Saturday, December 5, 2009

It All Started with that Chicken...

You remember. That one with the puff-ball head, also known as a Polish? Well, maybe you don't, because I never wrote anything here about the wandering chicken. Mom did though. You can go dig through her blog to find a photo too, because I'm just too darned lazy to go find it for you. However, I do believe that is when it really started. The animal thing while driving that is. That was the day that our neighbor called and asked if we'd seen a small black dog in the area, that looked like an Australian Cattle Dog. Which we hadn't. Apparently the dog of said description had gotten into their chicken yard and gone after their birds with relish. Condiments aside, they managed to avoid having dead chickens, which is actually pretty good, given their track record with their animals lately. In short, their luck has been hovering several miles below the ticking mark for 'bad'. Our chickens weren't out yet, and I was leaving for work early, the reason for which is now escaping me. I was bouncing along to the music in my car, and was almost to the main drag to head down the hill (hill being mountain) when my wandering eyes settled on what I thought was a cat. Until it moved. Cats don't move with William Shatner-esque jerks of the head and body. It was a chicken. A confused, not in a place for a chicken, chicken. And it appeared to be in shock, because when I went back to get it, it just sat down at my feet and didn't protest at all when I scooped it up and deposited it on the seat next to me. I drove back home, called the neighbor who had had the dog attack that morning to ask if she was missing a little polish hen. She wasn't. I needed to leave for work, and didn't have time to go door to door asking,"Excuse me sir/ma'am. Is this your chicken? Here, let me pull back its bouffant hair stylings so you can get a good look at its eyeballs." The neighbor however, would love to have a little polish hen. They're good people, and take good care of their animals. I was not at all worried. The LPH, is still doing very well with the small flock next door.

Well... that was nice for a distraction and all, but it would be nice to go back to not seeing weirdities on my way to and from work. Except I live on a mountain top, surrounded by people, their pets, and wildlife. This means eventually I will come across some other animal under odd circumstances. Probably about a month ago now, I was driving home from work, bouncing along to music once more along a road I'm pretty familiar with since I drive it at least twice a day 6 days a week. There's this curve and then that curve and then a short straight away, and gee, I could probably drive this road blindfolded. So, I will admit to being on auto-pilot to some extent when I came around the bend where the county keeps its boulder supply. Big, medium and small boulders occupy a small recess along side the road, so that the county has easy access to them, and don't have to haul them up the hill to fill in holes when we have a road fallout. Which happens infrequently, but I've got to say it does wonders for your reflexes to come round a bend in the road on a stormy, rainy, windy, foggy night, and find that there is a vast swathe of road missing in your lane. Doesn't that just beat all? Okay, back to the pet rocks. There are three largish sized boulders that stand fairly close to the road, this evening, there were 4. I figured that the county guys just added another one, and paid very little attention to it in the quickly dimming light... until it got up and waddled off into the chaparral. Ah, my brain said, That was a bear!

My brain likes to pull jokes on me. Especially when its late, foggy and raining, and I'm tired from work. Such as the night I was almost home, when I saw something jumping across the road. I slowed to a crawl to better observe the small creature leaping, landing, then pausing before leaping again. And my groggy fore-brain says,"Wow! That's the biggest cricket I've ever seen!" and my hind brain, which has always been the more logical and intelligent of the two replies, laden heavily with acidic rebuke,"You moron! That's a FROG!" At which point my hind-brain rolled over and went back to sleep. It really only wakes up to mentally slap me.

Which brings me to last week. In which I left for work on time, maybe even a little early. You can see where this is going already. I'm doomed if I leave the house early. The thought that I might be able to stop at the big store at the bottom of the long drive down the mountain is usually the cause of such foolishness, but I sadly fall prey to its allure more often than I'd like to admit. Again, it was a sunny, but cold day, and I was going slow. At work I'm something of a bartender. Everyone comes in and tells you their woes while getting a little pick-me-up. In my case I serve books, instead of booze. Lately, everyone had come in to tell me of their car accidents. Not one or two people... this is more along the lines of 10 to 15 people. I don't know whats going on with drivers lately, but I basically was driving with a good dose of paranoia when I rounded the second bend in the road on my way out to the main drag. Two dogs are standing on either side of the road, one is a lightly built brindle color pit-bull, and the other is a neighbors dog that is pretty much terrified of everyone. Terrified dog immediately disappears into the woods in the direction of its abode, and the Brindle just stood there staring at my car as I slowed so as not to hit her if she did something dumb. The next thing I know a small white puppy shoots out of the bushes to my left and races at full speed straight under the front of my car. Being somewhat freaked, I braked hard and stopped. I stayed stopped because I couldn't see the puppy, so I put on the car in park and pulled the emergency brake, then got out. I looked around and couldn't see the puppy, so I looked under the car praying to god, I wasn't going to find it smashed under my tire. Nope, he's not smashed under my tire, but he IS smashed up against the right rear tire. He's not hurt. He's hiding. Took me a good 15 minutes to convince him to come out, and once he did he turned out to be very friendly and good natured. However, every time I tried to get back in the car, he'd go back under it. Which is why I found myself driving around with him in my car trying to figure out who he belonged to for the next 20 minutes. This was becoming an issue, since I need to be to work in like 30 minutes, and it takes me 40 to get there in the first place. Which means I need to find a puppy-sitter. Luckily we've got a nice older couple living nearby, and she took him in and said she'd see if she could find the owner.

The puppy was probably about 6 to 8 weeks old, probably a Pitbull/Labrador mix, and was well cared for, so we didn't think he was a dump. People like to take their unwanted dogs deep into the hills and dump them. I have no idea why they think this is a good idea. We have bears up here. Bears like to eat dog. And if the bears don't get them, the cougars do, and if by some miracle they avoid that, we have the worst predator ever here as well. The hillbilly and their best friend Remington, Winchester or Henry. None too bright sometimes. I cannot count the amount of cats I've come across with pellets in them. Anyway, I believe the neighbor found the owner, and if she didn't, there were several people who said they'd take him. He was a very cute puppy. Did I get pictures? No. No, I didn't. Sue me if you so desire.

This concludes my animal weirdness for today. Please check in again, in the hopes that maybe I will have decided to post something else. Or not. Its fine. Whatever. *sighs*