Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Lilliput

Chickens are such funny little creatures.  Perhaps because they also walk on two legs, they seem like tiny people to me.  Every morning when I open the hen house doors, they come tumbling down the ramp or leaping off the stoop and cluster around my feet.  I feel like Gulliver must have when he was surrounded by Lilliputians.  They eagerly search the morning's grain for vegetable trimmings from the house and squabble over any tidbit found.  Joel has promised some carrot tops later today, and I know that when I walk out toward the pen, the flock will come running so fast they'll skid around the corner.  You just can't beat a chicken's enthusiasm.

Also in the wee category, I've found a critter that can out-stubborn a mule.  A colony of red ants moved in by the water faucet at the fence line to the goat pen.  These ants aren't called fire ants for nothing.  Their bites sting and burn, and once they've got a grip they don't let go.  I've pretty much got a live-and-let-live attitude toward most creatures, but I've seen goats dance when a red ant has clamped on to an ankle and a dog cry in pain with an ant clinging to her tender nose.  I know firsthand how it feels because they'll sneak up under a pants leg and chomp.  It hurts!  These ants must move on.  For a couple of weeks now I've flooded their nest morning and night when I top off the water trough.  They float out on the man-made tsunami and out into the field.  I destroy the subterranean tunnels and nurseries.  And the next day they are going about the business of rebuilding and we do it all over again.  Talk about stubborn!

Dave, oldest son, called last night and said he'd be coming up today.  Dave towers over me, so instead of Gulliver, I'm going to be one of the little people.  Regardless, it's going to be a good day.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Maybe your magic wasp spray with its long range would do more permanent damage to your red ants, who, apparently don't mind swimming and/or floating when the high tide rushes in!