Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Snappers!


We’ve had a lot of rain and that always signals the snapping turtles to begin. Walking, crawling, prowling, courting, stalking. I was doing chores day before yesterday and as I went through the goat yard gate I noticed something by my poo bucket. I keep an empty 5 gallon bucket looped over a fence pole to help me clean out stalls. (It doesn’t do much.)

Huddled down into the grass was this “small” snapping turtle. His shell was about the size of a dinner plate. He hissed and carried on like a two year old when I scooped him up in the bucket and dumped him in a galvanized tub in the back of ZuZu (farm truck). My thought was to show him to H2…my grandson. (Henry #2..actually he’s #3 but he’s #2 in his household!!) He relates to any wild thing. It brings out his own internal wildness and I mean that in a most natural good way.

This is H2 several years ago..he still fishes and he still has that big smile. Oh, and he has teeth now.

I went to town and when I got back to the farm the turtle had not only escaped the confines of the tub, he had managed to get out of the truck bed and continued his walk-about. The creek borders our property so I imagine that’s where he came from and whence he returned. I’m thankful he didn’t get one of my cats or chickens in those jaws.

Today PT Patti Petunia and I were cruising down the road and this gigantic snapper was right in the middle of my lane. There was oncoming traffic so swerving was out of the question. So I slowed down to a crawl and straddled him so as not to hit him with a tire. He was so large as I went over him the back of that prehistoric shell clunked all along the underside of PT Patti. It sounded like I was going over a boulder. In my rearview mirror he stuck out that long neck and stared at me. If looks could kill.

I’m counting the days till two of my does, Polly and Becky, have their kids. I separate them at night from the rest of my herd. This morning I was just certain I had a baby because neither of them were up yet. But, no. They were just sleeping in, which my goats do often. They can be such sleepy heads. I’ve had to wake them up to milk! So, not like chickens—I hear that cockadoodledoo every morning just before daybreak. It’s so nice to smile before your eyes are even open. I love the farm.
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