Tuesday, September 15

Critter-sitting for the neighbours

Jim & I are not farmers. While we're proud of all we've learned about country living since we left the city nearly 5 years ago, we're really 'woods' and not 'pasture' kind of country folk.

But nevertheless, when our neighbours asked us to critter-sit for them while they took a September vacation, we said sure, no problem. So for nearly a week, we trotted up the road twice a day to do our chores.

We fed pigs (definitely a two-person job; I acted as rodeo clown while Jim got the trough right-side-up); fed dogs; watered chickens and collected their eggs; and let the horse and pony out to graze.

Our neighbours had warned us that the pony, Buddy, is a little Houdini, but we didn't realize that Mocha, the horse, also had aspirations to wander the neighbourhood while
her people were away.

Twice they decided to take themselves for a walk down Fern Glen Road. We discovered that convincing one pregnant horse and one stubborn pony that it's time to go home requires some skills in equine negotiation that we haven't quite mastered. With some help from a horse-friendly guest (thanks Murray!) and another neighbour (thanks Bob!), we managed to corral our little herd.

Aside from some rather unnerving moments -- an angry dog, food-frenzied pigs, hens trying to fly the coop, the pony stepping on my foot (owch!) -- we had fun! If our neighbours ask again, we'll say sure, no problem. That's what we country folk do.

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