Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Didn't Have My Video Camera

Sorry, but it happened so fast and I actually saw it through the window.  There was no time to grab a camera, so I'll have to describe it to you.  Gabbrielle and Bombay were standing head to tail, side to side, and a Magpie flew up and landed on Gabbrielle's rump.  Magpies are those big black and white birds that resemble crows.  Bombay turned his big head and looked directly at the bird.  His face was inches from its beak, but neither Bombay nor the bird did anything beyond looking at each other.

Then Gabbrielle swished her tail up over her back and swatted the bird, which hopped up and landed on her withers.  Gabbrielle shook her withers and tried to whip the bird with her tail, but couldn't reach it.  Bombay turned around and looked right at the bird again, who looked right back at him.  Then the bird flew down to the ground and began pecking at something.  Gabbrielle pinned back her ears and turned her head to glare at Bombay, as if accusing him of either poking her or not doing anything about that bird on her back.  I was laughing so hard.

A couple of other stories:  I was looking out the kitchen window while cooking dinner and saw that feral calico cat in my front yard stalking something.  The cat has been sleeping between the fence and my manure pile lately, because it's warm there.  I watched the cat prowling around when it suddenly hit me that it was going to jump my wild bunny.  I ran outside and chased the cat off.  I didn't see exactly where it went, so I was looking in bushes and under trees to make sure it was gone.  My wild bunny was just a few feet away from me happily munching on some grass, unconcerned about me or the cat.

I climbed out of the bushes to shoo the bunny under the car where it would be safer, and right then a woman came walking up the street in front of my house leading a stunning Arabian horse in a leg wrap.  Of course, I spooked the horse by climbing out of those bushes, and felt absolutely terrible about it.  I didn't hear them coming at all.  Plus I didn't expect to see a woman walking a horse on my private road.  She probably has seen me walking my horses on my road and thought it was a good location to walk horses, not realizing that its private property (despite the signs).

The other story is that when I walked outside to muck stalls I noticed that both of my nosy neighbors' vehicles were gone.  That's a rarity, so I decided to take advantage of their absence by cleaning all the manure in the paddock up against the fence that divides our properties.  As I was pulling the wheelbarrow through the gate, the horses tried to bust out, so I hollered at them and chased them off, saying a few choice words.

Then I found another big rock in my paddock that wasn't there the day before.  I'm very diligent about removing rocks that are big enough to cause stone bruises on my horses' feet, yet every day more rocks show up.  I'm pretty sure that the kid my nosy neighbor babysits is chucking them over the fence, because he's thrown construction materials from their property over the fence in the past.  What worries me is that he may be throwing that stuff AT my horses.  I keep meaning to watch him and try to catch him in the act, but always get too busy.

Anyway, I said out loud, "Where do all these rocks keep coming from?  I clean the paddock and the next day more big rocks show up!"

I looked over at the neighbors' lot and considered chucking it back over their fence like I usually do, but something made me just toss it over into my own rocky RV lane.  I started cleaning the manure along the fence, and looked up to see some strange woman I've never seen before sitting on my neighbor's porch staring at me.  I jumped out of my skin.  I thought, "What?  Are they now hiring strangers to stare at me when they can't be home to do it?  This is ridiculous!"

The woman watched me shovel manure for a while.  The horses were all standing around me poking me, chewing on the manure wagon and trying to wrestle the manure fork out of my hands when the woman decided to stand up from her chair and go inside.  She was so quiet and motionless sitting there that she took my horses by surprise when she stood, and Gabbrielle nearly kicked me as she spun and bolted.  I let out a yelp, and the woman paused in the doorway to see what was going on.  I'm sure she was oblivious to how her sudden movement could have resulted in me losing a kneecap.  

I found it so odd that they would bring company home, and then leave the lady stranded at their house without any transportation.  I decided to pay closer attention to who is coming and going next door, and try to get a feel for their schedule in hopes that I can find some periods of time when they habitually go somewhere. 

