#12 Chase animals
This summer my parents spent a month in the village with Rachel and me. One day, in the middle of lunch, my dad and I had to go rescue a goat who was caught by his horns in the fence. He didn’t appreciate it very much. Not my dad–the goat. Although we were trying to help, he was sure we were intent on strangling him. That day my dad told me that I should write about how I spend my time out here, including dealing with farm animals.
While this isn’t a major time commitment or anything, it is a snippet of life on a “ranch,” as the people here would say. We have to sometimes leave our desk, or our company, or our project, to chase animals away, assisted by our enthusiastic dog, barking her head off.
We work on our fence, so that our chickens can’t get out, but then have to chase them back in when they manage to fly over. Chasing chickens was never on my life’s goals list and time and experience has not made me an expert.
We deal with goats’ lack of spatial awareness, and donkeys eating our laundry off the fence, and other peoples’ dogs in our trash pit, and horses trying to reach the plants over the fence, and cows wandering by (another thing which our pup doesn’t take quietly). We sometimes even get to do a little veterinary first aid for the community. When the plane is scheduled to arrive, we have to arrive early and chase animals away from the area.
We live in a farming community, so all of this is inevitable. We have also learned the cultural acceptability of dealing with other people’s livestock. Like, for example, if your dog attacks a neighbor’s pig on the road the pig should have been smart enough to get out of the way sooner. Too bad for him and for his owner. But if a friend’s chicken squeezes into your fence, then it’s up to you to pay for that chicken once it is dangling from your dog’s mouth. Who knew?
Oh well, at least it keeps life interesting.