Jenifer Beaudean

Seeker of Simplicity and Executive Coach


“Geez!” I exclaimed, jumping back.

I took in the scene in the front yard. A large, black cow stood about 20 feet away and simply raised her head to gaze back to me… and then resumed grazing next to our snowball bush.

I called to MyUPSGuy, “There’s a cow in the front yard.”

“A cow?”

“Yes, and I have to go to the hair salon, so I guess you’ll have to walk over to the farm to tell them to come get their… steer,” I said, looking at 800-pounds of bovine creature-ness now grazing happily under the crabapple tree. I mean, what cow doesn’t want to have someone’s front yard all to themselves?

It’s just this sort of thing that happens at the little house regularly. Unexpected things. Animals appear. Mysterious plants grow seemingly out of nowhere all over the property. The silence breaks and coyotes are heard from afar. The indigenous insects are varied, colorful, large, and all interesting. All of these things are a part of life in a rural setting.

Take the afternoon a few months ago.

I was working from home, when suddenly I got that feeling one gets when there is something moving where nothing moved before. I looked up, and sure enough, a black snake was propped up over the living room window… kind of perched on the window sill, looking around.

(Now let’s pause while everyone takes a moment to contain their horror).

And I share this horror. This former Army officer sucked in her breath and wanted to throw up.

However, not to be deterred, I put on my knee-high, rubber gardening boots and grabbed a set of kitchen tongs and a bucket. I slowly made my way toward the intruder and grabbed bravely with my tongs. The tongs missed. The bucket fell. And the snake dropped unceremoniously to the floor with a “thunk,” and immediately slithered under the couch.

Hmmm. Well, that wasn’t a success.  Time for Plan B.

I texted my husband.

“There’s a snake in the house. When are you coming home?”

(The silent but still audible subtext was: “This is your job and you’ll have to take care of this.”)

“Y’know, I don’t really like snakes either,” he said.

(Hmmm… still your job).

The reaction on Facebook was a mixture of curiosity, alarm, and sick jokes about snakes laying eggs in the house.  Questions varied from whether we had found the snake, to half-serious queries as to whether we would sleep in the house that night, or if we would simply burn it down.

With no intention of burning the house down, I spent the next couple of days in my gardening boots, worked in our little shared office, and stayed out of the living room. And we did pull back the covers at night… just in case.  We never did find the snake, who we hope simply made for greener pastures.

So… there is basically never a dull moment. Ever since we moved into the “little house” in October of last year, it’s been one unusual experience after another. Things are always interesting. If we wanted to shake up our lives a bit, we succeeded. And frankly? It’s not so bad.

And situations like cows in the yard (although not so much snakes in the living room) give us a grin.

“What happened with the cow?” I asked, returning to the house later in the day.

“The farmer came up, gave her one look, and she ran back home.”

So our front yard was back in tact, and partially “mowed.”

Stay tuned friends. Stay tuned.

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