One of the craziest things about living in the country, I think, is the way that things just appear, seemingly from nowhere. For instance, we went out to our truck one afternoon to go to the feed store or some such, and there was a jaw bone laying in the bed. Likewise, yesterday, while I was emptying and refilling the water pan for the birds, I found this lying in the bottom:
I've never seen this ring before in my life. We seldom have visitors, and it looks to be child-sized. None of our visitors have children, so I can't even guess where it might have come from. Furthermore, I found it in the bottom of a water pan that we dump, rinse and refill EVERY DAY. It was definitely not there yesterday. These sorts of finds lead us to all manner of speculation. We know that animals are the root cause - wild and domesticated - but we can't ever be sure what animal left the item in question, or when, or under what circumstances. I couldn't say whether this ring was dropped by a startled raccoon, or whether a duck picked it up from somewhere else and left it here. I certainly can't guarantee that it didn't pass through a digestive tract somewhere along the way. As for the jaw bone, did a hawk or a vulture drop it? Was it left there by some overly curious critter in the night, in trade for a more enticing item? And what animal did it originally belong to, anyway? Did the animal that left it there also kill it, or has the it changed hands (paws? talons?) many times over?
We will never know. Perhaps I'll start a shoe box labeled "Farm Curiosities".