Thursday was a day of transit.
Kate and Saylor and I made our way from Texas back to the Ozarks. Taylor and Adrienne journeyed the opposite direction.
The plan was this: Taylor and Adrienne would feed the animals in the morning, then take off. Kate and I would arrive in the early evening, in time to put up the chickens (lest they be devoured by the neighborhood fox). Taylor informed me on Wednesday night that Gertie had gotten out of the yard that day, but that he had figured where she got out, reinforced the fencing, and, of course, returned her to her proper place.
You can probably see where this is going.
I drove home, praying that the cow would not escape (imagining her running down the highway, bell clanging, eyes wild, headed for who-knows-where).
Also, Gertie was out. I saw her down there, standing on the wrong side of the fence, happily munching on the apparently-greener-grass, probably wondering when I would show up with grain to reward her escape.
Travel clothes off. Farm clothes on. Grain bucket in hand, I walked down into the yard, shaking the bucket. And the pigs came running up to me. Apparently it was “Test-the-fence-for-weaknesses” Day.
I focused on Gertie first, having to walk her a long ways to the gate out of the pasture, then to the gate back into the yard. She didn’t come very willingly, but the grain was enough to coax her slowly into the yard. We need more gates.
Then the pigs. By this time they had disappeared, but I heard leaves rustling down the hill in the woods. So down the hill I went, and there they were, happily rooting around.
The grain bucket trick worked on them too, and I finally got them back in their pen.
On the way back up to the house, now sweating (and hungry for dinner), I paused to enjoy a bit of beauty. The peach tree has bloomed, and behind it, one of many redbuds.