December 22, 2011

Lucy's Idea of a Good Time

Y'all remember Lucy don't you? Lucy and I are big buddies. She often tags along with me where ever I go, unless there's something more important going on, like a cow to chase or a tractor to ride in. Lucy likes a good time!
Your not going to believe what she did yesterday, just for fun!
(Don't look at me that way Lucy! I don't care if your embarrassed! I'm going to tell them what you did!)
Yesterday afternoon, Lucy and I went to the corrals to play with the colts.I took everyone into one of the barns, where I was giving Gemma a lesson on how to stand quietly while tied to a post. (It was her first time, and she did pretty good if I do say so myself!) And while Gemma made friends with the post, I was helping Sky, the overgrown lap dog (he thinks), learn how to have his hooves cleaned and handled. We're working up to an overdue trimming lesson. Reba was just in there with us for moral support. She's an expert at all these things because her original human mom was on top of her job and taught these things to Reba at appropriate ages! So Reba just watched and took advantage of Sky being tied up to harass him, because she just doesn't care for his pushy friendship ways.

Lucy was with me, snuffling over in the corner of the barn, and after some time she found some delectable disgusting dehydrated thing (I think it was afterbirth from last spring's calving), and wanted to leave the barn we were working in to go enjoy it in private. NO PROBLEM! So I opened the door and let her out because I didn't really want to watch that dinner go down!

Lessons over, I led the youngsters back over to their large corral winter home, and Lucy reappeared to escort me and all my baggage (a bucket of brushes, a bucket of grain, and three halters with lead ropes attached) back to the other barn to put things away. Gee, you'd think she could carry some of the load, or at least get the gates don't you?

This is what is generally referred to as the lambing barn.
 There used to be sheep on this ranch, and this is where the ewes had their lambs. Now that the sheep are gone (temporarily I hope) this barn has become handy for storing things like...insulation for a future construction project... and all our horse tack.

By this time is was nearly dark, so I flipped the light on in the barn and proceeded to put away all my stuff. I was hanging up the last of my halter's when I heard a scuffling noise behind me.

 I turned, and was momentarily startled to find Lucy coming down the isle towards me from the opposite end of the barn, violently shaking...something...that was obvious alive and fighting back.
 My initial thought was "oh, not a cat!" because she's been known to go after the random cat in the past. And then, "OH she got a raccoon!" because they've been known to use the lambing barn as a place to nap and poop. (nice huh?)

And then....she dropped it, right about in the spot she's sitting in the picture below, and bailed out the open door.
 Imagine, if you will, my dismay, as the thus far unidentified mystery creature, quickly regained it's feet and a vividly, pristine, WHITE stripe appeared on a fluffy black background as an equally fluffy black tail shot straight up into the air!!!!

And there I was, standing in the corner of the barn, with a large, rather angry (I can't imagine why?) SKUNK between me and my only route of escape!

And all this happened without a single voice. Not mine, not Lucy's, not the skunnk, through the whole ordeal! No one made a peep or growl or squeel! Strange huh?

I suppose I was lucky. The skunk, after a moment of stumbling around, probably dizzy and dazed from his shaking experience, but with tail still erect and fluffed, trotted back down the isle from whence he'd been reluctantly hauled, and stood facing the wall, tail towards the barn (and me). I decided this was my best moment, and best opportunity to escape with the least amount of "damage," and made a dash for the door.

The odor, which I had not yet detected, was overpowering around the door. I knew I had just trotted myself right through the lingering cloud, but how else was I to get out? Lucy, bless her heart was right outside the barn, rather frantically rubbing her face, head, and body in the snow. I suppose the ole girl got a face full of spray. Probably a mouth full too judging by the amount of snow she ate between the barn and the house.

The two of us made our way to the house, Lucy stopping every few feet to rub her face in the snow and eat a few mouth fulls, and me pausing every few gasped breathes to tell her to" get away from me, for the love of roses!" My word that dog was RIPE!

When we got to the house, Lucy just kept right on going, straight into the tree row and the tall grass where she proceeded to roll and rub in the snow. I stepped inside the door to tell Malcolm there was a skunk in the lambing barn and that Lucy had attacked it while I was in there. He was in the other end of the house. I hollered my report to him from the doorway. A brief pause of silence. A response. "I can smell it on you," he said (from the other end of the house? Oh dear!)

Malcolm came back to the barn with me and spent some time banging around trying to scare the skunk out of hiding. At first we didn't think it was going to happen, but at the last minute, just before giving up, Malcolm spyed him, at the opposite end of the barn, right where I'd been standing when the whole event transpired. The culprit was quickly disposed of, and Malcolm appreciated the opportunity to use one of his new guns, though he probably would have preferred a more pleasant environment to try it out in.

Any stink that was on us seems to have washed off, and my coat and our clothes came out of the washer smelling fresh. So it must not have gotten on me too bad. Our boots are the worst, as we were both wading around in the hay. I imagine most of the musk is at ground level anyway, since that's how high the skunk is.

I wish I could say as much for the insulation being stored in the barn, my new halters, and my brand new saddle pad which I have not had opportunity to use yet. I imagine they all reek! I went down to the barn this morning to get my illustrative pictures, and even after standing all night with both doors wide open, you still have to hold your breath to go in. It's pretty pungent. I'm not sure how I escaped smelling not quite like a rose, but not like I'd slept with a skunk. It's a miracle!

As for Lucy, I'm giving her a wide berth for a while. We'll play more next time I'm home, when she's had some time to air out. Poor Zadie, who has to share a dog house with her. Must be true love, because they were curled up together and Zadie didn't seem to be complaining any.

And next time I'm home, I think I'll keep a closer eye on things, and have a little more to say about what Lucy considers to be a "good time," at least when it's going to involve me in some way. But I'll be speaking up before the good times take place, not fussing and fuming (no pun intended) after the fact.


Michaele said...

What a great story! You described the ordeal wonderfully. Rural living requires some real thinking on your feet doesn't it? I would be a little thankful that there was snow for Lucy to roll in. It had to have been a help.

Shirley said...

Aw, she was just doing her job, ridding the place of varmints! Poor thing, a face full of skunk spray is pretty nasty. Hope your barn airs out.
Gemma sounds like a little sweetheart.

MTWaggin said...

GAK! Your clothes didn't get the actual oil on them from the spray so you should be good to go as should your tack after long airing out! Still sounds like you had great fun with your new babies!!

Pure Prairie Soap said...

We've had about three skunks around our place. One skunk fell into the basement window well of our guesthouse. Chris coaxed it out with a bunch of boards to climb out on. Sorry you got stinked up a little, but you told the story so well it brought another chuckle!

small farm girl said...

Oh, now that's funny! There is nothing like a skunk smell.