Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How Much Wood?

It was five thirty. Frasier was hungry, and her shoes were on the wrong feet. I took them off, plopped her on my hip, and went out to do the evening chores, with the promise that I'd feed her as soon as we were back in the house. We fed the four dogs (choosing to ignore the half-mouse a cat or dog had vomited in front of the garage door.) We moved to the barn.

In the barn, we inched past the Dogtor's pile of circular saws, nails, chicken wire, and other tools I can't name (the chicken coop is in progress), got a scoop of feed, and opened the goat stall. The goats - usually wild in anticipation of food - did not stand up and prop their hooves on the stall bars. Instead, they stood sheepishly next to the wall.

I gave the horse some grain and joint supplement, then closed up shop and left the barn - only to hear Pippa, the take-no-prisoners Corgi, barking that bark every dog owner fears: HOLY SHIT I'VE GOT SOMETHING GOOD IN HERE AND, GOD WILLING, I MIGHT TRY TO EAT IT.

I turned around to investigate. I found Pip in the goat stall, where she had cornered - and was lunging at - a woodchuck. The woodchuck stood on its hind legs and made, well, angry woodchuck sounds. I tried to shoo Pippa from the stall - no luck. This was a job for a woman with hands, and my hands were wrapped around the squirming toddler on my hip. I knew I had to get Pippa out of the stall, or an altercation might ensue. But what to do with the toddler?

This is where a large yard comes in handy.

Strategy: place toddler in middle of yard. Run to barn. Repeat, because toddler is faster than you thought. Run back to barn. Try and shoo woodchuck out. Fail. Toddler has closed in again, and is nearing the circular saw. Repeat strategy. Close and bolt barn door. Grab toddler and stare through the stall window at the very sad woodchuck trying to look invisible in the stall corner.

Wait for Dogtor to get home.

Drink wine, visit stall with Dogtor, and take funny picture of Oliver the goat saying "WTF?" at the woodchuck.

Lock dogs in house. Run, woodchuck, run.


  1. Oliver: "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck to get the f*($)(# away..."

    poor little guy! hope he made it out ok!

  2. Woodchucks. Hate em. Tunnel my whole garden. So, Rob does the "have a heart trap let em out far far away" and I do the "go Pippa!"

  3. love the story.......amazing how toddler on hip affects ability to react instantly.......
    great thinking on your part! : )

  4. ohh the joys of country parenting!