Shakin’ Things Up

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 I’ve always been the kind of person who enjoys new and exciting experiences now and then to shake things up with work; just not too overdone.
Last Thursday and Friday I got my quota for new and exciting experiences among a mundane work routine. I went to dole out the last of the heifers’ creep feed. I was singing the theme song I have for them; “Welcome to the Jungle.” (It seems so fitting when trying to get past them to get to the creep feed hopper.) I started filling a bucket, constantly watching my back (the hopper sets on a trailer close to the feed bunks) just singin’ away and stopped once it was full. I bent down to grab the bucket’s handle and freaked out to find one confused mouse on top. He appeared dazed like he’d just been on a scary carnival ride because he didn’t move immediately.
Taken totally by surprise, I couldn’t think clearly about how to dispose of it perched on top of the creep. I didn’t have any gloves to sweep it off and as it got more mobile, I got increasingly jumpier. At this point I was no longer worried about getting knocked down and trampled on by the heifers. Instead, I think all my dancing around spooked them. While contemplating what to do and trying to keep the calves from going after the bucket of creep, the little vermin finally dove off but my reaction time wasn’t quick enough exterminate him.
I let out a big sigh, shook my head, and dumped the bucket in the feed bunk. I pondered over the whole scenario in deep thought as I went back to refill the bucket. When I went to dump the next bucket, another mouse scurried out! He acted mortified of the huge black heads swaying at his every turn and raced around the bunk looking for an exit.
Meanwhile the calves were totally oblivious and kept their eyes on the bucket in my hand the whole time as I danced around again, trying to get the mouse cornered with the bucket. Nearby calves stared at my like I was loco, and spooked every time I jolted around and clanged the bucket. After several attempts at trying to scoop the mouse with the bucket, it finally found a crack to squeeze through and bolted. I was edgy the rest of the morning.
So Friday dawned as a fresh, new day with a different chore, and I’d forgotten about my vermin episode. The kids and I (we’re 4 day school week) hauled water for the heifers and headed to the stack yard north of Pringle to pick up my husband. He needed us to give him a ride back home to pick up the round bales he had loaded on the flatbed because he had to drive the tractor up for unloading the bales with, first.
As we approached my husband, he stood stopped in the middle of the road and kept looking at us, then toward the fence repeatedly. I assumed he found a fawn in the grass, but no. He’d stepped on the tail of a bull snake that was REALLY mad by the time we got there, and my husband kept it provoked while waiting for us, so he could show it to us.
Two days worth of excitement shook things up alright. It shook the notion for new and exciting experiences right out of me.


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