Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The "Quiet Country Life"
Yes, these are horses. Yes, they're in my paddock. No, they're not mine. I promise I'll explain at the end!
The morning started out with the gas cylinders which supply our oven and hot water being empty when I went to turn it on. Apparently Nic forgot to switch it over to the other cylinder before it fully ran out and while he did flip it after he forgot to start the pilot light again. So that was annoying but when I went to start the pilot light again... bupkiss. Tried again. Bupkiss. Tried resetting it. Bupkiss. So no hot water and both La and I needed a shower - me for my hair which was dirty and La for the fact he'd had breakfast and had jam, yogurt and banana smeared liberally through his hair. That ended up being done by heating some water and using a deep bowl to wash our hair...
At this point we were already late for playgroup and I notice one of the ewes is looking distinctly unhappy and having big old contractions and needed help. One leg was poking out and one nose, when they're ought to be two legs poking out. There was a long rubber glove, KY jelly and a lot of shoving involved, along with one VERY unappreciative mumma sheep. 'Nuff said!
After all this I'm figuring the day has already had it's share of excitement. We eventually get to PG at Box Hill, have our fun, PG's over, so I decide to stop at the aquarium shop in Boronia on the way back to pick up a few more fish and drive back cutting through Emerald which is always a pretty drive.
As I get out and let the dogs out, La is sound asleep so I start putting stuff away. I notice a whole bunch of cars stopping in front of my house. I notice two horses running in front of my house. I am more than occasionally forgetful and all too often my memory blips out at the most inconvienient times but I am *fairly* sure I do not remember buying two horses anytime recently. Or, you know, actually EVER.
There are nevertheless two large horses running around in front of my house and looking rather panicked - tossing their heads, whale eyes, dancing about. So I swing open my gates and call them in, sending up silent prayers to whichever deity is around to tell Murphy to piss off for awhile and pllllleeeeeaaaasssseeeee let these horses be friendly and not prone to biting, kicking or other such delights. Thankfully they are happy just to get off the road and upon seeing the gate swing open they trot at a fast clip into the paddocks - straight over to the hay. Figures.
So I lock the gate behind them, lock the paddock gate and then notice my sheep and Clancy the idiot alpaca who thinks he's going to play guard-alpaca with these horses who outweigh him ten times over. He's got guts. I'll give him that. Brains, no... but guts a plenty! With visions of maimed sheep and difficult explanations in my head, I jump the gate and run like hell for the sheep and alpaca, chuck them in the OTHER paddock in case these horses are ones that think biting sheep and alpacas is a good sport.... which the wooly buggers don't appreciate! Run back as fast as I can seeing as how La is still asleep in the car to check on him and the lovely lady who has stopped to help me shoo the horses into my paddock ask me if they are mine. Um. Nope. I just figured horses on the road where Mack trucks frequent at high speeds is a baaaaad idea!
Now I've got two horses in my paddock. And they're eatting MY hay. But they're not mine.
Huh... what the hell do I do with this?!?!?!? Who do you even call? I imagine calling the police to tell them I've found two stray horses. "Yes officer, I found two horses. I've no idea where they came from. Why no, I haven't been drinking today..." What would the police even do with them... lock them up in a squad car? LOL Hm. Don't think they'd fit! I'm not sure we've even got an animal control let alone what their number is. And with this whole horse flu thing I do not need to be stuck with horses for a month! I don't know my neighbors number but I walk over to knock on the theory that if they're hers she'll be glad to have them back and if they're not she might know whose they are. At the very least she knows about horses so she'd know who to call.
Problem. She has three unfamiliar horses in her driveway loose behind her gate. This is not where they're supposed to be and I don't recognize them anyhow but they nixed my idea of going in to knock on her door as they pinned their ears at me and weren't looking very friendly. So at this point I remember we've got the same real estate agent and HE might have her number. Ring him, explain what's going on, get her number from him and at that point someone comes running up the driveway.
I know it's probably redundant but I had to ask... "Um. Are you missing two horses?" They were. Whew. One of them had been hers since she was a child and she'd been in an absolute panic about them. Apparently had broken through the fence and got spooked on the road, which made them run. The two had made it at least a good two kilometers from their paddocks before I'd gotten them penned! Holy crud... how do two big horses (these guys were 16 hands if they were an inch!) run down the road for two kilometers without SOMEONE noticing and calling the authorities?!?!? O_o
So I asked where they lived, knowing they must live nearby. Apparently they are my neighbors... not my next door neighbors but the neighbors' neighbor. So far every neighbor I've met has been when one of their animals strayed onto my property - Talbot's and their cows, the other neighbors and THEIR cows, and now these guys and their horses.
I have GOT to quit meeting my neighbors this way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Especially as the other neighbor I haven't met keeps ostrich!