It was another cold, rainy day on the farm. After two beautiful days in a row it’s back to wet and chilly. Everyone around here is getting anxious to start field work. We’ve gotten some manure pumped from the lagoons at my in-laws farm, but haven’t really started on our farm. There’s so much to do and it seems like spring is ticking away. Hopefully the weather will turn around one of these days, but this whole week doesn’t look good for getting in the field.
This afternoon as I was hurrying to finish chores before I was soaked to the bone, I nearly had a heart attack. I had the feed cart and two 5-gallon pails in the bobcat bucket. I filled the feed cart at the grain bin and drove up to the pen of 60 first, since most of them were already outside eating hay. I grabbed the first pail and filled it with ground feed from the feed cart.
I grabbed for the second pail and nearly died when a fat, brown mouse jumped up from the bottom. I screamed, which scared the calves. They took off running, I’m sure wondering why I was screaming instead of feeding them. The pail was a little too tall for the mouse to jump out. I stood on the tire of the bobcat while I decided what to do. (I know, you can laugh)
Of course there wasn’t a stick or anything around to knock the pail over. Obviously, I wanted to be as far away from the pail as possible. I couldn’t think for long, because the feed was getting wet and the calves were crowding around the bunk waiting for supper.
I got behind the bucket of the bobcat so I could knock the pail away from me. I took a deep breath, knocked the bucket over, and then jumped back on the bobcat tire. The mouse was as freaked out as I was. It took a second for it to scurry out and run away. I’m sure it wondered how it got from the warm, dry barn to the wet, cold spot I brought it to. I kept a wary eye out for it as I quickly fed the calves. I didn’t see it again, so it must have found someplace to hide.
That was the first time I’ve had one in a pail like that. I hope it’s the last time. My heart can’t handle too many encounters like that!