Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Night At The Farm...

Oooh, that just sounds like trouble. Before you read this, may I suggest that you make sure all of your doors are closed and there is no chance that wild animals can enter, bite you and give you rabies. Seriously, do it.

Last night I went to the farm for my twice weekly feed, milk and pitch shit session on a very cold and windy evening. This isn't a post complaining about the bitter cold, although school has been cancelled today due to extreme temps, but rather a post about how I am not a farm girl. Just because I live in an old farmhouse, out in the middle of a large farm field and work on a dairy farm, does not mean I was born with the farm instinct necessary to deal with what I witnessed last night.

I was ready to bed the heifers, so I ran up the barn hill and into the upstairs hay and straw storage area to drop down a bale of straw to spread in the pens. As I approached the straw bales, I saw what I thought was just a farm cat leaning up against the very bale I needed to disassemble and toss down through the hole in the floor. As I got closer I realized that this was no cat. No, the tail was too fluffy, and bigger, much bigger than the skinny farm cats, and the mask around it's face??? Then all of a sudden this ran through my brain:

Holy shit! It's a raccoon, probably has rabies, is totally gonna bite me, I'm not carrying a pitch fork and my raccoon eradicator friend, Bonnie is nowhere to be found!!! all of this runs through my head as I stand there motionless hoping that the dirty, miserable thing doesn't see me. I catch my breath, calmly walk back downstairs and announce to the farmer, Ms. D. that "There's a f*cking raccoon upstairs; and this is where I draw the line." She chuckles and says, "did you at least get your bale down?" "Um-no, there's a raccoon standing next to it!" Then she says so matter of factly "Take Peppy (the hyper farm dog) along... and here this too" as she hands me a pitchfork. Reluctantly, I coax the dog outside and up into the barn. We get up there and the dog doesn't notice the raccoon. As I'm pointing with my fork from a safe distance, the dog finally sees the thing and of course as I suspected, all hell breaks loose. Biting, snarling, screaming. The dog had no intentions of just chasing the raccoon out of the barn; that crazy dog was out for blood. After about 10 minutes of screaming and thrashing, equal parts me and the animals, Ms. D pulls open the hay chute and yells,
"did he git 'em out?"
me: "Um-no, they're still fighting, and AAAAHHH!"
Ms. D: "I'm comin' up"

She comes in the barn to cheer on the dog and assist by using the pitchfork to lift the thrashing raccoon with dog still attached out of the barn and into the snow, where the dog could finish him off.

I catch my breath, make sure that I haven't peed myself, then chuckle and admit that "I am no farm girl!" Ms. D agreed as I took the pitch fork from her hand, threw down my bale of straw and left the barn.

After chores, I went out to start my truck and noticed that the raccoon was still lying in the middle of the driveway, motionless and well on it's way to being a frozen raccoon-cicle.

I know this is a fact of life living in the country, but at home, my hubby takes care of these things. It's common to see mice or the occasional rat at the farm, and I have even stepped on a mouse and called the cats over for an afternoon treat, but this was over the top.


Rachel said...

OMG! Crazy! Apparently, my husband is not a farm girl, either. We once had a HUGE raccoon digging in our garbage can in our garage! You should have seen him (my husband!) jump and run at the sight of that thing! LOL

Glad you're okay!

Out in Them Sticks said...

oh lordy, that's funny! i'm not a farm girl either!

Out in Them Sticks said...

since i made our blog private, let me know if you want an invite. perhaps you could e-mail sam or sara your e-mail address to me?

E4H said...

old Luxembourg proverb says: mountain dew and rat poison put raccoon to sleep. cats don't drink it - they despise caffeine

Sidhe said...

Oh, I love it!

Reminds me, I was supposed to shoot a raccoon once and as I was standing there with the .22, aiming and looking into his really sad little eyes (trying to remind myself of all the bad things raccoons do) the thing apparently took pity on me and just fell over dead (no joke).

Not much of a farm girl either...sometime I'll tell you all about cleaning chickens...

skyewriter said...

Glad to know you survived mostly unharmed (but I'm sure the emotional scars will remain).

I would have been SOOO outta there!