Thursday, December 20, 2012

Life in Christ According to Charlie

We were recently given three new turkeys that are adjusting to their new home.  I let them out of their coop into the barnyard a bit too soon and they weren't sure where they were supposed to roost for the night.  Come dusk, one had it figured out, another was in the hay loft and the third was roosting on a barn rafter.  I climbed up to the hay mow hoping to catch the first one.  Much to my surprise, I was able to sneak-up on her and nab her by the leg.  Yes!  #2 was a different story.  We spent at least a half an hour trying to catch her, to no avail.  She inched her way into the corner on top of the chicken coop as far away from me as she could get and my only option was to climb up there.  I feared that if I inched-up any further, the roof would come crashing in, maiming me and killing the chickens and turkeys under me.  At the least, they would all be out free ranging in the dark, vulnerable to any hungry predator.  We prayed that our turkey would be safe through the night.  We were reminded that her days are already numbered, so we went to the house leaving her in the hands of her Creator.  The next morning she was in the barnyard trying to figure out how to get into the locked coop with her friends.

Charlie, our cute little pig is not only getting to be a big pig, he loves to rut!  He’s made several attempts to dig out of his “cell”.  We repeatedly filled-in his holes.  Ignoring our warnings, Charlie kept digging.  Each day… the holes got bigger.  Charlie had gotten so adept at digging that the holes were nearly large enough for him to escape!  Finally the day had come.  Gary, Art & I all joined Charlie in his chamber.  We circled around him and forewarned, “Charlie, one day you’ll be dead meat, but this will be enough for today.”  I held the loaded weapon and the extra ammunition.  Charlie frantically attempted to escape our retaliation, to no avail.  We nabbed him with a nose snare.  Gary held Charlie in place while Art pierced three rings into his nose.  We left him in solitary confinement to consider his behavior.  When someone ignorantly asked why he has rings in his nose, without thinking, I blurted out, “Because Charlie’s a gangsta!”

I’d spent a couple of weeks training a nanny goat to stand on a milking stanchion without resisting.  She was finally at a point where she’d allow me lock her head into the stanchion, pet her and touch her udder while she was peacefully eating.  Anxious to start milking, I was finally ready for her deliver that kid!  Much to our surprise she was either never pregnant or… she became “unpregnant” at some point!  So, we swapped her for a doe at Art’s that is obviously pregnant!  Goats tend to be somewhat stubborn, so we prepared ourselves for a bit of a challenge or so we thought.  Getting Doe #1 to Art’s took some coaxing, but the mission was accomplished without a great deal of resistance.  Doe #2 was a way different story!  She wasn't real excited about leaving her goatie friends.  And… to say the least, she has a bit more independent personality.  We coaxed her out of the pen with some corn and closed the gate behind us.  The path from Art’s place to our barn is …oh… maybe a half of a mile or so.  The corn wasn't working!

We tugged.  We pulled.  We pushed.

          She buckled to her knees.  She dug her hooves into the ground.  She laid down.

We talked nice.  We talked sternly.  We laughed.  We groaned.

She bleated.  She grunted.  She choked.

At one point, I was certain that she was smiling!

I glanced around several times to see if anyone was looking!  I was waiting for someone to say, “Smile!  You’re on Candid Camera!”  There’s got to be a better way!

Stay tuned for next weeks conclusion.


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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