Oh my, what a week.
I’ve done things in the the past week that I never imagined.
One afternoon met me with escaped chickens. They apparently dug underneath the run…which wasn’t built per my instructions, but that’s neither here nor there. We’ve been trying to train them to come to food, so I went out and tried to get their attention with treats…they were less then impressed with me, they had an entire yard for a buffet, after all. The fence hadn’t been fixed yet, and so I decided that rather then try to capture the birds, as they seemed content to stay near their coop for the time being and the run was obviously not secure anyway, I would go and repair the fence right then.
This led me to the shed to gather supplies.
And that’s when I heard it. A small *thud*thud*. I turned around to find that a rat had been trapped and was attempting to escape through a hole in the floor of the shed. It was unable to do so because it’s tail was trapped and the trap was too large to fit through the hole.
Lovely. My chickens were loose in an unsecured yard, and I have a rat I need to deal with.
So I called my mom. A perfectly reasonable response for a 26 year old mother of two…right? We discussed various methods of dispatching the beast – boy is that a conversation I never thought I’d have! I put my big girl panties on, and quickly took care of business and moved on to the more pressing matter of the fence.
That was a difficult job, let me tell you. It took me half an hour to patch up the unsecure areas in the jungle that is back there. I’ve got plenty of cuts to prove it. Tip: don’t wear running shorts when putting up a fence in the jungle…just sayin’.
When I was done, I felt accomplished, and let my kids out of their room – they had to be contained so as to not chase the chickens through the fence…..
Which is exactly what happened.
Those danged chickens found ANOTHER hole and two escaped, disappearing into the never-ending wooded acreage behind our home, never to be seen or heard from again…or so I thought. By the grace of God they survived the night and were happy as clams in my backyard the next morning. Amazing! With the help of my toddler (who seriously almost actually caught one) and preschooler, I captured them and locked them up with their friends in the coop. After a quick breakfast, I loaded up my kids and headed to the hardware store in search of supplies to secure the run…
So far they haven’t escaped again…knock on wood.
You know, I’ve been dreaming for this life for years now. And I’ve been reading about it all that time. There are a few blogs and books that really do tell ya the good, bad, and the ugly. And for that I’m grateful. I love that kind of honesty. And it helped me come into this with eyes wide open. So the realities of this week, though hard, and disappointing, haven’t crushed any kind of idealized dream. I knew there would be bad alongside the good.
This life sure shows you what you’re made of – and that’s satisfying. I don’t think I ever thought I’d be apologizing to a rat before ending it’s life. And before anyone sends me hate mail over it, I’ve got kids and livestock that live here. I’ve got no room for disease caring vermin. I took no pleasure in the task, but I did what needed to be done. And I’m proud of myself for that. This farm life certainly isn’t all fluffy chicks and bountiful garden harvests. Sometimes it’s dispatching rats in between emergency fence repairs as well.
There have been a few, what-have-I-gotten-myself-into moments like that, but they don’t come close to outweighing the look in my kids’ eyes when they held their long lost chickens and then, without any prompting from me, hearing them say a prayer of thanks for their safe return.
That my friends, is what makes those crazy moments worth it.
So press on. Live the dream.
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