Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Scary things

This morning as I was making coffee, I looked out the window just in time to see a flash of a small black animal disappearing into the woods behind the sheep pasture.
I went to get my shoes and headed out the door in time to see all the critters react in alarm.

The angora goats ran to their llama and all gathered under her belly. They stood up big and tall and stared up into the woods. Their posture said, "We have a llama, you can't get us." Of course, I don't think they realized the llama would have a hard time fighting off predators with nine little goats underfoot.

The sheep all ran to the fence nearest the house and began hollering. "Maaaaaam! We're scared! Feed us!" Sheep are the ultimate stress eaters. If there's anything scary going on, they want to eat. I'm not sure that is a very sustainable behaviour for a species that is fairly low on the food chain.

The dairy goats looked at the other critters with disdain and began to tromp up the hill to beat up the scary thing. They have no horns or any other defense mechanisms, but boy do they have attitude!

I fed the sheep and heard the stray dogs in the forest take up the scent of a rabbit. They bayed and howled back and forth through the woods behind the pasture. I caught several glimpses of two small short-haired dogs. Nothing big enough to be a threat to our critters, but their barking sure frayed my nerves. They barked up and down the hill, through the forest. They had now been back there for more than an hour.

While I got dressed for work, I considered trying to catch them, but I really didn't have the time to go up into the woods. I wished I had a few fire crackers to scare them off. Now, three days after July 4th I come up with a use for firecrackers.

As I left for work, the stray dogs were still barking and our critters were beginning to ignore them. I hope the dogs are gone when I get home.

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