Adventures in Paradise... Just before we headed for bed last night, Debbie happened to glance out the window (it was still light), and noticed that our neighbor's horses were all excited about something. That's unusual behavior for them at that hour, so she looked around a bit for the source of the excitement – and noticed that another neighbor's cow and sheep had escaped their paddock.
Dexter. The photo at right is not of Anabelle, but it looks a lot like her. Those are small cows, bred to be useful for both milk and beef. They're also notoriously ornery. When we spotted Anabelle, she was practically dancing around the neighbor's parcel – she looked like she was about as joyful as a cow could possibly be. The sheep just followed Anabelle all over the place.
Well, we watched for a minute to see if our neighbors (Nick and Maria S., plus five kids) saw what was happening. We called them, but got their answering machine. Figuring they must not be home, we ran out – I dashed over on my ATV, and Debbie drove over.
By the time we got there, a couple minutes later, two of the kids (the only two who were home) had seen the commotion and were out trying to herd them back in. Another couple of neighbors also came over to help, and after just a couple minutes more, Nick and Maria came home with the rest of the kids. We had quite a crowd out there trying to corral the miscreants!
Nick quickly found the escape point: Anabelle had pushed the bottom of one stretch of fence up and out. He fixed that, and the rest of us ran around like mad men trying to convince Anabelle that she should go back in the paddock. Anabelle did not want to go back – she was really enjoying her freedom. Maria, we discovered, was already quite fed up with this ornery cow. We all sense hamburger (or possibly a sale) in Anabelle's future.
Debbie and I came home laughing about the experience. The animals' escape had turned into a very enjoyable social outing for us and several neighbors :)