All Fun and Games Another Sherlock Boomer Adventure Chapter 12

Chapter 12

 

DOTTIE CAME to live with Ethie, Mindy-cat, and I!

You see, Jan, the amazing chicken lady (she shows chickens all over the western part of the United States) said Ethie was lonely.  So Ethie was broody to have company.

Well, she didn’t say it all like that, but that is the way I, Boomer, Sherlock Beagle, understood it when Mom explained it to me.

The farm family has grown just a wee bit more.  And I have to REALLY guard my food!

MEANWHILE out of the farm

(and in the farmyard)

Life as

we know it

goes on!

All Fun and Games!

Unless Coyotes are involved!

  Boomer Beaglie Brown, a.k.a. Sherlock Boomer

 

 

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Chapter 11 All Fun and Games, Another Sherlock Boomer Adventure

Chapter 11

 

Mom and I kept going out and checking on Ethie.

“Get up, Ethie”, mom would say, picking Ethie up and putting her down outside the chicken house.

Ethie would just growl at mom.  She even would raise her hackles.

“Oh, stop it!  I’m not going to hurt you.  You just need to get outside and DO something.”

This went on for a couple of days when Mom figured out Ethie was strong enough now she wanted to RAISE BABIES!!!

Well, of course, it was the wrong time of year to head to the feed store and pick up a couple of just-hatched chicks, so Mom started reading up on broody hens.

Then the experiments began…

Ethie was not allowed to sit on her nest.  Which didn’t work…she just sat on the top of the nest.

Ethie was constantly taken off her nest and put outside to stand disgruntle by Mom and I will Mom worked in the yard.

Of course, all egg-laying stopped.

Ethie also stopped eating and grew desperate to SIT ON THE NEST.

So…. Mom wrote a blog friend, who shows hens professionally.

“Help!” Mom wrote, explaining Ethie, Ethie’s attitude, and all the things Mom has tried.

Mom’s friend wrote back…gave really good advice.

A couple of days later——————

 

 

 

All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure —Chapter 10

Chapter 10

 

Well, Mom wasn’t so sure having a hen was a good idea.  Gradually, over-time, Ethie grew stronger, put on weight and started doing more and more chicken things.

Like—scratching up all Mom’s carefully crafted flowerbeds.  Not only scratching them up but taking dust baths in them.

Although Mom never did holler at Ethie,

Mom did start putting out old fencing stopping Ethie from having a hay-day in at least a few of the beds.

 

On the third day Ethie came to live with us, Mom gave up trying to protect all the flowerbeds.  For you see it was on the third day, Ethie felt strong enough to start laying eggs again!

Great big brown eggs!  The kind of egg, which sells as a jumbo in the grocery store.

So, Mom said…” Okay, Ethie Girl, (Ethie and I willed Ethie’s name into Mom’s mind…up until that time Mom was calling her hen.  Ethie was a little upset to just be called hen.) “You can scratch to your heart content in all the flower beds I haven’t covered up or fenced you out of…those big brown eggs make having a little hen on the farm a very good thing.”

So, we settled down to dog, cat, and hen.

 

Although, hen can be a drag…like when you are trying to eat.  Ethie always wants to come and take my food away.  I howl at her and she jumps back and gradually goes away.

Mom has taken to feeding me ONLY in the house.  Because you see…we have a hen now.

Time went on Ethie took naps with me, tried to get anything I was eating,

also tried to take my dog cousin’s food, took dust baths where ever I was until one-day Ethie refused to get out of her nest.

 

All Fun and Games Another Boomer Sherlock Adventure Chapter 9

Chapter Nine

 

Well, as you must know, we made it home.  Ruth flapped Ethie down, sitting her on the lawn close to the clothesline, and flew back up into the air.

I was still heading in…Ruth picked up Ethie some ways out so I still had a spell to trot.

I was getting closer to the house though.

Ruth sailed over my head and hooted down to me what she did. I sat down in the soft dirt of the farm road lifted my right paw in salute, then she was gone.

After some more walking, trotting and running, I made it into the farmyard, headed to my lawn and the clothesline area and collapsed by Ethie.

