I was outside feeding the ducks when a power company truck drove by slowly, honking its horn. Well, this salty old farmer has been around the barn a few times and knows by instinct and past experience that a slow-moving vehicle honking in front of the farm means one thing … trouble! And that's exactly what I got! I ran to the front and what did I see? Sweetie, our mama llama, outside the fence by our big concrete hand munching away on the grass that is always greener on the other side, especially near the road!
I slapped my hand to head with near bruising force and moaned so loud that she looked up at me. I ran to the barn to get a cup of grain in hopes of a quick end to the escape. Of course, as I ran to the barn, the goats saw me coming, trotted over, and stopped in front of me baaaaaaing to make sure I saw their starving bodies. I dodged to get a cup of tasty sweet grain, ran back to the front where the escapee was and left my front gate open so I could coax her back in that way. It didn't work.
Sweetie decided to gallop around the fence, going in the opposite direction with me following. Baby llama was upset that mama was on one side and him on the other so he followed her from the inside crying. She ran around the back and parked herself in the corn stalks. I looked up to the heavens and said in a loud frustrated voice, "Lord, I can't do this. I need help!" Within a minute, a car pulled over and a nice woman with a little girl got out and asked me if I needed help! I thankfully said yes and the three of us ran with outstretched arms following a llama who had determined not to go back.
We chased that llama until my legs went numb. Emma, the sweet girl, guarded my fallen gate to make sure the other llamas didn't make a run for it while I gave her a crash course in do's and don'ts about llamas. She understood and was great. We got mama llama in and did not mimic the recent viral llama-chasing video on social media. It was then I had a sickening remembrance as my brain went into replay mode, reminding me that I left my front gate open because I was going to chase her back in that way.
Another hand slap to the forehead! I looked over and what did my little eye spy? A donkey and a horse across the street eating my neighbor's grass, you know, the folks who don't care much for the Addie Acres antics. I yelled at the nice woman who thought she was done animal chasing for the year, pointing to the new adventure. We took off, running across the street. These animals are smarter than the average bear and knew I was coming over to catch them and subsequently took off running alongside the road turning into the subdivision.
Our grumpy neighbor came out of his house not wanting to miss yet another chance to glare with his arms folded across his chest and the 50-50 look on his face that a call to animal control was very possible. The two renegades galloped between houses, cars, fences and me with the nice woman named Laura in pursuit. I tricked Dunkay with a cup of grain slipping the rope around his neck. He was not happy that the human outsmarted him so he took off running across the yard with me behind him hanging onto the rope that ended up giving me rope burns. I am now aware that my donkey is bigger and stronger than me. It took a few seconds, along with threat of never being fed again, to make him stop.
Laci the mini tank continued to run behind us as the nice woman closed the gap behind her. They headed for the road and, of course, there were cars coming. I ran ahead, waved my arms like a crazy person to make all vehicles stop so the circus could cross the road. It was quite the comedic picture as the crazy farm woman pulled an unhappy donkey, while a mini-horse followed and another woman behind the wagon train, crossed the road in view of the four or five idling cars. I'm sure they were laughing, shaking their heads, or filming the entertainment!
The folks around here are still trying to figuring out the occasional Addie Farm antics! Escapee animals have happened before, but not with that many critters at one time. We finally got everybody in and I thanked the helping hands as I went inside to nurse my own wounded hands. On reflection, I am thankful that only three animals were out and that the Lord sent me help. Emma, the little girl, wants to be a veterinarian and has a small horse for 4-H. God knew specialty help was needed and saw fit to have her and her momma come by right on time. Woo hoo, as we say, only at Addie Acres!
PS ... true story!
Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!LEARN MORE