I babysat that day. For the HUMAN HAZ-MAT. Shortly after his mother picked him up I felt an irresistible urge to flee the scene, after the fact. There was still a slightly tinged green cloud hanging about.
So I called my daughter and asked her if she would like to try to find the nearby farm. The field across the street is part of said farm that raises dairy cows. I love cows. Fortunately the apple didn't fall far from the tree, and my daughter said she would come right over.
I thought it would be a short drive, sort of one of those 'just around the next bend' deals. Took us about twenty minutes to get there, evidently that corn field across the street, with its attached stand of trees, is slightly larger by a few hundred acres than I thought.
When we could see post and rail fencing in the distance we knew we were, at last, near. From the road we first spotted row upon row of white boxes within a fenced area. Reaching the area the boxes details materialized into large fiberglass crates.
The son did not step on the gas, but parked right there.
We passed slowly by the crates all lined up with the babies used for veal, our stomachs tightening while attempting to look away from the babies not allowed more than a foot of rope to wander, chanting, "Oh don't look, don't look, oh no, one is trying to come out of the crate, don't look, don't look." Somehow DEATH ROW for calves is way too heart wrenching and I stepped on the gas.
We made it past the first sheltered enclosure, arriving at the teenagers portion of outdoor pens. Close to seventy-five of them all poking heads through a space in the fence enclosure just large enough for them to reach the feed trough. They look a bit funky with those huge yellow tags stapled into each ear indicating month of birth and lineage, as well as other numbers we didn't care to inquire about.
Hammin' it up....
I parked the car and meandered over to a large bulldozer driven by a middle aged guy in a heavy flannel shirt. Well sure enough I must be in the country again, as instead of aiming the machine in my direction and flooring it when he spotted me in his peripheral vision he stopped the machine, locked the bucket, turned the machine off, flipped off his noise canceling headphones and flashed a smile while asking what it was he could do for 'the ladies.'
Well I've been called a lot of things in my lifetime but lady hasn't been one of them. Sort of took me off guard until I noticed my daughter sashaying over to the huge machine and its rough, but good-lookin' operator. "Well,' she began, 'we'd like to visit with the cows and were wondering if it would be alright." Then she flashed that dazzling smile. Handsome said, "Sure, lots of people stop by. My grandfather owns the place. Have fun," and he started up the machine he was master of to finish his work.
We wandered past all the teenagers...
making it to the full grown group of milkers in the back. As usual, we were having an ordinary adventure that was about to go south fast.
Having been away from any sort of large cow since way before Uncle Joe ran away with his maid (http://hand-made-rescue.blogspot.com/2010/12/irish-connection.html), it never occurred to me that my daughter was about to have a "Oh what was I thinkin" moment simply because she had decided to throw on her red sweatsuit that day.
Things started to get a tad creepy as we were walking to the milkers. I noticed a distinct shifting of the population within the pen. My daughter said, "They don't look happy, lets go to the other end of the pen."
OK. It was that big bush on the right that did us in, for as we were rounding the other side of the bush I spotted a cat off to our right. I heard my daughter say, "Oh, kitty," while she veared toward it. I noticed Kitty staring intently at three or four chickens that were in a bush. We didn't see the full picture that day, having been so intent on the details.
This is what we saw.
This is what we missed. The hen house alllll the way to the right, just past the bush with the chickens, and of course, Kitty.
My daughter was heading towards Kitty, when I noticed a large red chicken coming out from around the side of the bush. "Oh look' el-stupeedo here says, ' that one is coming to see you." It was then the world stopped spinning at its right and normal speed, when things start to happen in the slo-mo of films, yet in reality time is speeding past.
I focused on the red chicken, as did my daughter, when suddenly I noticed it was no longer meandering toward my daughter. It was picking up speed. My daughter too, noticed, and just as I heard the highly audible "Oh, oh," from her, I realized this was no ordinary chicken. In fact, it wasn't a chicken at all, it was a Rhode Island Red rooster hell bent on attacking the monster in red that was approaching his flock.
Took me about two seconds to
figure out he was not after me say "don't run." Then I proceeded to collapse , giving in to the oncoming hysterics, that would become worse as I watched my daughter attempt The Great Escape.
She turned on her heels just as I told her not to run. She would relate to her brother after the fact, that all she could think of was Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and getting her eyes pecked out while her mother was on the ground laughing and telling her not to run.
As I watched, the rooster sped up. My daughter turned on her heels, and tried those really fast little baby-steps that kids will do when told not to run in the hallway. Those hallways are usually smooth, tiled, level flooring. So as she was speed-baby-stepping up the rocky driveway she hit a rock and was about to fall. It was the "ARRRGGGHHHHH oh no." noises she made that brought the tears to my eyes and I missed the close call her face nearly had with the dirt. I did hear frantic scrambling noises before I could collect myself enough to get up off the lawn. There was just something so precious about her frantic baby-steps and furtive over the shoulder glancing....
The next second I looked and she was rounding the front of the car, her red sweatsuit camouflaged, while the rooster stood in the exact spot she had nearly met DEATH BY ROOSTER. I saw her head watching me over the top of the car while the rooster was turning to look straight at me. "Hahahaha," I heard from the other side of the car. Well, luckily I was wearing black and white. Probably looked like one of the cows, albeit a bit smaller. He spread his wings full out, let out a classic cock-a-doodle-doo, and proceeded to march straight back to his flock.
Only then did I get up and try for the car. Hey its every man for himself when it comes to getting the ole eyes pecked out.....
When we arrived home my daughter had plenty of time to tell her brother the story while I was having another bout of hysterics in the car. She was ever so slightly miffed that her brother was more concerned with us not getting a video of the whole thing when she was nearly blinded for life. It really did not help one bit when her brother told her everyone knows yah don't wear red on a farm......
The Son and I have been trying to get her back over here in her red sweatsuit for a true re-enactment but she's not falling for it. Not in the least.
Hence the son driving me over today for the non-re-enactment photos. On the way home he spotted a For Sale sign on a lot he wanted to look at.
But once we rounded the bend on the makeshift road leading down to the lot cleared for a new home, I noticed it really seemed like we were headed in at an exceptionally steep angle. Fearing the worst, knowing that most times my daughter and I are involved in our misadventures it does not involve heavy machinery - like motor vehicles - I told the kid to stop and let me out, as I gazed at a near vertical drop in front of the car. Well, boys will be boys even when they are grown men, and the kid took this as a challenge for the poor aging Chrysler. Off he went.
I truned on my heels and began the walk up the gravel road, waiting for the crash, which thankfully never came. What I heard instead were the front wheels scrambling back up the road. Lot tougher coming out then going in.
And soooooo, as my sister used to say, we all ended up OK, my daughter still has both eyes, my son still has an intact car, and I have more stories to tell the grandson....