Boy, was mom surprised when she saw a HEN in her yard.  It’s been years since Mom has had chickens.  Years.

Mom took one look at Ethie. Then a look at me.

“Well, Boomer,” she mused.  “I see you have a friend.  We do we do now?  There is no chicken yard, there is no chicken house, there is no chicken food.”

About the time she finished her sentence Ethie walked over to Mom.  Mom reached down and picked up that very scrawny, starting to lose feathers, hen.

As soon as Ethie was in mom’s arms, Ethie put her little head on mom’s shoulder and gave a huge sigh.

That’s all it took.

Off Mom went to the old chicken house.

“Do you think you would like to live here, little hen if I clean it all out and fix you a nice spot to sleep?”

Ethie looked close at what Mom was talking about.  Then, with a little chicken purr wiggled to get down.

Mom put her down.

“Well, Boomer.  I guess it’s settled.  Let’s get busy.”

With that Mom started taking things out the chicken house, moving them here and there.

After a good sweeping, wash and scrub, Mom was off to the haystack yard with her wheelbarrow.

Then back she came scattering thick good smelling hay all over in the hen house, put the old nesting box back in, and decided she didn’t like it.

“This is way too big for one little hen.” She announced.

Then back she went looking over her supplies of ‘stuff’, came back to the hen house, put two old apple boxes on the floor in the middle of the rather large chicken house floor, then placed the dog crate (useless, because I don’t need it at all!) on the two apple boxes; filled the dog crate with wood shavings she had run to town to get.

She got out two of my old dog dishes, filled one with chicken food, which she picked up while in town, and the other one with water.

By this time it was going on evening, but still too light for bed.

“It’s time to go change water, Boomer. You enjoy yourself little hen.  We will be back shortly.”  With that statement Mom, Dad and I were off to do our last chore of the evening.

(By the way…. riding on the back of the four-wheeler, hanging out on the ditch bank watching Mom and Dad set siphon tubes is MUCH easier than trying to get a hen to safety!  Just say’n.)

When we drove back into the yard the sky had started to turn colors…the night was coming on.

Mom sat me down off the four-wheeler and we took off looking for Ethie.

Mom looked in the flower garden, in the veggie patch, on the lawn by the clothesline, finally, she decided that the hen was gone.

“Well, no hen, Boomer.  I guess she has hidden away.  Let’s go shut the door to the hen house and see if that little bird shows up in the morning.”

Mom and I walked out to the hen house, got to the open door when Mom looked inside and saw

ETHIE!!!

All settled in for the night!

 

Chapter 6 All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure

All Fun and Games!

Chapter Six

 

We walked, Momma Deer and I, Ruth flew way ahead and then back again, and Ethie ran through most of the night.

Sometime way in the very early morning of the next day, Ethie collapsed. She just fell forward, her beak opened, eyes closed and went BAM onto the soft dirt.

The dirt made a soft little puff as she went down.

I was walking behind Ethie so I saw the whole thing.

Momma deer was in the lead.  Mainly because she was MUCH taller than all of us and could scout for danger much easier.

Ruth had just swung back over-head and saw the hen crumple.

“Hey, dog! I think the hen is done for, maybe it’s time for a nap, some scratching around for bugs and a dust bath for that bird.  Otherwise, she isn’t going to make it.”

I perked up my ears and looked around.

Momma deer stopped her forward march, turned around, came back and stood looking very puzzled at the flat as a leaf chicken.

“I think Ruth is onto something,” she murmured.  “I think I could handle a rest myself.  We are close to the farm road to the Rocky Point Hill; I’ll graze on the pasture grass while you and the hen take a rest.”   With that, she turned back around and walked up to the Rocky Point farm road, did a few hops skips and jumps and was in the pasture at the Upper End.

Ruth called “See ya soon, dog!” as she flew silently upward into the brilliantly lite sky full of moonlight.

I sat there looking at the wore out bird.  What a mess I have.  A chicken, of all things, way to heck up here in the yonder of the farm, and a huge need to get her home to Mom.

