Black Timber Wolf Visits the Farm.


At nine at night last night my niece called to say they see our “coyote” on their front door step. They live here on the farm. I took the gun with me but of course the animal could not be found.

Three times we have seen an animal which looks exactly like this picture. We do have coyote in the area but the description by my niece told me we were talking about the young eastern timber wolf. Only, she said he was huge, almost the size of our great Danes. This would put him in the hundred-fifty pound category and fully mature. So far none of our animals have been bothered by this big guy. It has always appears alone.

The only thing being bothered recently has been the chickens. We caught a red-tailed hawk in the act of killing the only brooding hen on the farm. She was five years old and raised many eggs to hatching. By the time I got to the scene the killer took flight.

A big vixen fox has been visiting the farm early in the morning and now we have the wolf back. It is aggravating to know your favorite chickens are on their menu.  The other problem with this big guy hanging around here is it is taking out our fawn crop. We depend on deer to fill the freezer. Guess I’ll have to hunt up someone who can take out some of the local coyote population and maybe this big guy. With the neighbor’s cows calving the loss to them could be substantial. My niece is also worried about her kids being injured by such a big animal. Usually you could say not to worry, a wolf is more afraid of you than it, but, when you see a wolf right on your front door step those words are not reassuring.

My kindness will be the death of me.

As the day ended I fell exhausted into a chair muttering, “My kindness will be the death of me.”

The day started with me meeting a friend for some refreshing bible study. In my business I had missed our earlier date and now it was off schedule on this wonderful Friday in April. It was snowing after being seventy-two degrees the day before. People were mowing their lawns already. I’m not complaining because the cows would be eating a bigger hole in my wallet right now if it were not for this unexpected warm spring.

Sometimes the big guy upstairs knows when you need to start a day with him heavily on your mind. When I got home the true snowball started. The dogs were whining and caught my attention. The Dane girls are were full grown and we will be thinking about puppies pretty soon and the four weeks of hardship they will bring. Danes tend to lay on their pups and smother them without realizing it. It is an all night vigil to keep he pups safe. They will also be fed extra hand feedings twice a day so the mother does not get run down. All that kind of filled my mind, so I missed my mother’s car stuck in front of the grain shed.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, sat in front of the computer to check over a list of vegetables seeds to begin our farmer’s market adventure. A few seconds later I heard arguing. Don was missing, which I did find odd, but, then I thought he might be remodeling trailer nine; as we call the rental unit. It was the voices of my brother and daughter I heard. Rising to investigate the issue at hand I quickly learned by baby brother had unintentionally put all four wheels of Mother’s Subaru in the semi-frozen clay which was slicker than goose snot on a doorknob. It slid about thirty feet, tearing up what grass was beginning to grow in the unintentional roadway around the house. It had developed from bringing equipment in and out.

As I’m bundling up the hubby appears. He just could not wait to announce he had bad news. I am thinking, “Great, what died now?”

With an I told you so look the hubby informed, “Your car has been impounded and trailer one and two are in jail. Trailer one’s girlfriend is crying beside herself with worry and your niece is throwing up because her nerves are shot.”

Allow me to explain that my niece is a very dear young friend I adopted some years ago, along with her sister. Because of my close friendship with their mother I somewhere in time became an adopted aunt. My niece lives here on the farm. She met the best friend of trailer one and they have been getting along quite well, except for some infractions of common sense that comes with a man who has been a bachelor too long.

Hearing that my car had been impounded made me instantly mad. Trailer one was to meet me today at the notary to buy the car and make a few payments. I had allowed him, whom we shall call Frank, to burrow the car to get to work so he would have enough money to pay his rent and buy the car. Frank had taxed my patience to the point I had handed him an eviction notice. Suddenly he had enough to pay his back rent.  I am not going to go into how many other infractions of our rules I tolerated, and he did fix or stop doing. He’s a wild child with two beautiful little babies I had hoped would teach him responsibility.

Anyways, the hubby went on to explain he had just spent two hours consoling my niece. He went up because her phone had cut off and all he understood amounted to: “Cindy’s car was stuck on railroad tracks two hours from here and both the boys were getting hung in a tree.”

Immediately the crisis worker in me just held up my hands, “Okay, I’m bundled. Let’s go out and decide how to get Mom’s car out of the lawn before she finds out.”

My baby brother pipes in, “Too, late. He told on me.”

I looked to my other brother who grinned, “Ain’t everyday you get to see Mom mad.”

Rolling my eyes at him I said, “Couldn’t resist? I’m not going down to visit for a few days. You live there. Be that as it may, let’s examine mess number one, then I’ll go up to trailer one and find out where the ding-bats are and the number to get my car back then I’ll check up on my niece.”

A plan was hatched to get the Subaru out of the yard involving a fifty-foot chain and the tractor. We could barely stand up in the grass. There was no snow but the clay had turned to an unusual goo. Up the hill I trudged to trailer one and I could hear her inside crying. We shall call her April. Teary-eyed she opened the door. I half-smiled, “I heard the boys have done it again.” She commenced to lamenting that they had almost gotten the bills caught up, she finally had diapers, he was just laid off from work or he would have lost his job over this. Again there was mention of the railroad tracks, the car was hung up on them and a cop had been following the boys. Apparently Frank had a suspended licence an the other one had failed to take care of a DUI. The car was supposedly fine.

I just shook my head. “Get me some numbers. I have to get to work in two hours. I’ll get the car tomorrow I guess.” She was making arrangements for Frank’s bond when I left her to go check my niece.

