Monday, February 27, 2012

Country Life

A while back, I heard an unusual story from my wife when I got home after work.  You should know first that we live a bit out in the country.  The town we live in had less than 1000 people in it when we moved in 10 years ago.  It, and the towns on either side of ours, are all small enough that they have a single zip code and post office between them.

Anyway, my wife was out front mowing the yard, when a donkey came trotting down the road in front of our house. A few of the older houses in town have horses, chickens, and donkeys that were grandfathered in when the rules changed, and there are several ranches around the town. We know there is a donkey somewhere near us, because we can sometimes hear it braying at night.

Anyway, my wife wasn't very concerned at first, as the donkey seemed to be minding his own business on the other side of the road, and in the neighbor's yards, looking in windows and sniffing around the yards. Then it saw my wife and, for some reason, either took an instant dislike to her or instantly fell in love with her, because it started running toward her, braying and kicking the whole way.

My wife was terrified, and tried to keep the running lawnmower between her and the donkey, which seemed to hold it at bay, until she could manuver herself to get inside the house.  It seemed to lose interest after she was inside, and wandered away, so she didn't think she needed to call anyone.  Then she saw it coming back, and decided it might be a good idea to call the police.  Without thinking, she dialed 911, and then panicked because she didn't think it was a real emergency, and hung up.  Bad idea.

She couldn't reach the police for our town, but she finally reached the police for the neighboring town.  They apologized, and said it was out of their jurisdiction, and that the police for our small town were only on duty on certain days, yesterday not being one of those days (again - really small town).  She thanked them and said she would try to find someone else, but as soon as she hung up, the 911 operator was calling her back to find out what was going on.  My wife apologized profusely, and told the operator everything that had happened.  There was a pause on the other end, then the operator said "Did you say donkey?".  "Yes" my wife said, "As in hee-haw. Believe me, this is not a call I would ever have dreamed I would have to make".  The operator understood, and said she would need to send a sheriff's deputy out anyway, since there is always the possibility of someone making up a story to cover a domestic disturbance (although I don't think anyone would have ever made up a story like that).

The deputy arrived a short time later, smiled and said "So, I hear you're having a donkey problem?".  My wife told him the story, and he was very nice about it.  He said that he knew someone near us that kept a donkey, and that he would drive around to try and find it, as it had moved on by that time.  He even came in to say hello to our daughter, who loves anything about policemen and police cars.  He also told my wife that donkeys could be very territorial, and that might be the reason for the attack.  Apparently some horse and sheep ranchers even keep donkeys with their animals to protect them.

God, I love living in the country.  :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Emergency Triage for a Bird

I was picking up a few things at Mall Wart the other day and when I got back to my truck, I noticed a bird (I'm pretty sure it was a grackle, which is kind of like the avian version of a squirrel or rat - they tend to flock around the parking lots looking for scraps) that was stuck with it's foot in the crack between the hood and fender of the car next to mine.

I could see blood on the area beneath it, so I knew it was in trouble.  I went over, and saw that it had broken it's leg from thrashing around trying to get loose.  I tried to grab it's leg to pull it free, but it kept trying to peck me when I did.  An older man at a car nearby saw what was happening and came over, and fortunately he was wearing gloves.  He held the bird still while I worked the leg free from the crack.

We realized the leg was pretty much useless, as it was pretty much just hanging by skin, so I took out a pen knife I had to amputate what was left of it.  A few younger guys had seen what was happening and had gathered around, and all of them gave a collective wince/groan as I cut it loose.  I know it was wrong, but I couldn't help mentally calling them all wimps as they did.

The man holding it let it go and it flew off.  The younger guys wondered if it could survive like that, but the older man pointed out that it lighted on a sign with no problem, and that there was another bird with one leg sitting on another sign close by.

I went back to the truck and felt like I had done something at least a little worthwhile, until later when I remembered the blood on the person's car, and realized I should have at least tried cleaning it off, especially since the car was white.  There's no telling what they thought when they came back.  It looked like two tiny people had a duel to the death on the hood of their car.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hellooooooooooooooo Out There!

This my first time on BlogSpot, so bare (or is it bear) with me.

I previously wrote a bit on LiveJournal, but people seem to be vacating it, so I'll try this one.

My name is Damien (more than a bit Irish), happily married for 30 years to a wonderful woman, have 2 children (girls), and 4 grandchildren (2 of each - I guess my daughter finally figured out where they were coming from...).  Most of the rest of the basics you can probably get from the profile.

More later.