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The Great Escape

Autumn is coming, and it’s quickly becoming my favorite season. It gets pretty cold at night, but we still have sunshine during the day, without the heat. There’s still some harvesting and canning to do, but the rush to get the bulk of it done has passed. Everybody else gets to have a lazy summer, we get lazy autumn.

Saturday morning was chilly, and nobody had to be anywhere. The perfect day to stay in bed until it warms up outside. The yard is quiet, except for the rooster, but that’s nothing new. But he sounds awfully close this morning. Nah. I decide he’s just getting his big boy voice and has gotten louder. (In reality, my eyes are closed, my feet are warm, and I don’t want to get up.)

Strangely, after I hear the rooster crowing, I hear something tapping across out patio. I decide it must be Tori heading out to work. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t ever leave by walking past our door, and she’s a lifeguard wo has no reason to wear high heels to work. It also doesn’t matter that I have to get up to use the bathroom, and her car is still in the driveway. (I’m going back to bed to close my eyes and warm up my feet.)

I really have no idea what these noises are, but my bed is so warm and cozy, I don’t give it much thought. Some of the birds get out from time to time. They find a hole under the fence, or manage to flutter high enough to get over the fence. They stay close, and return to the yard when it’s time to eat.

One minute, I’m sleeping soundly and snugly, the next minute Charlie is charging out the back door. “All the turkeys are out!” Oh, that doesn’t sound good. We clipped their wings so they can’t fly, and they’re too big to squeeze through the holes under the fence. “The chickens are out, too!” Crap! Good-bye, snugly bed. “And the ducks!”

The panic is now setting in because the only way everybody could have gotten out is with a major breach of security. Either the fence is down, the gate is open, or a tornado blew through, picked up the birds, and set them down outside the fence. Since we’re not in Kansas, it has to be the fence or gate. This means the alpacas could be out, too. As I said, crap!

Running out the back door, we check the alpacas first. They’re in the yard, even though the gate IS open. Once we know the pacas are safe, Charlie closes the gate and we start to figure out how to return our two-legged critters to the fold. Peanut takes matters into her own hands. Most of the birds are foraging in the woods, so Peanut charges through the group, and sends them scattering. Oh, great.

As it turns out, the solution was as easy as that. Once the birds are flushed out, they immediately head straight to the gate. We open the gate, they all file in, and we can relax. Except for the two or three or four birds that ran the opposite direction. Not to worry. By noon, out last wanderers have returned.

Neither Charlie, nor I, are sure how the gate came to be open. Friday evening, when the kids were visiting, one of the turkeys had gotten over the fence. Charlie thinks he may have opened the gate to get the turkey in, then forgot to close it, when he was able to pick up the turkey and drop it over the fence. Who knows? This is why we hook the latch.

latch

All’s well that ends well. And I can try to sleep in again, next weekend.