Oct 12, 2009

Farmer Fire Drill

It was cold last night; killing-frost kind of cold. I left work at the usual time and got home at the usual time. MrsZ was still up, so we headed to bed and curled up trying to stay warm (we're cheap and keep the house at 60-65 most of the time). Just as we were dozing off there was a blood-curdling animal shriek from somewhere outside. It was repeated a moment later. I looked out the windows with a flashlight but couldn't see anything... pulled on a robe and went to check on the goats. From the deck, I could see most of the pasture but no goats. They weren't answering my voice either, which is more unusual - they tend to blat or at least move around and jingle their bells when someone calls them.

Went back upstairs and reported to MrsZ, swapped the robe for jeans and a sweatshirt, and opened the safe while MrsZ pulled on her clothes. Grabbed her 870 (20ga) and followed her downstairs, then went looking for the box of buckshot I knew I had somewhere. It had been moved. I settled for slugs and made the gun "cruiser ready" - full mag tube, empty chamber, hammer down, safety on. To go from "cruiser ready" to "ready" requires only racking the slide, which is already unlocked by virtue of the hammer being down. As I was heading out the door I spied the missing box of buckshot and slipped it in a pocket and continued out - where I found MrsZ already coming back from the goat pen, reporting that they were comfortably ensconced out of sight behind their hut instead of inside, where I could see them.

Given that the critters were alright, I peered around the yard again and then went back inside ... where MrsZ explained that this was the "Farmer Fire Drill". Uh-huh.

Side note: we have electric mesh for the goat fence; it's high-voltage, sturdy, and easy to rearrange. MrsZ discovered on Sunday morning that about 50' of fence had been taken down. And in fact, not just taken down, but several of the strands were torn, and a piece of twine that tied a pole to a tree had been snapped ... and the fence had been dragged OVER a bush. Best guess is that a critter (my presumption is a deer) managed to get tangled in the netting and tore it up trying to get loose. A coyote may have gotten tangled but wouldn't have torn it out that far. The goats respect it and tend to keep away. A bear is vaguely possible but I don't think it's likely.

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