This weekend was quite a study in the adventures of country living. My dd turned 9 and I was getting ready to have her little girlfriends over for the night. I decided to clean the porch so I opened the door and what should I find but the tail, paws and internal organs of a rabbit. My cat thinks he is very generous to leave me these gifts. The carcass had attracted the chickens who then pooped all over the porch. I had cleaned up most of the mess when the first child arrived. I apologized to her mother and made some lame joke about chickens and she replied that she had geese when she was young and so she understood. The party started and my daughter decided to take her guests out to the henhouse to visit the chickens. Naturally, one of the girls got pooped on and had to change her shirt. In fact, by the time they were finished all the girls had stepped in something and had to change their shoes before coming inside. After the party the kids went trick-or-treating. When we got home there was a horrible skunk smell everywhere and the dogs were sad and depressed because they had been sprayed and the perpetrator had escaped unharmed. My neighbor called me the next morning to report that a skunk had been hanging around her chicken coop and her husband had mowed its hiding place. Too late, I told her, my dogs had already met the skunk. The dogs smelled as though they had gotten sprayed from a distance, so I left them outside to "air out". In the meantime I aired out the house and finished cleaning up the diarrhea in the yard which my young goat had left in reaction to some medication. (She's better now.) This morning I opened the front door and found another dead, dismembered rabbit on the porch, no doubt related to the first one. My cat stalked into the house and lounged luxuriously on the couch, no doubt proud of his night's work. This time he only ate the head and left the rest of it for me. Very thoughtful of him. I was about to clean it up when the phone rang. I anwered the phone and chatted with my mother about the wonders of country living while I glanced outside. Then I saw it. Under the trampoline in the back yard was the body of a skunk. It was dead and stiff and I was greeted by two stinky dogs as I went outside to dispose of the corpse. They didn't seem to mind their stench this time, tho. They pranced and danced with me as I gingerly carried the body to the burn pile. I held it at arms' length and tried not to breathe as I walked quickly. What is it about living out in the country that makes a person willing and happy to do these things and consider them an adventure? It sure isn't the fresh air!