Introducing Suzanne Perras of Rockin' Stockins as a guest blogger, sharing entertaining animal stories straight from the farm!
May 12, 2016
Alaska, our ram, somehow got into the donkey pen which is between the alpaca pen, where he resides for the winter, and the ewe’s pen. We keep the ram away from the ewes out of season so that we can control when they breed. Then the lambs will be born in May, in warm weather. Brian was working late so I went out to the pens to give the animals their daily oats – a treat that they love and look forward to every day. Alaska was running around wildly butting the donkeys, not a wise endeavour (donkeys have a vicious kick), and generally being a nuisance. I yelled at him and gave nobody oats, fearing a worse debacle over the oats, to Alaska’s misfortune if I did.
That evening I asked Brian to move Alaska the next day. As he was working late again that day, I hesitated when I got home from work to go to feed the animals in the event that he had forgotten to move Alaska, or that Alaska had been so problematic that he didn’t pursue to success in getting him moved, and that I’d find an injured ram in the pen, or worse, a dead one.
I sat down at the kitchen table before venturing out; pondering my dilemma, and happened to glance up towards the pens through the kitchen window. Much to my relief I saw that the donkeys were in the alpaca pen, the only pen visible from the house.
“That Brilliant Man!’, I rejoiced. Instead of chasing a silly ram about, he simply switched the donkeys and alpacas around.
I happily went out and fed everybody, all in appropriate pens, and all was well.
When Brian came home, I remarked that he hadn’t bothered to move Alaska.
He said “No. I didn’t have trouble moving him at all.”
“So you didn’t put the donkeys in the alpaca pen?”
“And you didn’t put the alpacas in the donkey pen?”
I chuckled all evening and Brian fumed.
My interpretation of events goes something like this:
For whatever reason, Alaska opened a way into the donkey pen, apparently seeking retribution for one reason or another. The animals didn’t get their oats that night because of the disruption and then Brian moved Alaska back into the alpaca pen. These events are connected and observed by clever critters such as donkeys and so when the events repeated themselves the next day, and Alaska felt a need to continue to upbraid the donkeys, he likely got back into the donkey pen and refused to co-operate by returning in a timely manner. So the donkeys and alpacas switched places so that order would appear to prevail and oats would be forthcoming. And they were right.
The next day Brian went out and switched them back and closed up the escape route; to what end I’m not sure, but I continue to see humour in the events and to maintain: “My critters know how to get their oats!”