Friday, March 13, 2009

Wild Kingdom, The Country Version

Last Saturday afternoon, when we were in Victoria, we were in the backyard playing with the kids, and Dan decided he wanted to take the kids over to see this old windmill we could hear eerily creaking in the wind. Luckily, I decided to go along because boy, did we have a little adventure.

We set off from the backyard, went across the neighbor's backyard and all the way to the back to a barbwire fence. Dan told us that he and his brothers used to go that way all the time when he was a kid to get back to the family farm land. Dan held up the barbwire and the kids stooped under it, then he and I carefully held it down and stepped over. Then we were confronted by a maze of the wildest, wickedest thorn trees I've ever seen. The trees were short so there were thorns everywhere. These thorns were 2-3 inches long, and in fact Dan's brother had used some of the thorny branches to make a crown of thorns, which I had previously seen and marvelled at. Between all the thorns and the poop all over the ground, we picked our way through the obstacle course.

As we started walking through a wooded area, we saw a deer run by a ways off, followed shortly after by another deer. The kids were able to see them and got all excited. We made our way down a steep hill to the creek and found a way across. Then we walked on a level path for a while and were just starting up a very steep hill when we heard a thud, thud, thud, thud. We looked up and there about 20 feet above our heads were 2 enormous horses that had just come to a stop at the top of the hill. Needless to say we were a bit surprised and Dan said hurry, go back.

We quickly walked back towards the creek and went to a different section to get across. Before we could find our way across, Dan spotted a squirrel on the other side. It was on its back with its 2 front paws still clutching onto the small branch that had evidently recently broken off the large tree above. At first I thought it was dead, but then we could see it was breathing. (That's one way to get the wind knocked out of you!)

I glanced back down the path and there were the horses walking down after us. They didn't look mean, but when you have 4 little kids with you, it is not prudent to wait around and find out. I said, "Dan, the horses are coming." You should have seen him spring into action. He was holding Joseph already, so he grabbed Catherine and leaped across that creek quicker than you could say squirrel. Speaking of squirrels, you should have seen that squirrel come to life when Dan came leaping across the creek. The poor thing was floundering around, trying to get to its paws and run away.

So there I was with the twins, on the same side of the creek with the horses, who were moseying along in our direction. They were starting to freak out (the twins, not the horses) and I grabbed them by the arms and we jumped across the creek and scrambled up the hill.

So here they are, the wild and dangerous horses that we ran away from. Don't they look scary? :) Of course, if you only weigh 25-40 pounds, a 1000 pound horse looks pretty scary up close. And when you are the mommy and daddy of those little 25-40 pounders, those big horses look like they could do some damage if they wanted. That crevice in the middle of the picture is where the creek is located.
Here we are, safe and sound after our wildlife adventure, looking at the horses from the other side of the fence.
And now I think we'll go relax in the Club House.
And no, we never did make it to that windmill, which continued eerily creaking in the wind!


Catholic Wife and Mother said...

I love that story!

I have been unexpectedly caught, more than once, in a field with cows. Being a native city girl, it scares me each time. My kids laugh at me, as each time, the cows never seem to care that we're there. But, you know . . . charging bulls? It happens. :-)

Dan and Janet Brungardt said...

Dan and I both grew up in the country, but we have also both lived in the city since college. I would probably get scared in a field with cows, too! Especially if the kids were with me. Even "tame" animals can be unpredictable. And don't even get me started about snakes! (shudder)