In between harvesting, canning, schooling, co-oping, building, baking, exploring, and just generally living life...we always end up involved in saving a few animals.
(And yes, we share a house with 5 dogs and 11 cats...and a clawed frog...and a bunny...but this post isn't about those animals. Or any other such domesticated four legged counterparts that may end up on our doorstep.)
We save a lot of birds. This little guy hit the window and we held him until he flew away.
This little guy was pounced upon by one of the aforementioned cats, and we saved him, too.
He won himself a spot in our Boot Hut, a birdhouse made by and bought from an Amish woman (at her roadside stand).
But it seems that lately, our most requested animal rescue story is from something that happened a couple weeks ago. Enjoy!
Imagine this: you're driving down the road, returning home from the dairy (weekly raw milk pick up) when you spy something on the road. A small something. A slithery something.
Now normal sane people would have passed it by. But not MamaTea! Not the homeschoolin' mama who just put up a poster on the wall about how to tell the difference between a Spotted salamander and a Tiger salamander! She spins the car around and picks the little darlin' up, so as to save him from the inevitable squish beneath a set of careless tires.
Aw, he's so cute!
Where do I put him?
I'm about a half mile from home, and the little guy is stunned so I figure I can just hold him.
Really, I was just a half mile from home.
Of course, this didn't work out so well. Because as soon as he hit the warmth of the car, he "woke up". I didn't figure driving with a slithery something or other climbing all over you (even for a half mile) was going to work. So I chose to do something that ultimately presented me with quite an issue.
I set him down in the passenger seat.
Really, it was only a half mile home. What could happen?
I'll tell you what can happen. In the length of a half mile, you can flat out lose the salamander. Because he's fast. And he hops off the passenger seat onto the floor, behind the mat on the floor, and up into...wherever it was he went. Who knew there were holes back there?
Great. I've lost him. In the heating system. The van is going to reek of fried fermented salamander.
I pull into the driveway, hoping that for once my husband isn't waiting at the door to help me unload the dairy delivery. I park and start tearing apart the inside of the van. Come on, little slithery friend. Come out, come out wherever you are...
Cripes. I don't know where he is. And the fact I'm clawing at the inside panels of the van certainly looks suspcicious.
A couple hours goes by and the slitherly darling still hasn't appeared. I end up confessing to Hubster that there is a salamander lost. Somewhere. In the van. You know, one of those Honey? So...I was wondering. What would happen, if say, I kind of set a live slithering animal on the seat of the van...and he kinda sorta...kinda...got away from me?
He sighs. Heavily.
(I love him.)
I start praying that perhaps the salamander crept out without me noticing and has happily slithered away to some wet patch of leaves in the woods. Because, as Hubster points out, the smell of fried fermented salamander just doesn't go away.
Later that day, we are packing to house-sit for my sister in law for a few days. We open the back door of the van to plop everything inside...and there he is! Crawling around on the floor of the back of the van!
Like he was politely knocking to get out.
I think he even smiled and waved.
Is this your salamander? asks Husbter.
Why yes, it most certainly is.
Life could be so normal...
thank God it isn't.