I laid down with my head on my front paws; staring at the bird/chicken/her, Ethie.

What a me…..I drifted off to sleep.  At some point, I flopped over on my side and stretched out…ahhh sure feels goo….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I woke up with a start!  Standing right over me was KING!!  I jumped up wide awake, almost trembling.  A buck deer with HORNS can sometimes mean trouble for canines.

“Hey, Little Buddy! Slow down! I just wanted to see what was going on here, why you were sleeping in the path, so to speak!”

“Tired, King.  Just got tired.  It’s okay. My little-feathered friend and I will be moving on at daylight.  Don’t do anything rash, King.  We aren’t planning on staying here.”  I am sorry to say I almost whined.

King raised his right hoof.  “Just relax. Tell me what’s going on and let me see if I can help you.”

Seeing that right hoof off the ground I must admit I pretty much stammered out the whole story.  Deer have very sharp hooves.

“Humm, I see.” King mused.  “So, Momma has gone onto the pasture, Ruth is in the sky somewhere and you are stuck with a farm-yard bird.”

“Yes, that pretty much sums it right up.”

“Okay, here goes…get that hen up and come with me.  I can at least get you to the Upper End Pasture and maybe down the farm road past the Little Cornfield.  If I can get you that far I think you can do the rest.”

I looked at King with his soft furry antlers, his very sharp hooves, and his TALL body and decided the answer to my worries had appeared!

Giving Ethie a push with my nose (not once but several times) she finally woke with a start, squawked when she saw King, tried to run off, but I held by her tail until she calmed down.

King and I explained our plan, she looked at us with very worried eyes, gave her feathers a shake and said: “Okay, let’s go.”

Then we were off.

It’s a good thing King was with us…King saw two foxes along the way.

One was fairly close,

but the other one up on the road part way.

King ran at both of them; they scattered.

Just as we passed the Upper End—King had to stop and talk to Momma for a spell, which was good, it gave Ethie and me a break, we started up the little rise which will take us to the farm road that went by the Little Corn field….a Coyote appeared!

I almost fainted! COYOTE!  I am mortally afraid of coyotes!

King froze. “Shhh,” he said. “Don’t make a sound.  Stand right where you are and don’t move.”

Ethie and I froze.

King froze.

I could hear the coyote walking ahead of us somewhere, very soft pads of footfalls.   They sounded like death to me.

Gradually the soft footpad sounds faded.

“Okay, you two let’s get to going. The night is fading and daylight is almost upon us.”

We took off again.

All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure—Chapter 5

All Fun and Games!

Chapter Five

 

Well, stunned or not I had a HUGE problem.  How to get a hen a couple or so miles back to my home?

By this time it was going on dark.

I mean…like really dark.

Dark enough I wondered if it would be better to just stay where we were or to travel forward.

Into the darkness.

It’s pretty dark in my mind right now.  I can’t decide what is the best thing to do.

“WHOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”  Ruth called, “Let’s head out now.  You and the little hen run between bushes.  Head back.  I’ll fly up just enough you can see me.  I’ll be your eyes.  That way, if some chicken eating….”

“SQWACK!” Ethie screamed and flunked over in a dead faint.

“Wow! What was that all about?” Ruth exclaimed.

“Hum, I think she couldn’t handle the thought of being dinner to someone— one more time.” I puzzled.

“Get up, Ethie!” I pushed her with my nose. “Get up…you are with me and Ruth….dinner you are NOT going to be.  Not on our watch!”

Ethie laid there like a frozen piece of chicken….cough(!) er (!) hum,(!)

Poor choice of thoughts, I stuttered. Let me begin again.

“You are safe, Ethie You are among friends. Just get up, get really close to me, hug my side, and I will protect you on the ground. Ruth will protect both of us from the air.  We have a long ways to go.  Past the cattails, up the Rocky Point Hill, into the Upper End.  Once there we can hit the farm road and follow it for a mile or so and be to my home.  Where Mom will be delighted to have a little hen living with all of us!”

