Tuesday, April 30, 2013

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

It had been a long day.

I was tired.

My sore leg hurt.

I really wanted to go to sleep…yawn…

I closed my eyes…


Good night!  Is there a lamb in the bedroom?  What in the world?


Oh for Pete’s Sake!  I got up, walked to the front door and peered out. Wow!  The moon was so bright it looked like daytime. The “pink” moon of April was amazing! I would have liked to taken the time to appreciate it a little more, but…

There was one little wether lamb standing in the alley screaming his brains out for no apparent reason. I told him to be quiet in rather unkind terms and went back to bed.
this one yells every time he goes out
(see his opened mouth?)

It couldn’t have been fifteen minutes and there were at least two of them out there yelling.  Oh…no…this wasn’t funny. Were they hurt? Lost?  Of course, I got up again.

This doesn't look scary to me...
but, maybe it does in the dark!

No injuries, no one was lost, nothing amiss at all…just a couple little wether lambs screaming for no apparent reason.  This time I watched for a bit.  …and solved the mystery.  Apparently, the alley next to the house is terrifying (if you are a wether lamb).  Everything is fine until they get to the point where they need to pass the big Colorado Spruce in the corner of the front yard.  Now, I don’t know if it looks like a huge monster, or if all the sparrows that nest in it suddenly fly out and attack the lambs, or what…but, they SCREAM as they run past it and then act like normal sheep once they are in the paddock. And, yes, they need to scream past it on their way to the barnlot for a drink, too. Oh brother!

Okay…solved that.  Good night!


 Now, what?

Johnny and June, the neighbor’s German shorthaired pointers, were going ballistic.  And,YES, of course  they ARE named for Johnny Cash and his wife. (who else?)  They act as a sort of first alert system for our lane.  If they bark and then Carl’s dogs bark, there is nothing to worry about…"whatever"  has headed down MishBarn Lane.  But, if their barking is followed by Ron’s dogs and then our dogs, someone should probably check and see what’s going on.

Suddenly, all the other dogs were barking…ours…Carl’s…the “town” dogs.  I suppose that could have meant that we were under attack from some alien life form, but everything else was quiet. It was just some kind of canine midnight chat session, I suppose.  I sighed and went back to bed…again.

A short while later, I was awakened by thundering sheep hooves, baa-ing sheep and barking dogs. Geez! Would this ever end?

This time I was a little alarmed as all the sheep were running and crying…ewes and lambs.  Jed and Ellie were herding them toward the barn as they are prone to do when Ellie “decides” that something is not quite to her liking.  Since they are not herding dogs, this is an interesting behavior and I would like to further understand it. That is, of course, NOT when it is three o’clock in the morning.

Boots, flashlight and glasses and I was ready to figure out what was going on…again.

It was still incredibly bright, so I really didn’t really need the flashlight.

I have heard that a full moon brings on a lot of nocturnal animal activity.  I can tell you with all certainty that it brings on a lot of nocturnal animal NOISE! Unbelievable noise!

Suddenly, all the sheep came to a dead stop in the middle of the alley. The stop was so abrupt that they all ran into each other.  This caused even more noisy baa-ing. It was clear that they weren't going to budge. Oh, NOW WHAT?  They were all voicing their complaints, so any thought of keeping the racket to a dull roar was completely lost.

Then, over all the sheep fracas came this awful, horrible, utterly bizarre noise.  It was part scream, part growl, part….part….MEOW?!  Could it be?



Somehow, Sissie had gotten herself inside the rat trap and was complaining most vocally about the ordeal.

The horrible noise was further frightening the already frightened sheep and the dogs were rollicking around, seemingly thrilled that so much activity was going on during their awake and alert hours (instead of the middle of the day when they are sound asleep). The noise level was threatening my sanity and I was wondering why the Boss wasn't up and wondering what was going on and all the neighbors weren't calling demanding someone do something about the volume.

It was at that moment that I realized why the word caterwauling contains the word CAT.  Someone else in history must have encountered an angry cat stuck in a rat trap at three o’clock in the morning. Oh, my word!

What a noise! Since she is larger than her mother, it was a tight fit and she injured herself slightly as she made repeated efforts to escape.
Sissie lost a good bit of fur...

...mostly from her head
She has recovered COMPLETELY!

Freed from the trap, Sissie followed me around the barn, relating the entrapment in loud detail.  She just wouldn’t stop following me and meowing. It was more than a little annoying. I lectured her on the foolishness of her actions and pointed out that it was not MY fault that she was stuck in a rat trap.

...and then I realized I was talking to a cat...in the middle of the night...in the middle of the barn. But, then that's not that unusual...for me.

I figured since the sheep were at the barn, I should do a quick headcount and make sure everyone was all right.  All present and accounted for…no apparent problems. 

Now, maybe I can get some sleep. I closed my eyes…

                                           …and it was time to “rise and shine”. Ugh

To make matters worse, the dogs were off barking at a bunch of doves who were noisily courting in the trees in the front paddock. 

I should really know better than to sleep during April…this is not the first time I have had an adventure in the night…read these. Quiet Country Nights  and  OK, Now You're Freaking Me Out

With the waning of the moon, and good cloud cover, I should be able to get in forty winks or so before the next full moon.

1 comment:

  1. And the Boss slept through it all? What would this world do without good women folk to take care of everything? You'd think that sleep deprived thing would be long gone now that the girls are grown and on their own. It must be a woman's destiny to be sleep deprived. I'd like to see a man try to function on little to no sleep. But I guess that's why God made us so different. Sweet dreams Barbara. Soon, I hope.