So, I'm working on my novel in my son's bedroom, which has a window with the best view of their property. I'm making notes of their comings and goings, hoping to find patterns.  So far I've realized that the strange woman I saw yesterday lives with them now, along with another man who seems to be working for my nosy neighbor's construction company.  From the looks of the latest junk pile in their front yard, they are doing a job replacing windows on a house.

These neighbors are in the habit of bringing homeless people into their home and giving them jobs to do in lieu of their room and board, which would explain their lack of vehicle.  It's a nice gesture, but is also just one more step toward completely robbing me of my privacy, and sometimes my family's safety... especially when the take in recently released prisoners to help with the construction company.  I have no doubt that they drive into the city and pick up people standing in front of stores with signs that say, "Will work for food."

They have half a dozen people visit them a day, and every one of those visitors feels the need to watch me when I'm doing my barn chores.  A lot of them also have their cars set up to honk every time the lock and unlock their doors, which drives my horses and me crazy since these people park right next to my barn and horse paddock.

It appears as if they hired the strange woman as a housekeeper.  She takes the trash out, and in the past hour she has come outside and sat on the porch half a dozen times to send text messages, drink coffee and smoke.  She probably feels claustrophobic inside their house.  Each time she slams the door when coming outside or going in, my horses spook and stampede.  Poor Lostine got so startled just now that she tripped and fell on her face.  Apparently, this is more activity than my horses are used to having next door.

Obviously, now that she practically lives on the porch and has no transportation to leave the property, I probably will never get some alone time when I do barn chores.  I can't wait until these neighbors decide that two is company and tell their live-in guests to move along.  That house is the size of a small apartment and it is already so cluttered with stuff.  I don't know how they fit four adults, a kid, and a dog in there.

My other goal, besides trying to figure out their schedule, assuming they have one, is to catch the kid throwing rocks at my horses. Strange things just keep happening, and these neighbors and their visitors are always my first suspects.  Remember in a previous post when I mentioned my missing hose spray nozzle?  Well, I knew where I last left it, and I triple-checked in and around that location, digging through weeds and turning over wood and stones, and it was nowhere to be seen.  I wrote the post about the missing nozzle, and it suddenly showed up the next day right in the spot where I left it and where I searched multiple times.  I talked to my husband about it, and he swears he didn't do anything with it.

I already know from stories around town that these people take things that don't belong to them.  Anyway, I'm tired of always suspecting them of things, but never quite having proof other than seeing them scurrying away from my property when I walk outside, so I'm making it my mission to watch their every move for a change, and see how they like it.  I'm keeping my camera by my side just in case they do anything that the police might be interested in seeing.  And perhaps I'll have better luck filming the Magpies as they ride my horses, as well.


Crystal said...

Ah the stalked turns into the stalker! I like it!!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, our neighbors MUST be related!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

P.S. It's SNOWING... and not just in the mountains like it did the other night.

Anonymous - Really? There are other people in the world like my neighbors? If you can shed any light on their motives, please let me know.

I just put up with them coming out into the rain/snow while I was shoveling manure, and spending about 15 minutes going between house and car as if they were trying to go somewhere, but kept forgetting things. That's one of their tactics when they want to spy on me. They pretend like they are busy packing for a long trip, but they hover nearby for a ridiculous amount of time and are completely aimless. Sometimes I think their house has a carbon monoxide leak, because everyone who stays there acts so disoriented and ditsy.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I would wave, call them by name and say hello any and every time I caught them trying to spy on me. Obviously they don't want to get caught, or at leas tthey act that way, so 'catch them' by calling them out on it.

Anonymous said...

Mine are theives, pure and simple.

Once again, I like Cut-N-Jump's idea.

Mikey said...

I say stalk them and take notes.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You go girl! Use modern technology to your advantage.
I'd also be grabbing a chair and book and sitting in the horse paddock, facing your neighbor's house...staring at anyone who stared at me.

Great story about the Magpie and horses.


achieve1dream said...

Alright! You go girl! I can't wait until you catch them doing something. :)

The magpie story is hilarious. So cute.