Ethie opened one eye.  It wildly rolled around in her head for about one minute.  Gradually she straightens out her toes, then her feet, then she gave herself a big shove and BAM!  There she was upright and straight, albeit rather wobbly.

With that, I put my body next to hers.  She gave me a pathetic look, took one step forward, then another, I had to start walking if I wanted to keep her right beside me.

We were off!

I looked at Ruth.  Ruth looked at me.  Opening her huge wings, she gave three swooshing flaps; lifted straight up in the air and hovered over us.

The great long walk had begun.

“Go ahead, Dog!  The coast is clear.”

I moved from one brush to the next brush, having to take tiny little steps so Ethie could keep up with me.

The going was s.l.o.w, let me tell you.  But we made some progress.

Three million hours later we made it to the cattails when suddenly

MOMMA DEER shoved her way through the cattails and right into our path.

“What is going on here!”  Momma deer stopped in amazement.

“We are going to my house,” I answered her.

“With a dead chicken, Boomer?”

“No, with Ethie.  She is a chicken, but very much alive.”

I turned to my side and saw a frozen chicken, laying on its side, both eyes closed and beak opened in a silent scream.

“Oh, my goodness!  Get up, Ethie!  It’s just a Momma deer, you are safe.  Get UP, Ethie!”  I nudged her again and again.

While I was nudging Ethie, Ruth flew down and lit on a large, grey boulder.

“Here, dog, I can wake her up!”

“SCREECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Ruth opened her beak and let out the loudest screech I have ever heard.

Ethie jumped up and started to take off in fright, when she ran right into me, knocking me over with all the force of a very frighten three-pound bird.

“Slow down, hen.” Ruth laughed. “You are safe. My goodness, how in the world did you ever get way out here if you kept falling down in a dead faint?”  Ruth flapped her wings and rose back up in the sky.

“Let’s go.” She hooted….the night is wasting.

“Go?”  Momma deer asked in a most puzzled way.

“Back to my house,” I explained. “I’m taking Ethie back to my house to live with Mom and Dad, me, and Mindy cat.”

“All the way back?  All that very long way back?”  Momma deer asked.

“Yes!  All the way back.”

“This sounds like a great adventure,” Momma deer replied. “I think I am going with you.  At least as far as the hay stackyard.  The hay stackyard just might have some snack for a really nice deer, don’t you think.”

“GOOD!” I bayed.  “Perfect!  Ruth, you, and I.  We will get Ethie to mom!”

 

 

 

All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure—Chapter Three

Chapter Three

 

My word!  A Hen!

I stood stock still and stared right into her wild beady little eyes.  As I stood there staring at her she fluffed up her feathers on her whole body, her neck feather rose straight up and made her scrawny neck look twenty times bigger than it did just a second ago. Then her wings came out to the side of her body and rose up in an arch at the exact second her beak opened and let out a loud amazing squawk!

THEN SHE WAS IN MY FACE!  Her beak was aiming right from my left eye, or my soft nose, or my wonderful long velvet ears!  I don’t know which for I put my front feet into the ground and pushed my rear end back out from under the brush as fast as I possibly could!

“WHOA!” I bayed!  “WHOA!” What’s going on with you? I’m not going to hurt you.”

The hen FLEW out after me her very sharp beak aiming for anything and everything she could make contact with!  I kept backing away until I could swing my whole body around and run back up on a little rise.  I sat up there huffing and panting, while the hen squawked and sputtered down below me.

“SHUT UP!” I yelled at her.  “SHUT YOUR BEAK! CLOSE YOUR WINGS! PUT THOSE NECK FEATHERS DOWN!” I bayed so loud I startled the hen into submission.

The hen stopped squawking and just looked at me. A stunned expression on her face. (Yes, birds can show expression.  If you don’t believe me you should be standing right here beside me!)

“Okay,” I hollered at her. “Tell what this is all about!  Tell me WHY you are up here in the Back Forty close to Coyote land and tell me why you are so darn mad at ME!”  I demanded.

“Er…Well…” the hen sorta looked defeated and just sat down. Suddenly it looked like she was crying.

