Turkey Tracks: May 13, 2022
AC Slater and the Red Rubber Ball
More than just about anything, AC Slater loves to go to a field where he can chase his ball—which I throw with a Chuck-it thrower. His ball is red and made of rubber—so when it is thrown, it has the most satisfying bounces, which are made even greater and for longer throws when the ground is frozen or the grass has been mowed.
AC Slater also loves water—though he never gets away from the edge of a pond. He feels safe with his back feet firmly grounded. So, his ”swimming” takes the form of sloshing and wallowing.
He loves this little pond on a neighbor’s property. So, when he gets hot from chasing his ball, we go down to the pond so he can take a rest and cool off.
Right now, the big bull frog tadpoles are on the edge of the pond, and when he appears, they run into deeper water—which makes AC hunt for them. He can follow their initial movement, but does not seem to see them when they get into deeper water.
He runs the edges of the pond first, where he often causes the frogs that already exist on the edges to dive away from him.
The other day there were two other visitors to this field. As we talked, AC chased his ball off and on. When I was busy visiting, he took his ball down to the pond and, yes, put it in the water—where it quickly drifted away from the edge.
AC tried everything to get to the ball, including running around to the other side of the pond to see if he could get to it from there.
I thought he might be tempted to swim out to the ball.
We eventually went home, leaving the ball in the middle of the pond.
The next day we went back—with me carrying a long crab net. I thought that maybe the wind had blown the ball to the edges of the pond somewhere where I might be able to reach it.
And while I walked the near side of the pond, AC ran to the other side to chase the big tadpoles. And when I walked over there, the red ball was at the edge of the water. He had already retrieved it from the edge and had dropped it on the ground right at the edge of the water.
So I scooped it up, and that was that!
It was the end to this episode of the red ball getting into water. There have been several such episodes—and to date, no permanently lost ball.