Hello Pack. The weather has alternated between gloriously sunny and in the 70s to rain and dreary damp conditions this week. We are still dealing with a septic tank and leach bed issue. All of the rain we got over the course of several days turned the ditches dug with the old backhoe into nasty lagoons.
My faithful companion, Jovie, fell into one of the lagoons when Bobby’s puppy Henry was bouncing on her wanting to play. She frantically tried to jump out but the pit was too steep and her hind paws got stuck in the muddy mirky bottom of the pit.
I grabbe a shovel that was nearby and tried to dig a slope into the pit so she could get out, not knowing at the time she could not get her feet free. I tried getting her around her upper body beneath her front legs and tugging, but she was just too heavy and her feet were stuck too firmly.
I kept yelling for my daughter and Justin that I could use their help, but being the very early morning hours when this happene on the way back from barn chores, they were still asleep and the bedroom is in the back of the cabin.
Jovie was exhausted, we had been on a 1 mile run before the accident, and in a panic at this point. She was too tired to keep her head above water and was now wriggled just a little shy of the pit bank and couldn’t rest her paws on it to give herself a rest and to lay her head against.
While still yelling for Brea and Justin to come help, I climbe into the pit, that had around three feet or so of water in it, nasty water that I could only hope didn’t include much raw sewage, and kept a hold of Jovie so she could rest herself against me.
Our hill is busy most days with various tribe members in and out, so I figured we would just hang there until someone showed up to help me hoist Jovie out of the pit. My voice carries, or so I have been told, so eventually (what seemed like an eternity) Brea and Justin heard me and came running.
Thankfully, the extra muscles Justin has garnered from working for a tribe member’s logging company, allowe him to free Jovie without any problem. There were showers had all around after that nearly tragic ordeal.
In the photo below you can see the two of the about 8 ditches that have been dug to get this septic issue sorted out. The furthest one away, right in front of the shelter house, was the one Jovie fell into – but it had a good bit more water in it at the time.
The day after Jovie’s ordeal I had to shoot a rooster. We called this rooster Goat. Figuring since we had a goat named Rooster (after John Wayne because this little guy has true grit) we would name a rooster Goat.
He had been an incredibly docile rooster. Both the kids and I could hand feed him. In fact, about 30 seconds beore he decided to attack me, I had been hand feeding him. Goat accidentally got back out of the run after put up when he tried to mate with a hen, and fell out chasing after her as she frantically tried to get away.
He is not a soft mater, not by a long shot. I kept having to doctor my hens because they had no, and I mean no, feathers left on the top of their heads and back. The hen ran for her life and hid under a piece of Bobby’s farm implements. No amount of coaxing or treats was going to get her back out that night.
After an hour of trying to get her and the rooster put back up, I dedided they were on their own and wished them the best of luck. Well, I lost the hen by morning but the rooster refused to go back in at put up for three days.
All the time he was out he would pace and watch #2 rooster mate with his gals. Hours were spent trying to get him back in until I figured he would either go if he wanted to or be eaten.
Until he turned on me. I was shocked, he hadn’t shown even the tiniest bit of mean side until that very moment that it came out in spades. I gave him a rather gingerly kick with my muck boot to deter him and started to walked by to the ATV and he gave chase, and was relentless with his attacks.
Well, the subsequent kicks and hits in the head with the feed scoop I had in my hand were anything but gingerlly done. Had I not kicked him one final time and turned the ATV key and left, he would have kept at it.
Such behavior will not be tolerated in a barnyard where kids go to learn, do chores, and ride horses. The next morning I grabbed my favorite low key rifle – Henry .22 (hence Bobby’s puppy’s name) and shot the scoundrel.
Except bugs and mice, that was the first time I had ever personally killed an animal. It wasn’t pleasant, but it needed done, he was my responsibility, and I did it without a second of regret.
In happier survial homesteading news, Bobby found a great new to us conditioner (hay cutter for your city folks) and hauled it home, so it is ready to be put into service next week. He also purchased some more elderbery and papaw trees at the local farmers market. We ordered Goji berry also, but they are not ready yet.
This week we did a but of waterway learning at our creek – or the private beach as all the kiddos call it. Armed with toy boats from Dollar Tree, the kids learned about the power of water, floating vs. sinking objects, boating safety with the little Playmobil people who got to ride in the boats, water depth, and navigational skills.
This Week’s Questions
- If you could have one piece of heavy equipment around your homestead – or dream homestead (other than a tractor) what would it be and why?
- Do you have a funny or harrowing rooster story? How would you deal with an out of control rooster?
- Do you teach your children, grandchildren, or tribe children about using water as a means of transportation and navigational skills? If so, how do you do it or what tips could you offer from your own boating expertise?