Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Every Paradise has a Dark Side :)

Something I really enjoy doing is spending time at my girlfriend Nancy's farm, down in southeastern Minnesota.  It is a little piece of paradise, at least when it isn't snowing.

Nancy raises incredible Shetland Sheep, top quality Bantam Cochins, Standard Buff Orpingtons, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, American Guinea Hogs and the obligatory cats and dogs to round out the farm picture.  She is a gifted photographer, and an amusing blogger.  Her animals are spoiled rotten well loved, and usually incredibly well behaved.  At least when she is around.  I've discovered a darker side!

It all started two weeks ago when I was visiting.  I was doing quite a bit of work outside in the yard and in the smaller barn, as well as taking breaks to visit with the sheep.  On one such stroll to the pasture, I felt a "thump!" on the back of my leg and looked down to see a Bantam Cochin roo all puffed up and annoyed, eyeing my leg for another strike.  I tried walking away, and he stalked after me, launching attack after attack.  I immediately named him Steve.  (I name everything that annoys me Steve.)  After a while, Steve wore himself out, and wandered back to his area of the farm.  Over then next few days, every time I came outside, Steve and I had an encounter.  Nancy told me to pick him up and talk nicely to him.  So I tried that.  Didn't work.  Then, I noticed a pattern.  If Nancy was in the yard with me, he was nice as could be, and totally ignored me.  The minute her back was turned, "Wham!" he'd launch another attack.

This is Steve.  Yes, Steve is very beautiful. So was Mata Hari.

The following video was taken during my visit on Monday of this week.  Nancy was gone, and I stopped by to drop some stuff off, and visit the animals.  Sorry, the audio isn't great, but the little banty roo is a hoot.

Next, I tried Nancy's way, and I picked him up.

Yup.  Still not working.

From there, I went out to the sheep pasture.   Apparently, Steve has been spreading evil rumors about me to the sheep.

Yikes!  Sheep are considerably bigger than banty roos!  I decided I'd better film the attack, just to leave a record of my last few minutes of life, in case I was unable to calm the mob down.   

Luckily, with enough head scratching and belly rubbing (these are VERY pregnant ewes) everyone backed off to a slightly more sociable distance.  Or it could be because I ran out of animal crackers.

Did I mention VERY pregnant?  This is Double-Wide Destiny.  She had triplets last spring, and to my utterly uneducated eye, I'd say she will probably repeat that this year.

This is Dazzle. She is my very favorite of all the sheep.  I have a  hard time getting a good photo of her, because she is usually about 2 inches from my face, giving me sheepy kisses.

Like this:

And this:

Next, I went into the house to drop off the stuff I had brought, when I was attacked by a new threat.


Oh, that blur was Sable!   Sable loves me.  She doesn't listen to that silly old rooster.

Now, lest anyone think that Nancy is harboring dangerous animals, this post was written VERY tongue-in-cheek!  Nancy is a wonderful friend, who has been kind enough to share her animals with me, and I love all of them very much.  (Well, maybe not Steve.  I'd love Steve in a stew pot with dumplings, though!)

When I got home, I walked into my son's room, and saw this on the floor:

Wondering what kind of target marker it could possibly be, I looked up.

That is a small potted tree that has been DUCT-TAPED to the ceiling, with half a roll of camouflaged duct tape.  

Steve must have called while I was gone.