If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I am not a very brave capybara. I get nervous even when we go on a walk on the dirt road that leads to our house. You can see how pouffy I am in the above photo. Poufiness is a general purpose capybara response, it could mean we are afraid or excited or happy. Whatever. In that photo, it means I am nervous.
You can imagine how surprised I was when I learned today about a capybara who is much, much braver than I am. She lives all by herself in Paso Robles, California. She goes swimming in a river, eats hay with horses (and the farmer SHOT at her!), and lounges in the tepid waters of the sewage treatment plant. There are a ton of articles about her on the web today, most not very nice but three of them at least feature videos of Caplin Rous.
I’m not happy about the Paso Robles Capybara, or Parc as I’ve decided to call her. Some of the articles that I’m not going to give you the links to were pretty mean. One even said they didn’t care if Parc was captured dead or alive! And yet she inspired me to my own adventure, not so far afield but fraught with it’s own dangers.
It all started with Melly cleaning the pool, an activity that I strongly disagree with.
Like all capybaras, I appreciate a little mud and there has been precious little of it here during this drought. The only positive side effect of pool cleaning is mud generation. I got in a good roll and then came in the house to dry off. Smelly chased me back outside as soon as she saw me. Ugh. Whenever I get muddy she makes a big deal about me washing off in some water before I can come in. So okay, I went to the pool to rinse off, good capybara that I am.
The hay was not as tall as usual and the pool was not as close as usual and the water was not as high as usual. The only thing that was usual was Melly yelling “No!” at me while at the same time snapping away on her camera. I figured she was just yelling like that because she wants me to use my little wading pool to rinse off. She has something against getting mud in the pool, although I don’t understand it.
Wow! There really wasn’t much water in there. It was a loooong way down but we capybara are good jumpers and I landed unharmed.
There was just enough water for me to roll in but all this junk was in my way. Plus I had forgotten how scared I get in enclosed spaces. When I looked up, I realized there was no way out.
Melly uses ladders to get in and out of the pool. I checked out that possibility but these paws of mine are useless. I could never hold on to those narrow rungs. What was I going to do?
I looked forlornly over the rim of the pool but Melly just stood there taking photographs. Okay, she was also trying to figure out how to get me out but it looked a lot like she was just taking photos. And I can’t really rely on her. Some things a capy has to do for himself. Plus I was inspired by Parc.
My pool table was gone but I still knew where the hay stack was on the outside. All I had to do was get myself up and over the side with no pool table and no water to help me.
Did you know that capybaras can jump? I’m wondering if Parc’s owners didn’t know that either. I wonder if that’s how she escaped. Maybe she just jumped their fence? But then why did she leave? Maybe she wandered off looking for grass and got lost and didn’t know how to get back. That’s part of the reason Melly and Rick take me on walks near the house, if I ever get out I can find my way back.
When I got out I realized that in my panic I didn’t even roll myself clean. Still, I didn’t feel like getting back in and doing the whole thing over again.
A good shake and I was fairly clean. Clean enough. Okay, I can’t imagine the level of clean Melly wants but it was clean enough for me.
Adventure done, I headed back into the house. Melly had to stay outside and finish cleaning the pool so no more photos, yeah!
I keep thinking about Parc all alone with farmers shooting at her and people setting traps (if you’ve read Celeste and the Giant Hamster you know that won’t work). Sure the sewage treatment plant ponds seem really nice, but who is there to feed her corn-on-the-cob or gummy bears or my newly discovered favorite, yogurt covered pretzels? And I bet she misses her home and her owners.
I think I am going to let Melly hug me tonight.