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Tuesday, January 03 2017

You know you're a punk when you can't catch a half-blind deaf dog. In my defense, she's really fast.

Because severe storms with possible golf ball size hail had been forecasted I busied myself with getting my trucks under cover before I went to bed. I tucked in sheep and Livestock Guardian Dogs, set up my weather radio in the window, and crawled into bed. Other Half had been planning on leaving his truck outside in the elements because he's one of those "gotta touch the wet paint" people. Then he listened to the weather report and saw the radar. Hmmmmm. . .

Still stinging from the broken pipes fiasco, I think he knew he'd never live it down if he left his truck out and ended up with a broken windshield, so at 1 AM he moved the tractor out of the haybarn and drove the dually in.  (For you city folk, that's just a farm truck with four tires in the rear. Very common in rural areas where people haul heavy loads.) The problem was that the roll-down door wouldn't close because the truck was longer than the tractor. No worries. He just tied the door to the trailer hitch. Problem solved.

The storm was a non-event for our little area but I'm not complaining. Any time we dodge hail it's cause for celebration. So the next morning I made my coffee, let the dogs out, and greeted the day. MoonPossum, the deaf, visually impaired, Australian Shepherd puppy, wears a bell on her collar so we can keep track of her as she toots around the barnyard. On most mornings, the tinkling of her bell is a welcome addition to the normal din of sheep bleating, goats screaming, chickens cackling, cows mooing, horses neighing, and dogs barking. On this morning it was absent.

Always afraid that Possum will find a hole in the fence and slip out with large livestock or the everpresent BoogeyBeast, I dropped what I was doing and marched out in search of Tinkerbell. There was a muffled jingling inside the haybarn. Damn! With the dually's ass sticking out of the barn, the barn gate couldn't close and thus MoonPossum had gained access to the Forbidden Palace.

The Hay Barn houses the tractor, the hay (duh!), pallets of cow feed, the bobcat (tiny bulldozer-like Tonka toy for men), tools, more tools, and Nikita the Barn Cat - Queen of the Night. Nikita is a hired assassin.  Like most contract killers, contact with her employers is minimal. We place catfood (payment offerings) in her bowl (altar) and in turn, she leaves the bodies of her victims targets lying either by the altar bowl or on the hay.

Rats equal damaged bags of cow feed. Rats attract copperheads. Close contact with live rats gives me gray hairs. Thus Nikita the contract killer is exhalted to supreme status on the farm and given whatever she wants. Therefore copious amounts of cat food are placed on the altar.

The altar (cat food bowl) is set on the pavement near the tractor where Nikita sits on her throne (tractor seat). From this position the Queen of the Night lies in wait for any and all rodents attracted to her altar. It is not at all unusual to find one or two dead rodents (sacrifices) each morning. Her top number was three large rats and a mouse in one night.

And so it was that I heard Tinkerbell shuffling around inside the Hay Barn. As I untied the string on the door the sound of the altar (cat food bowl) scraping across the floor announced that MoonPossum had found the cat food. After I freed the door, it rolled it up and sunlight flooded the barn to reveal a smiling MoonPossum with a rather large dead rat in her mouth. The rat's tail bounced in rhythm to the tinkling of Possum's bell as she bounced across the pavement.


The curious thing about a deaf and blind dog is that they cannot hear you scream at them, and so Possum settled down at the altar and commenced to gagging down that rat, tail first.  The rear-end of the dually was sticking out of the barn door like Winnie-the-Pooh stuck in a honey jar. I tried to squeeze through on the right side but it wasn't happening. Too much sourdough bread. Too much winter clothing. So I sucked in my breath and squeezed through on the left side. The front of the truck was pulled up so close to some tools that I couldn't pass without climbing over. Possum saw me coming and momentarily stopped choking down her rat to run under the the truck and out the door.

I squeezed my fat ass back past the truck bumper and out into the barnyard where Possum lay in the sand poking her rat.

At this point I paused and whipped out my phone to preserve this moment so I could roll it out the next time she was licking Other Half's face as they played in his recliner. I am wicked that way.

With photographic proof in hand, I then snatched up a barn rake and marched toward Possum. She smiled at me as I approached. With the sun to her back the half-blind dog was able to see me and the rake and read my intentions, so she grabbed up her rat, and danced off gagging it down as fast as she could. I tried cajoling her. I tried threatening her. I tried chasing her down. You know you're a punk when you can't catch a half-blind deaf dog.

I resorted to ordering the Labrador to steal the rat. This was fruitless too. Apparently possession is 9/10ths of the law no matter how small you are, and as such, Dillon had no intention of stealing a rat from a baby. MoonPossum settled down in the driveway to crunch the rat. The puppy grinned at me before turning her head sideways and crunching that rodent's skull like a child with a Tootsie Pop. And that was it. Down the hatch. All gone. It was enough to make me barf up my sourdough pancakes.

Rat down, MoonPossum burped and smiled at me. I gagged. The puppy was then happy to wiggle up to me. She tried licking my hand as I snapped a leash on her collar. I then locked her in a kennel run and went inside to scrub the rat cooties off my hands. And then scrub out the kitchen sink. And change coats. Cuz there were rat cooties on the sleeve.

Back outside I backed the dually out of the Hay Barn and rolled my garden cart inside for fresh alfalfa. Nikita meowed and curtsied to me as I hoisted a bale aside and uncovered a hidden graveyard of rat heads.

I plopped the bale at my feet in disgust. Nikita meowed again and stepped back and forth on her front feet kneading the air with her toes while I swallowed the rising bile in the back of my throat. Briar shuffled up beside me. After one quick glance to assess the situation, the big white dog snarfed up rat heads like popcorn shrimp. I gagged and stumbled outside into the fresh air and sunshine.

The only good thing about starting a day with dead rats is that things can only go uphill from there. Farms just ain't for sissies.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:32 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Finally someone who understands the cooties contamination on the clothing!! Thanks for the humorous description of a morning on a farm.
Posted by Linda Cadman Godsey on 01/03/2017 - 01:41 PM
Oh God the description of popcorn......NEVER will it be the same.....Happy New Year by the way
Posted by Liz {Vic Aust] on 01/03/2017 - 05:51 PM
I just vomited a little in my mouth.
Posted by Patty on 01/04/2017 - 08:32 PM
Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to find the bright side of something.... all natural dog treats
Posted by Eric on 01/07/2017 - 01:21 PM

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