Friday, April 24, 2009
Woodland Critter Riot
Here on the farm, I'm a favorite of our animals. Basically, I'm a walking food dispenser. You know how on the cartoons, when someone is really hungry, they'll look at another person and see a roast chicken? I think when the farm animals look at me, they see a giant bag of oats. They expect treats when they see me, and they're rarely disappointed.
Recently, we ran out of the goats' oats and scratch grains for the chickens. We were on vacation, and our pet sitter was diligent in following my instructions to "give the goats and chickens grain for treats if you want to." And you know how it is the week after vacation...you're getting caught up on laundry, cleaning, unpacking...so grain-shopping can fall by the wayside.
Well, apparently, there's only so much my animals are willing to take.
It started innocently. The chickens followed me around, clucking to each other eagerly, looking at me expectantly, then standing by the back door, crestfallen, as I left them treatless. But too soon, it escalated into something much uglier. One day, Jezebel the goat rammed the back door as I was going back inside. She forced her way into the basement with me, and demanded to know where the grain had gone. I had to lure her back out with an empty bucket. This was a blatant lie, and I knew I'd pay for this subterfuge. I just didn't know how dearly I would pay.
The next time I went out to feed, I was prepared. I had finally purchased grain for both the goats and the chickens. I admit that when I looked through the glass door, I was a bit nervous about the scene I observed. There they were, seven chickens and two goats, lined up and glaring at me through the window. I swear, some of the chickens had their wings folded over their chests and were tapping their feet impatiently. Their anger was apparent, but surely they'd forgive me once they saw I'd finally brought their grain....
But no. As soon as I walked out the door, I was attacked. Surrounded by outraged goats and chickens. They circled me, eyeing me angrily, muttering to themselves. It reminded me of a scene from Grease, only both gangs were after me and there was no singing to lighten the mood. The goats approached, and, essentially, tried to climb me. I don't know how else to describe it. They stood on their hind legs, and tried to climb their way up to where I held the oat bucket. A riot erupted. The chickens began jumping up, trying to snatch the grains out of my hands. It was like something out of a Hitchcock movie, and I immediately regreted not capturing it on film for the You Tubes.
I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear I wasn't badly hurt. I was covered in dirt and hoofprints, and got a couple of bruises on my legs from where the goats were able to get a foothold, but I'm fine now. I'm also very glad to report that something good came out of all this. Once the riot began to wind down, I realized I could essentially choreograph the goats' and chickens' moves to follow the grain bucket. Now, instead of a woodland critter riot, we have a dance troupe. And they're quite good.