Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rural Juvenile delinquency!

I guess the title for this story should be something like:
'Unwed teen mother of two apprehended stealing lettuce from farmer.'

Does that sound catchy enough?

Or we could have it something like: 'Illegitimate twins stand idly by as mother is caught shoplifting.'

I don't know. How about: 'Teen mother leads children down road to life of crime.'

Anyway, it would be a good follow up to last week's newsletter, the one where I was asked by over a dozen people, 'Sure, no one has the heart to shoot cute little Bambi, but how much does Bambi have to grow until you decide she's a worthless varmint?"

To which I answered. "Good question."

And so before we talk about the crime wave out here in the lettuce field and how Bambi was captured, alive, and what we did with her, let's go through this week's farm news.

1. As the season winds down (two more weeks of deliveries after this week) we're having early sign up. This means, if you want to reserve a space for the 2008 season at this year's price you can do so now. If you are interested what you need to do is write me back saying you want to sign up for 2008 (I'm only taking vegetable reservations now. Anyone that signs up now gets first dibs on fruit and egg shares). Then, by the end of October send me a check for half the share price now (1 person cost $345 so send $172, 2 person cost $450 so send $225). Pay the other half in the spring.

2. If you aren't sure if you want to sign up you can wait until February when I start our regular subscription drive. I'll contact this year's subscribers and the people on our waiting list then. If I raise the share price you will pay the new rate.

3. Filling in wet land. I notice as you come down the road to get to our farm, just next to the boy scout camp. There is a field that during wet years is mostly a bog. This field, maybe 50 or so acres is usually so wet that nothing much ever grows there. Just cattails and grass that likes wet feet. In fact when it is dry they are lucky to get hay off of half that land.

Well, sometime when no one was looking a developer bought this bog and out by the road put up several signs advertising luxury houses.

When I saw the signs I thought they were just joking. This land doesn't perk. You are hard pressed to put a septic on that land. Someone built houses just on the other side of it and they had to put those really smelly sewage disposal systems in the front yards. You know those things. They look sort of like burial mounds, maybe ten or fifteen feet high with a pipe or two coming out of the top to vent the swamp gas. What I imagine is all the home's waste is pumped up into that thing, into a tank under the burial mound and every once in a while a truck has to come by and pump it out and haul all the waste away somewhere.

Not a very satisfactory means of waste disposal. So I figured that bog land was free from development.

But here they are, the developer has waited for a drought that has been setting all sorts of records and they moved in huge earth moving equipment and all week they have been hauling in fill dirt and have been covering the bog five or so feet deep in fill.

Isn't progress wonderful.

4. Log home for sale. I told my neighbor I'd mention that they had their house on the market. So here it is: down our driveway another mile is a big log house with four bedrooms, a slew of bathrooms and a stand alone garage that I've always thought could be a house in its own right. It sits on 13 heavily wooded acres.

But that's not where we let Bambi go.

What happened is this morning when we started picking at 7:am the three of us spread out. One picking basil, another squash (me) and Luis was walking down to start on the lettuce. Instead of taking the path along the edge of the field he walked down the trail behind the storehouse, through the woods and just at the edge of the field, there she was.


Actually, this is mommy Bambi, the teenage mother I talked about seeing last week. She was nestled down in some tall grass, sort of dozing while her two fawns were out in the lettuce dancing and doing what fawns do.

Before she had the chance to react. I mean, before she had the chance to even realize that a human had walked up behind her, Luis jumped, jumped at her without a seconds hesitation and caught one of her back leg.


But it was too late. He grabbed her other back leg.


Flipped her over. And pulled a roll of twine out of his back pocket.


Hogtied her.

Tied her back legs together, her front legs together and both set of lets tied to each other. Bound her up so she couldn't escape and she couldn't hurt herself trying to escape.

And the fawns. They stopped playing for just a moment. First running toward their mother and then away, and then toward her again.

There was another baa or two while we got the wheel barrrow down to her, got her in the barrow and carried her up the hill.

What should we do with her?

Is young deer sort of like veal? Or is it like kid goat? (who wants to eat an old goat anyway)

Wait, edit that. I can hear Wenonah right now. 'don't even think that thought, and especially don't put it in your newsletter."

To late. What we did, though, is we first hauled mommy Bambi out the gate, to the other side of the anti-deer fence. We took her there and keeping her tied up we sat her gently down in the shade.

The idea being that her twins would follow.,

And they did. It took about an hour but bouncing and skipping like baby Bambis do and seeing mommy on the other side of the fence they made their way along the edge of the fields and out the gate.

That's when we closed the gate.

Brought the truck through, picked up our teenage mother, drove her out to the end of our road, untied her and.

And she was gone. bounding off into the woods and quickly out of sight.


Leigh Hauter


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