unconcerned. I’m starting to think I have very strange goats.
This was a new one, carrying a large can over the muzzle and covering the eyes and walking around with it. Why not? I have bucket head goats, why not canned head goats? I retrieved my can and put it up. The kid was very disappointed in me.
So, several times during the day, I find myself going out to help some animal. I wonder if this is the way my mom felt when all of us children were growing up. I don’t know how many times one of us fell in the commode when backing up to sit down while brushing our teeth at the sink. Naturally forgetting the all important thing of putting the lid down first. She made a lot of trips up those stairs to pull us out. The world can be a surprising place for children, too.