A Funny Mouse Tale:
A Canadian family spent three winter months in Indian Bluff at Scurlock Farms through the end of March. I was out working in the garden when Tom and his mom, Pattie, passed by on their way into town for lunch. They stopped to tell me a very funny story about their experience with a mouse!
Tom said he had seen said mouse in the back seat of their rental car. He opened all of the car doors and they tried unsuccessfully to chase it out of the car. They assumed the mouse had traveled with them from the Austin airport when they picked up the rental or from Luckenbach when they visited there.
A couple of weeks earlier Tom and Pattie had driven to Fredericksburg to see the town and have lunch.
In Tom’s words:
We were driving back and when we were about 6 miles East of Fredericksburg, I felt something on my neck. I asked Mom if there was something there. She (Pattie) freaked out when she saw our friend, the mouse, sitting on the top of my shirt by my neck.
We were in fairly heavy traffic, traveling about 70 miles per hour on a two-lane road, and there were no shoulders on the road where I could pull off. I tried not to panic and kept both hands firmly on the wheel at 10 and 2 as I drove and looked for a place to pull over.
All of a sudden, the mouse began going around my collar to the other side of my neck and began nosing around my left ear. I was afraid it was going to bite my ear! I am still driving and looking desperately for a place to pull over!
Next the little bugger (mouse) ran down my shirt!
Now I AM freaking out and Pattie is still freaking out. Finally, I find a spot to pull over. I’m sure passersby thought I was a crazy man as I flung open the car door, sprang from the car, pulled off my sweatshirt, then my shirt and threw them onto the ground.
I shook each shirt, and sure enough, there on the ground was the mouse – he is now a country mouse!
Coyotes have become a big problem with our goat herd this year.
As I listened to Tom’s story, I was leaning down by the open car window on Pattie’s side of the car. I told them that a coyote had been killed on the farm the previous night (coyotes have killed 30+ goats from our herd since November!).
Tom began telling a story about an experience he had with large coyotes back home near Toronto. He thought they were a cross between a wolf and coyote.
Tom commented they were very “wiley” and cunning. They had lured his older dogs away from the yard and into a hay field. Once they had the dogs away from the house, the coyotes turned and headed back for the dogs. Tom said he grabbed a baseball bat and ran out. The coyotes were smart enough to stop chasing the dogs, just looked at Tom, then simply walked away.
We have a large Great Pyrenees named Jack.
About the time Tom was talking about how smart and “wiley” the coyotes were, Jack firmly rubbed against the back of my legs as I leaned in the window to hear Tom’s story. I screamed, Pattie screamed and Tom jumped. I thought that “wiley” coyote had me – talk about timing! We all had a good laugh.
The coyotes got all but 3 of the babies born from November to March. We began using sweet feed to entice the goats into the pens at night. Dan put up three motion-activated lights facing out into the pasture. He got an infra-red night scope so he and David could “see” in the dark.
David spent many hours several nights on the roof of the barn overlooking the pens with the goats. He saw a couple of coyotes traveling along the farm South fence line in front of the pens. They never ventured close to the barns, so we assume the lights going on and off were working. The pens had previously been lit up with lights that stayed on all the time. They certainly weren’t a deterrent for the coyotes – they just enabled them to see better!
David spotted a skunk meandering around a couple of nights, along with several rabbits. One of the most interesting critters picked up by the game camera was a fox that came within 5′ of the pens! I’m sure the lights coming on encouraged him to keep trucking. We have not seen him again.
Sherry, one of our daughters-in-law, has seen a fox several times in a small hay patch close to the pecan orchard on her morning walks. The fox sits in the grass in the middle of the patch watching her and the dogs. I suspect the foxes are the ones responsible for 6 of my red hens that have gone missing during the day while out of their coop.
One night when David was on the roof using the infra-red night scope, he spotted large eyes and
thought he had another coyote. He began recording and soon the “coyote” began flying! Turns out it was a large Great Horned Owl. The owl flew right towards David and lit on the electric line right above him. I love these majestic birds. If you look at the video closely, you will see other birds (they look like gray shadows flitting up into the air) flying up around the owl.
Yesterday at dusk, I saw a Great Horned Owl glide out of a tree and over the top pasture in front of Rocky Overlook.