Adventures in Barnsitting 

Normally barnsitting is a pretty sedate gig. Small barn, out in the country, well behaved horses that are used to their routine. Not much to it. Things kinda just flow and there are rarely any hiccups or surprises. This time though… this time was just weird.


It started almost immediately, with a possum drowning in the water trough. Luckily the girl that cleans the stalls found that one, because giant rodents aren’t really my thing and EW.

Then Texas got a super weird cold front that dropped the temperature almost 30 degrees. This made the horses a little… uh… frisky. The stallion in particular, who is normally impeccably behaved and a total puppy dog, spent one entire evening thinking it was breeding season and he had business to attend to right now. If you know what I mean. It took a good hour of “discussions” to get his brain plugged back in and settle him back down. He never acts particularly studdish, so that was totally strange. He was back to his normal sedate self the next day.

 

Then another night I walked into the tack room to get cookies for the horses, and when I flipped on the light I saw a snake. A snake that was in the middle of devouring a rat. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TACK ROOM. Have you no decency sir? Not gonna lie, I screamed and leapt back out the door, just about crapping myself in the process. Then I realized I really had to make sure that the snake wasn’t poisonous. I very slowly crept back in, an inch at a time, verified that it wasn’t an extra scary snake (just a regularly scary snake), apologized to him for interrupting his dinner, turned the light back off, and shut the tack room door. I was very careful entering the tack room every time after that.

Also, why was it suddenly monsoon season in Texas? In August? We got 10″ of rain in the past week!

So then it kind of makes sense that one morning I found a frog sitting on my boot. That was the same morning that I opened the back door and a spider, a BIG spider, fell mere inches from my head. I’m glad he didn’t actually make contact, I would’ve hated to have to burn down the newly renovated house.

Another morning I was filling water buckets before I left for the day and found a rat drowning in one. Like literally he was on his tiptoes and just his little nose was sticking out. He kept trying to jump but wasn’t having any luck. I pulled the whole bucket down and tossed it out, and the poor rat (I know they’re gross rodents but still, poor drowning rat) took a little while to get moving before scampering off. As I was scrubbing the bucket all I could think was that I better not find a damn snake eating that damn rat later…

The wildlife, man. What the hell?

 

26 thoughts on “Adventures in Barnsitting 

  1. okay thank you for covering all of my nightmares in one blog post (Snake (shudder), rat (shudder), possum ewww, spider ewwwwwwwww, frog (shivers)…and so on)….EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW all you needed was a scorpion to show up and that would have been it for me (those horses would have BEEN on their own! LOL)…nothing is ever boring with you! HA thanks for the laugh..(Did not need the visual of that rat but the horses sure are pretty!)

    I bet you are glad to be home (if you are home yet)!

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  2. I am trying not to laugh uncontrollably at my desk this morning. Wow. Just…wow. It is like the seven plagues of Egypt! *shudders* At least there hasn’t been a hoard of locusts (or chicadas…those effers are GROSS!).

    Good luck with the rest of barn sitting.

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  3. Bwahahaha… this is basically a day in my life, every day. Dump any critters out of the boots before putting them on. Don’t panic when the giant toad (who is literally bigger than my hand) leaps out of the barn when I turn on the lights. Make sure the little raft in the water trough is still in there, so when a critter gets in, it can get back out (not sure how many squirrels we’ve drowned). Check the chicken coop carefully before entering to make sure the 6′ rat snake isn’t in the process of eating eggs before sticking my hand in to get the eggs. Gotta love the wildlife, man.

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  4. ugh we used to get drowned rats in the water troughs in rochester alllll the time. drove me nuts! at least the snake was there to do his part to control that population tho? lolz… also, i mean, possums are definitely NOT my favorite (maybe one day i’ll tell my own tale of woe about them…) but they at least get the distinction of being marsupials – thus technically classing them as a more interesting type of animal than just another rodent. not sure that helps tho when it’s time to fish a dead one out of the trough haha…

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  5. Wow, that’s a lot of crazy shit. Possums gross me out, plus there’s the whole EPM thing. I’m not sure I’d have been okay with the snake staying in the tack room even if non poisonous. I used to have pet rats so they don’t bother me, though I hate them at the barn.

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