Farm Industry News Blog

Ranger Rick enters my 57-step rehab program

Guy No. 2 battles a critter on his Iowa farm.

We skipped the pleasant introductions and exchanged words with one another. It wasn't good. 

From that point forward, I made it my mission to shrink the population of Ranger Rick & Co. 

While baling hay near the buildings recently, I came past the grain bit site to finish my windrow of hay and head back to the rest of the field further away. Walking across the yard in the middle of the afternoon was none other than The Rickster. This wasn't a stroll at dusk or in the dark of night. This was 3:00 in the middle of the afternoon in the summer! Majorly bold move, I felt, especially since The Rickster didn't appear to be foaming at the mouth or ill in any fashion. Quite the opposite. He seemed more than healthy. Even a little chunky, I thought. 

I quickly turned around and headed back into the building site to see if my eyes had deceived me. A trip around the buildings didn't reveal any sign of the intruder. That's when I hopped out of the cab and walked around the bins on foot. Something moved around the corner of a bin as I came around the other side. Lo and behold, it was The Rickster! 

A few math problems started running through my head right away.  We have eight bins in two rows. The Rickster and I could end up putting on a lot of miles in our circular pursuit if I kept after him and weaved around several bins. Just then, The Rickster did the math for me. Rather than doing a series of figure eights, he made another decision on his escape plan.The newest bin has a circular staircase going up the side of it instead of the standard ladder like all of the other bins. The Rickster decided he'd just scale the stairs and dodge me completely. I came around the corner just in time to see him heading up the stairs. 

He stopped near the top to look back at me.  I'm pretty sure he sneered. 

I did the only thing that seemed to be my best option. I followed him.  That really freaked him out! He quickly scurried up the steps and hopped onto the ladder on the roof. 

My aversion to heights brought me to a stop partway up the stairs. That's when I had a vision. It involved me making it to the top of the stairs and meeting The Rickster pretty much at the edge of the roof. We'd end up having another one of those uncomfortable greetings like we'd had at the cattle shed years before.  This time, it was going to be my kind of meeting, though. I quickly went back down the stairs and stood back to see if The Rickster was perched on top the bin, which he was. He looked to be camped out. 

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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