The past 12 hours have been nothing short of interesting...
When you choose to own livestock, you open yourself up to expecting the unexpected & being willing to roll with the punches. Homesteading has proved to be a never-ending source of entertainment in our lives, even if the humor doesn't present itself until we have finally sat down at the end of the day.
Yesterday afternoon, the Homestead Husband returned home from a normal day at work and proceeded to stop off in the ranch for a minute before heading to the barnyard to do the day's chores. All was calm, all was bright.... Until he came back outside to find our pair of brand new miniature donkeys crossing the road!
While some of our neighbors hadn't met the boys (Bo & Luke) yet - I don't quite think they expected a house visit. The boys strolled along and munched on the remaining green patches of grass while the Homestead Husband slowly approached... The minute they caught him in their sights, they split like a child running from their mother when they know they aren't supposed to.
Off into the woods they went, just as dusk was settling in, & right before a nor'easter with extreme wind & rain was about to begin, no less.
In an instant, our fellow neighbors jumped at the opportunity to help out, throwing on their boots & hustling wildly through the woods - reminiscent of a regular Dukes of Hazzard scene.
At this point, myself & the little Homestead Hunny were just returning from our regular work & daycare commute, to find no husband & the cattle gate wide open - never a good sign.... Running over to the neighbor's yard, where the local police were screeching out of the driveway, I was informed of the following...
With nearly 10 people in tow, Bo & Luke headed into the yard of a resident on a nearby street, but not until making sure that passerbys had the chance to snap a photo on the side of the road (show offs).
Thankfully, the kind resident was home & also in good spirits about the surprise 4-legged visitors. With a bit of strategic placement, the Homestead Husband lunged himself on top of Luke, inadvertently recieving his first donkey ride. Another neighbor grabbed ahold, Luke now dragging two well-meaning adults around a strangers yard, while a third neighbor lured Bo with an apple, and grasped onto his mane, holding on for dear life!
With Luke bucking and running like a regular rodeo bronc, the bravest of the boys from across the way stepped up to the task. Following the Homeatead Husband's direction to "Be Big!!", the boy stood in front of the donkey & made hinself just that. He stood his ground, & stopped the wild honky-tonk-ba-donk-a-donk dead in his tracks.
At this time, though I was not there to see it myself, I can only imagine the sigh of relief that escaped my husbands body, as this morning he is a bit crippled from the incident…
The Homestead Husband then proceeded to halter the Dukes, and parade them home on a walk of shame, escorted by the town's police department for their safety, & I'm fairly certain, shear amusement (I would have done the same). This time it was a win for, "Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane" of this hazzardus county.
The rest of the night was spent enforcing the paddock better than Fort Knox, & watching all of the giggles roll in about the rogue donkeys at large, on the town's Facebook Page. Thankfully, everyone was good humored about the situation, & genuinely cared that the boys made it back home safely.
This was not exactly how we planned to introduce this pair on our Blog here, but as I said, this life leads to many unexpected moments - and memories that will last a lifetime.
At this point we are still unclear on how exactly they made their great escape, but the paddock will be under extreme scrutiny going forward.
We cannot begin to express how grateful we are to have neighbors that are so supportive & willing to go out of their way to help. We will always be willing to return the favor. As the Homestead Husband put it, "it takes a village, & we live in the best one." Our neighbors truly saved our ass(es)!
The Homestead Husbad deserves a shout out here as well for never giving up, no matter how much work, or how tired he is. He continued to finish all our chores in the dark, while I cared for the little one & made dinner. Couldn't ask for a better guy.
*Keep a watchful eye on our Facebook Page (@harperhomesteadme), for professional photos taken by another local resident during the event.*