HILLSBOROUGH - Though no one's quite sure where he wandered off to, Ferdinand the Big Blue Bull is back and preparing to take his place outside the Winter Hill Farm store again.
Sometime over the last two weeks the 200 pound blue plastic bull disappeared from in front of the farm store, according to owner Amy Scott.
The bull became part of the fledgling business after being discovered at an antiques show in Brimfield, Mass. last year. It was brought home, painted blue, and immediately starting attracting passers-by to the antique barn where Scott and her family sell homemade ice cream, beef and other items produced on their Winter Hill Farm in Henniker.
Earlier this week, when her husband stopped in to restock the freezer, he discovered that Ferdinand was missing.
Police began investigating the missing bull case and put out an alert to the media that Ferdinand was running loose and the story made the headlines. Then on Wednesday night, according to Hillsborough Police, a resident reported that he saw the bull in an undeveloped lot off of Beard Road in Hillsborough. Scott said she got the call that Ferdinand was safe on Thursday morning and she and her husband went to pick him up.
"We were thrilled," she said. "I think it could have been all the publicity that did the trick."
Some of the high schoolers who work for Scott told her that they'd heard rumors about a couple of guys taking the bull as a prank, she said, "but when we started getting all this publicity, they probably panicked and left him in the sandpit."
Ferdinand is a bit worse for wear from his wandering, but nothing a bit of blue paint can't fix, and he's already wearing his Santa hat to get ready for the holidays. Scott said she's not upset about Ferdinand's disappearance, but is concerned a cow may show up later with a calf or two in tow.
In the meantime, Ferdinand is safely locked away inside the store and won't be coming out again, Scott said, "Until he's got a pair of concrete boots on his feet."
Though Ferdinand and the Scotts have been reunited, Hillsborough police are still investigating.
"At this time there are still no suspects in this kidnapping case and we are still looking to speak with anyone that has information about who the culprits are," said police in a written statement.