In the time that my computer has been grumpy about allowing me to post pictures, we've had two unusual visitors here at the “Good Old Days Farm”!
A week or so ago Papa the Farmer and the Little Farmhands were down by the road fixing the gate. I was walking up the hill back to the house to fix dinner and something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked and something small and black was moving across the yard. A moment later I realized my small black furry visitor had a white stripe down his back. You guessed it! We had a skunk!
I decided to watch the skunk to see where it was going. If we have a skunk living somewhere on our property, that’s definitely something I want to know about! Ignorance is bliss, but not when it comes to skunks! So I watched as he beelined straight for the children’s play area. By this time Papa the Farmer and the little farmhands had joined me and we were all watching together. I didn’t want him making a new home near the play area so we scared him away. That’s when he headed for the open door of Papa the Farmer’s work shed! We all laughed and laughed as Papa the Farmer tried to outrun the skunk to reach the shed first. The last thing he wants is to be surprised by a skunk who has moved into the shed the next time he goes down there to work!
The children had an idea to scare the skunk away. “Let’s let the dog loose and he can scare it away!” they suggested. I had visions of the entire family plus the dog crowded in the bathtub later that night bathing in tomato juice! Finally the skunk wandered off into the bushes and headed towards a vacant property. I think that will be a much more suitable home for him.
Our other unexpected visitor was smaller than the skunk, but equally unwelcome. Here’s a picture of him:
A mouse. Now, before any city people reading this blog judge me for having a mouse in my house, let me just tell you… mice coming indoors during cold weather is just part of living in the country. It’s a trade off. We don’t hear traffic, we don’t breathe polluted air, but we have to set mouse traps every year. That’s just part of the deal. Once in a while we’ll see a mouse scurry across the floor or we’ll notice tell-tale signs that something is trying to get into the pantry and we know it’s time to set traps. That’s not unusual. What was unusual about this mouse was the way I discovered that he was in the house. The little boy-farmhand was crouched down in the kitchen with his back to me.
“What are you doing, Farm-boy?” I asked. (Ok, I don’t really call him “Farm-boy” in real life… that’s just for the benefit of the blog.)
“Petting our new mouse!” he delightedly answered.
What kind of mouse just sits around, lays out on the kitchen floor for an hour at a time and lets little 4 year old boys pet them. This is the second mouse in January that has acted strange like this. The first one was on New Year’s Day and I almost stepped on him before I saw him! Even then, he just sat where he was and didn’t try to run away. (As I write this, it occurs to me… perhaps this isn’t the second strange mouse this year… perhaps this is the same mouse who just came back for a second visit!)
The picture above was taken yesterday. This morning when we woke up, our little mouse-friend was stretched out on the kitchen floor taking a nap. Papa the Farmer and I actually spent a few minutes this morning trying to decide if the mouse was alive or dead before we swept him up in a dustpan and took him outside. Oh yeah… That’s how we got rid of him. We just swept him up in a dustpan. And he was alive.