I pushed myself off my little rise and padded my way (carefully—very carefully, that hen has already proved she has a very mean temper) over to her and gave her a little push with my nose.

“What’s up, hen? Tell me.  I just might be able to help you. I’ve helped lots of friends here on the farm.  I’ll bet I can help you also.”

I sat down and wagged my tail in the soft dirt.

“I’m lost” she sobbed. “So very lost. I don’t know where I am. I have almost been dinner twice. Once with a fox, where I escaped and ran as hard as I could through a pasture full of big animals —I think one was a mule, the other a horse.  They chased me and stomped at me.

Then I flew up into a tree.  By this time, it was starting to get night so I just stayed there resting.  The next morning, I looked up in the tree and there was an OWL!  A great big owl…she hooted at me so I fluttered down as fast as I could and ran as fast as my hen legs would take to the cover of some brush when suddenly” the hen paused for breath; a huge shudder went over her whole body.

“A GREAT BIG HAIRY SCAR COVERED CANINE leaped over a rock and grabbed me with a muzzle ugly and full of teeth I knew it was time to give up the ghost!  The hen flapped her body clear to the ground, laying as flat as a round-bodied chicken could lay; closing her eyes I thought she HAD given up the ghost.

I waited for a little while just watching her when one eye opened, then the other eye opened.  The hen sat up.  “Oh, …it’s not a dream.  I am still here with a dog, in the brush, and very lost.”

“Please go on with your story.” I politely asked her.

“Oh, yes.  I thought I was soon to be dinner.” The little hen shuddered. “When suddenly from out of nowhere that huge owl flew right down on top of the coyote, slammed her claws right into the coyote’s snout, the jaws fell open and I RAN!  I ran and ran and ran until I couldn’t run anymore, then I hide in that big brush where you found me. “

“I was just starting to get my heart beat back to normal when you poked you crawled into my hiding spot!  There was nothing I could do at that moment by fight back.”

I sat there amazed!  What an adventure!  What an amazing hen.  Just amazing!

 

 

 

 

The Storm That Wasn’t –February 6, 2014

I had everything buttoned down and latched tight, three loads of wood sitting under the carport where it would stay dry, and nothing happened.

Evening

I’m not complaining.  I’m also glad to be ready than to not be ready.

It is snowing in the mountains, which is hand-clapping/jig-dancing good!

Terry talked to one of the water guys yesterday and he said there is enough snow at Taylor Reservoir to fill the reservoir when spring comes WITH 7 more feet besides. WONDERFUL!!    The next trick is for Mother Nature to dump enough snow in the Gunnison area to help bring up the Blue Mesa Reservoir to decent levels.

(While we are talking about water I really hope and pray that California starts to get water! I read where there is huge talk about not allowing farmers to have water to farm this coming year–instead sending all the water to the metropolis areas.  What a mess that is going to be…drinking water, but no food.  The price of food will skyrocket, farmers will go out of business, and land will sit idle allowing the soil to blow away!   I really hope that moisture comes soon for all of them!)

We are progressing here in the health department, the little goat is to have 8 shots, we are closing down on that number.  She always enjoys coming to me because  I have the graham crackers so giving the shot isn’t hard.  The little hen’s head is looking somewhat better. Her eye is starting to de-puff.  I saw a tiny crack of chicken eyeball looking at me as I applied her medicine today.  I was very concerned that the eye had been pecked out, but NO!  She still has her eye!

COming

So slowly, slowly we are wending our way to health and toward spring.  I’m into the count down for March-twenty-two days left in February.  February always seems like a loooooooong month to me.  Thank Heaven’s its a short month!

Your farming friend,

Linda

 

Disaster in the Hen House

A nasty skunk got into the hen house last night and killed all but one of my wonderful hens!  I am so upset!  The hen is so upset!

I found where the skunk got in; he/she must have had to dig most of the night to enjoy this delicious meal of my hens!

Needless to say, we are setting live traps and the skunk, or skunks will have a new adventure in skunk heaven soon.

This is a necessity as we have 30 baby girl chicks coming Thursday, May 29th, and I don’t

want to lose them to wild life.