Today, Aaron and my dad got up and running early. About the time we finished breakfast, they took off to grab a trailer. They moved Archie from the corral in the pasture to his actual home in the Goat Trails. Then, they picked up and new bottle calf and brought him to the pole barn.
Before noon, we were on our way to my mom’s house for an afternoon of Halloween fun with the kids. We ate chili and cinnamon rolls, carved pumpkins, decorated pumpkin cookies, napped and watched the Chiefs game – all while Archie went on a jog.
At some point in the afternoon, the Kesinger’s found our guy roaming the bean field by their calves. These great folks are the pasture neighbors whose cows ventured into our yard a few weeks ago.
About 2 hours later, my brother caught the post on Facebook announcing a donkey on the loose. As soon as he announced it to the room, we mortifyingly unlocked our phones, opened Facebook and let out a collective “oh $#!+.”
In fact – there were three posts.
Aaron and Chris raced ahead to try to get tabs on Archie. I responded to Facebook and eventually got back in touch with Kesinger’s to relay the right info back to Aaron. Honestly, the communication chain is way more difficult than you might expect when there is a 70% chance no one will have a cell signal once they leave the house.
We finally put eyes on Archie roaming free at the back of the beans. Armed with a bucket of grain, Aaron attempted to guide him back toward our farm. Unfortunately, he wasn’t budging and the dark sky was making it harder and harder to track him in the shadows of the woodline.
We left him.
We’re animal lovers through and through and – with our first big rain the other night – Aaron and I were both wide awake most of the night wondering if Archie and the goats were comfortable in their pens. In fact, most of this insomnia earlier in the week was what inspired Archie’s move to the Goat Trails in the first place. With the first snow creeping in within 24 hours, we thought he would prefer to have access to the Goat House and heat lamp.
Instead, he had chosen a life on the run and would inevitably spend his first snowy night on the farm in a neighbor’s bean field instead.
While we made our way home completely defeated – Archie’s “found” post was still racking up comments and laughs on Facebook. In fact, he’s a little famous in Jefferson County now as the butt of many ass jokes.
What made me laugh harder than anything is seeing my aunt realize he was ours. I had gotten a handful of texts from cousins at this point – but the fact that everyone now thinks of us as the farmers chasing guineas, donkeys and dogs across the countryside is just…well, accurate.
With any luck, tomorrow’s cold and snow will stay light enough to not make the donkey chasing too terribly miserable. I hope he does ok through the night.