Submitted by Kaare Askildt, former Preeceville area farmer in training. This is the final story of a series on the move to Hazel Dell.
Phew! We finally finished our move to Hazel Dell! Or rather, my wife and Sue did it! My back never recovered in time, but I’ll be back in shape for all the work we have to do here. I’ll keep y’all informed about the progress.
However, during the night Annie our Jersey got the “wanderlust” and snuck out by belly crawling under the lowest wire. None of the horses followed her, they were either not agile enough, or didn’t have the desire to do any exploration. My wife is an early riser and when she got out of bed at 5:00 a.m., she could see Annie’s hoof prints in the new fallen snow.
First she had ambled eastward as she knew that there are some cows there, but the swampy marsh stopped her. She then ambled by our house and out the driveway, probably looking for some moo-vies. My wife got in the truck with a bucket of oats and followed the tracks. Annie was happily grazing in one of the villager’s back yard, and leaving a bit of fertilizer at the same time. My wife got her attention with the oats, snuck a halter over her head and walked her back home like most people would walk their dog. She put her into the pen with Dewey, one of the senior horses, went back to pick up the truck and rushed off to work. Of course I had been fully briefed of the situation before she left, and was asked to keep an eye on Annie.
Marion had asked me to drop a hay bale over the fence for the horses, as they were completely out of feed. My back was still giving me a problem, but I managed to climb up on the tractor and delivered the bale as requested. If anybody would have seen me, they would have seen a figure resembling Quasimodo, hunched forward and limping across the yard with the arms swinging from side to side almost dragging on the ground, and then this creature hoisting himself up on the tractor, grunting all the way!
Of course our dog Lady thought I was playing and kept jumping up to lick my face! Upon completion of the task, I dragged my sorry butt back into the house and plunked down in my office chair. From my office I can see all the pens and the animals within them. Everything looked normal for about 3 hours, but suddenly I saw Annie laying on the straw in the pen that she had been blocked out of, chewing her cud! This required some investigation. Quasimodo lurched across the yard to take a good look, but could not determine where she had gotten through!
I called my wife to report the phenomena, and she told me not to worry as long as Annie was in one of the pens. I am sure that Annie is related to Houdini, because just after 5:00 p.m, she wandered across the yard to check out the chicken coop! I frantically called my wife, who urged me to take the bucket of oats and entice Annie back into one of the pens. Quasimodo grabbed the bucket limped over to the layers and called Annie and shook the bucket so Annie could hear the oats. She stopped, turned around and followed me back to an unsecured pen. So while Annie was busy feeding on the oats that I had poured out of the bucket, I strung some temporary wires to secure her there.
My wife had hurried home and took over. She found where Annie had just walked straight through the fence, and secured that with a hog panel. Annie didn’t seem the least concerned with all the commotion she had caused! She just looked at me with her big wet eyes and smiled. I guess that makes her a laughing stock?