Stolen car in pond, rooster refuses to apologize…details at 11. I can see the headline now. Our farm is in a lovely quiet area in Chatham County. We don’t get much excitement, usually. Last November, we noticed our farm mailbox was missing and had been replaced with some serious skid marks toward, but not into, our roadside pond. We shrugged and replaced the mailbox joking “I hope no one went in!” Paul filed a report and that was it. Until last week.
Paul received a call from a sheriff’s deputy that they had a tip about a stolen car – in our pond. The deputy had already come out unannounced to investigate when we weren’t there. But Taco was. The deputy was curiously poking around the house, looking in windows for signs of life when he rounded the corner and found himself toe to toe with our rooster, Taco. Being a wise country deputy, the officer assessed the situation and high tailed it back to his car – with Taco in hot pursuit. Good Taco. I mean, it could have been a robber! Taco’s a chicken; he doesn’t know law enforcement. Heck, around the farm, he IS law enforcement.
The deputy called to inform us of the illegal parking job in the pond and relayed his encounter with Mr. Cock- a-doodle-not-on-my-watch. We apologized profusely. But the deputy was quite good natured about the whole thing. (Although I think Taco may now have a file somewhere in Chatham Co.) The deputy notified us that he was bringing a crew and going fishing. The emergency response team initially used sonar from a boat to confirm the vehicle’s submerged location. The neighbors were loving this.
Fast forward to Monday when the weather was warm enough to send divers out to begin recovery. The amazing teams from NC Highway Patrol and the Chatham County Emergency Response, brought out 2 inflatable boats, 2 divers, a wrecker, and a 4th of July worth of flashing lights to shut down the road. Hello neighbors.
It took about 30 minutes for the wrecker to slowly haul the prize from the pond depths. As the car surfaced, we couldn’t believe our eyes. We didn’t even know the pond was deep enough to hold a car, let alone swallow it completely. Despite my high hopes, there was no cartoon moment of the door opening to a wave of fish and pond water spilling out. But there was good news – the car was empty, meaning unoccupied. Whew! (The kids were there.) Apparently the unskilled driver had time to wade or swim to safety. Spaghetti announced that the car didn’t look totaled. Really? There’s no amount of Febreeze getting out 4 months of marinating in pond water. Yuck.
In the end, they hauled off the vehicle for evidence, we assume. The officers and emergency personnel were extremely professional and courteous to us and our property (despite the inauspicious welcome). But they couldn’t discuss much of the investigation details so we really don’t know what happened. A vocal passerby yelled “Hey, put a barrier in front of that pond!” Let’s just slow down and obey the big red stop sign across the road. Because in Chatham County if the sheriff doesn’t catch you, a pond or Taco just might.