Kids of any species are known to act out when introductions are made and best behavior is hoped for; Camille's critters are no exception. The cats are to be fed in the house; zoot! one streaked by (she said I'd probably never see the other one). Shadow is to get four baby carrots cut into pieces so he thinks he's getting more. Camille explained the routine as we walked down the steep slope to the barn. Yeah, well, good luck with that.
The alpacas are differing breeds. Titanic is white and has a fluffy topknot. Caspian is cream-colored and wears what looks like a cheap toupee with bangs. I think of them as Frick and Frack. While we were in the feed room, Frick and Frack slipped through to the pasture where they're not supposed to be and Shadow followed. They were all supposed to be fed on one side of the gate, but since no one was cooperating Camille thought it was easier to move the bowls. There are 25 chickens to be let out and fed. They all free range during the day and (she assured me) put themselves back into the barn at night. I was shown the hidey-holes where the hens might stash their eggs that I am to pick up at night. Honey, who will be staying elsewhere, has a thing she does with the rooster. The dog will make drive-by passes until the rooster chases her, then turns so she can chase the rooster. It's a game of longstanding, with no harm, no foul (fowl?). Honey was having so much fun, she tried to get Shadow involved in the play and got shouted at. ("She never does that," said Camille.) The alpacas refused to be herded back where they belonged and Shadow wandered off on his own. Kids will be kids.
Like my own situation, there is a series of gates, doors, and latches. The rule of thumb is: if it was open, leave it open; if it was closed, shut it; if it was shut, lock it. I hope to be forgiven any confusion with the rest of it as, after explaining how it should be, Camille decided to leave the alpacas and donkey in that pasture and that changes the placement of bowls and timing of who gets what when.
After the hike back up to the house, it was explained that I would need to check the pool daily for any wild critters that might have fallen in. I forgot to ask what to do with any that might have drowned in the night.
I find that mowing has a calming effect, so I spent time in the afternoon riding around the west field, dodging new squirrel mounds and burrows and thinking serene thoughts. I can't count the number of times I woke in the night, trying to remember which hen gets lifted in or out of which feeder bin so she'll have privacy for brooding, wondering what I'll do if the chickens aren't all in the barn, and hoping Frick and Frack will stay in the pasture where they're not supposed to be. One change is all I can cope with. I'm all for controlled chaos.