This is the only conclusion reachable from the discovery that someone absconded with a hay bale.  You’re going, ‘eh??’. The hay bales in question, a dozen, were placed along the lane next to Julie’s pond in order to forestall any possible damage before the hurricane.*  Last year, Irene washed the lane out and nearly dumped the entire thing in the pond, requiring frantic efforts with hand tools during the storm; we wished to avoid this with Sandy.  As it turned out, the town’s gradient on the lane was correct for once and it didn’t wash.  In any case, the hay bales in question were staked down, solidly and in line.**  Removing one from the middle of the line would take Effort.

…so….you got it.  Someone, for reasons known to themselves, walked (drove) off with one from the middle of the line.  Leaving the rest untouched, and the stake neatly back in position surrounded by an invisible bale..  I’d point out, to take that particular bale also required hopping the ditch and moving a log, it might have been the hardest one to grab…  I could only laugh. 

* the lane is a dirt road, the first 1500 feet are a steep pitch, aimed almost directly at the bend.  At the pond it curves off hard along the slope of the hill.  None of the water from the lane should actually flow into the pond’s system.

**I know they were solidly staked, I didn’t do the staking having smashed my finger that morning so I supervised, but I Know they were staked.