My niece does not take stress well. She was laying on the couch in a darkened living room with a bucket not far off. For as feisty a woman as she is her nerves get to her. We has a half-hour talk and I offered to get her some ginger ale, Gatorade and I added a can of soup later.

Trailer one stopped me and we figured out she was going to need the money for the car payment to bail his sorry butt out and get the car out of impound because I was not paying for it. She needed to get to Wal-mart to send money. Reminding her I had to get to work in a little over an hour I told her to get the kids ready and I would run to the store for my niece.

Coming back I was relieved to see a friend of theirs had stopped in not knowing the recent events. They stepped in and took her up, revealing they wished they could kick Frank and I readily agreed.

My niece thanked me for the groceries and we talked not so kindly about her boyfriend and much more she was not going to take. If a man skating on thin ice could fall thru that boy had managed it, by accident. Taking my car out at near midnight to get some beer and getting lost on a back road, hung up on a railroad track because they took a turn too fast with a cop being the car behind them was just those boys kind of luck. Sadly, the DUI had just been the last thing the couple had discussed. My niece was adamant he take his next pay when he started work to take care of it. It was a conversation one night too late.

I dressed for work and literally fled the farm. The Subaru was unstuck and everyone was hurrying to get the animals fed.

As soon as I got to the house I called about the car. It was still in my name so guess who had to show up with an insurance car, title, proof of registration and ID? The car was an hour away. The guy was closed but if I needed the car he was just towing in another car. We scrambled to get all the paperwork and the hubby very irritably agreed to get the car. The fellow was not a happy fellow as we were a bit late- the insurance and registration card were not in the car so we had to dig to get the info, of course. The car drove okay, but it was covered in mud. Inside, there was beer on the windshield and open bottles. How they did not get a DUI or open container I have no clue. If it had been anyone else but Frank, they surely would have. The car was a stinking mess and the sight of it made me even madder.

Stopping at Taco Bell I needed something to eat. During this whole escapade I realized I had not eaten since four o’clock yesterday. Do you think life would cut me a break? Twenty minutes later I step up to the counter and ask the lady if our order was ready yet. Nope. Our order was kicked out of the computer. They gave us a refund and our dinner.

Getting home, oh no, this does not stop yet, I drove the car up to trailer one and there is Frank. Staying very calm, as the madder I get the calmer I get for some strange reason, I said to him, “Well, there’s trouble.”

“I’m not trouble,” he countered with an uneasy smile. “Yah, you are. So exactly how did you hang a car up on a railroad track?”

“First, I was not drinking,” he assured. “Greg had the beer and it’s all over.”

“Noticed,” I said quietly.

He went on to explain what the tow driver told me. The particular turn was poorly marked and seven times vehicles had done pretty much the same thing. It was dark and they were lost. The cop would have let them go if they could have backed the car off the rail, but, when the tow truck had to be called they were screwed.

“I hope you learn something out of this. I need the one-fifty for the car,” I said in a quiet tone I use to keep from blowing my stack at people.

Well, he had enough to make a smaller down payment on the car and repay me for the impound so I calmed. I just know something is yet to go wrong over this car. I just know it in my gut, but, that is life.

April said to me, “There’s no one like you Cindy. I can’t believe how good you are able to do all this.”

“Yah, my kindness will be the death of me at this rate,” I replied with a sarcastic smile.

Greg will not be getting out of jail soon. My niece has put him on a short leash and he knows one more stunt like this and he will be hanging from it and looking for a new dog house. I’m sending him a bible. Maybe it will do him as much good as it did me to keep my life calm. I am telling you, if it were not for the time I took this morning to think upon God I would be in jail right now because two boys would be swinging from an oak tree upside down!

This is why I need to get my books to become a source of income. When I sign that book contract the first thing I am going to do is take my big backhoe and crush those trailers into itsy-bitsy pieces of scrap!

Triple Flambe

Not sure if I should laugh or cry today. Renting is a real pain in the neck. With our renters being here on the farm I try to stay out of their business. I try to pick good renters, but, every once in awhile there is one that stands out.

At five o’clock in the morning I see flames shooting over the top of a trailer we rent. Running up the hill, in my nightshirt, expecting the worse, you can not begin to imagine my anger when I see my newest tenant burning over the bank a pile of skids. After my first words of, “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” I asked “What are you doing?”
Eyeing my lanky tenant who reminds me of a cross between a Jack Russel terrier, Festus off of Gunsmoke and a slightly drunken sailor; I get a slurred reply explaining he had some copper he wanted to take. He was burning the outer casing off.

My other tenant, who is a fiery young woman, I can imagine inside her trailer seething; if I am this mad. I know she, by now, has slammed her windows shut; as she can not afford an A/C unit, yet. Even then, the fumes from the green fire were overwhelming.
Last week, after verbally telling this young man to clean up a mess from where he burned his trash, littered with cans and diapers, we spent three hours cleaning it up ourselves. We took seven bags of burned trash out. I can not even imagine how much he had stashed to get the amount. He was told, then, there would be no more burning for anyone.
I am a kind, tolerant person but after this and, oh, about thirty other minor incidents; this one finally takes the cake. They are behind in the rent, to boot. As I stand watching the flames stretch high in a sky that has not seen a good rain all month he adds the cherry to the flambe, “I got fired. I need the extra money for diapers.”
“Yah,” I’m thinking, “you’re going to need a great big one when you get your eviction notice.”
I really have not wanted to do this, but, it comes down to business. I can not afford to loose all my good paying, well-behaved renters to help someone who just doesn’t get it.