Friday, September 11, 2009

Wildlife Goes... Wilder

I hardly know what to think. One minute I hear the humans saying "the city" is in the process of engulfing us and the next minute various flora and fauna are causing my mane and tail to turn white overnight. This all took place in a twenty-four hour period and has left me on a level of extreme high alert.

It all began when the woman and Molly returned from a forest ride just as it was growing dark. Molly was let into the paddock so she could roll and stretch before going in for the night. A few minutes later the woman returned and as we saw her exit the house we began a chorus of complaint and demand - "dinnerdinnerdinner!!!" - something like that. Penny exited the house so fast she appeared to be jet propelled. She hit the wall of shrubbery next to the wheat field and promptly emerged in pursuit of an unfamiliar, heavily furred canine form. They made a beeline for our paddock in the now near-darkness.

Both forms ran nearly under Jack and self. Doc bellowed and began charging at them. Molly began shrieking "save the food, save the food!" and all of us tore around the paddock madly giving voice. When the dust began to settle, Jack coughed and said "ya buncha pinheaded peabrains, it's a fox, doncha know!" Oh. That explained the red fur, voluminous tail and generally intelligent air. Penny carried on with the pursuit and we finally went inside to work on our delayed dinners.


As we were eating our unfashionably late meals, the woman casually mentioned that she was told there is a mountain lion living in the forest from which she and Molly had just returned, said forest being a proverbial stone's throw from here. What?! A fox is one thing but a large feline predator? This is sheer madness. I feel like a homesteading pioneer donkey, fending off the more violent elements right on my own barnstep. The woman pointed out that we live inside at night and that no mountain lion/cougar/puma could possibly make off with someone of my generous girth. I'd rather not be put to the test, thank you very much.


The last part of the wildlife trilogy occurred today when the woman took Jack and self out for a promenade. Imagine my shock when I discovered a gigantic white sphere - the size of my dinner bucket - next to the path and within sight of our paddock. I froze in my hoofprints, snorting loudly and repeatedly and moving my head up and down to try and size the thing up. An alien spaceship, no doubt about it. What else could materialize out of thin air and simply sit there emitting a pale, sickly glow ? Jack was eating a few fall leaves and gave those his full attention. When he wanted to move on he said "sonny, them things grow every year - they caint move or nothin." How does he know these things? How can I be sure? I plan to keep a very close watch on it. The woman called the object a puffball and said I should be able to recognize one of my immediate family. It's the sort of boorish response I've come to expect.


Frankly, I'm exhausted. A sojourn at a cottage would be nice. I wouldn't have to worry about the wildlife - it's all right here in my own back yard.

9 comments:

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - whats a PUFFBALL? Looks scary to me. Is it alive - did it move - tell me tell me.

Save the food save the food - LOL.

Your fren,

billie said...

Good grief, Sheaffer - foxes, mountain lions, and..... puffballs!

I maintain my stance that you need a PBS TV show to fully document the goings-on at your place.

You have the complete cast of characters right there: you, the Star, of course, with your measured investigatory thoughtfulness; Doc with his bellowing and charging; Molly with her... blondness!; and Jack with his explanations and perspectives. And the supporting cast is as stellar. The Woman, finally revealed in her own voice!

But until the contract is signed and filming begins,I, for one, would like a VIDEO!

ponymaid said...

Buddy, they tell me a puffball is an edible fungus but I know better - I'll stick with gummi worms. Something that pops up overnight can't be from this planet. I heard the humans say these giant spheres are delicious sliced up and fried in a bit of butter. Insanity! I won't even touch the thing, let alone eat it.

Billie, I think you and I should be marketing this documentary idea. The woman thinks it should be called Planet Sheaffer because she says I exist on another plane. Or it could be "Billie's Life of Sheaffer" - you know, like Boswell's life of Johnson, but with more donkey content.

robert5721 said...

Sheaffer,
those puffball things can hide spiders and snakes and stuff, and if they gets big enough, they can eat a donkey....stomp on em and keep em in thier place for me! I do have to say that Mr T J does look rather impressive in the photo..was it photoshopped or something?

Remain on GUARD with those puffy things, you can NOT let them get the upper hand there big guy .. have Sir Jack help you with the stomping fests.. personally, I would NOT want to taste one, but you could try it just for a laugh..
Mr Gale

CindyLouWho said...

Sheaffer,

One can never be too careful when it comes to wildlife. I've seen those white things appear and, when my daughter lived with us, she would snort at and threaten them on a regular basis to keep them in line. I myself saw a Bear in the woods this past weekend! My woman tried to tell me it was her friend Rick, climbing a tree, but I saw a huge Red Body with 4 round black feet, growling and vibrating on the trail, with a Head-Like Presence 12 feet up the Tree! NO WAY am I approaching THAT for a SNIFF!! Remain Vigilant! Let Jack investigate the aliens if he wants; The Sheaffer Abides...

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - is it like a mushroom or something? Mom wants to research these spheres - do they have a different name than puffball??

I to would stay away from them - they look scary!

Your Fren,

Buddy said...

Forget my last post - they actually have a wiki page - how odd!

Your Fren,

ponymaid said...

Mr. Gale, I would be willing to annihilate the puffball but only if encased in a full HAZMAT suit, complete with footwear and breathing apparatus. I'm extremely concerned about inhaling one of the trillion spores and having a puffball grow in my lungs. Just one more thing for a donkey worry about. I am not familiar with the shop of photos you mention but undoubtedly TJ has had himself worked over. I don't remember him being that large or handsome.

CLW - a bear? In one of your trees? How alarming! Stay clear, they can be even more dangerous than puffballs (I know, hard to believe). Why do humans always want us to sniff things which we know to be dangerous?

Buddy, it sounds as though Nevada is a puffball-free zone, thank goodness. We have whole herds of them here. When they turn brown they explode at the slightest touch and a cloud of brown dust obliterates the landscape. That's not the behaviour of an edible fungus, it's the behaviour of a weapon of mass destruction!

robert5721 said...

Sheaffer,
Mr Tabolinski is an amazing personage of a Donkey, could you tell us more of his story? I, for one, would LOVE to hear about him !!
Mr Gale