Friday, October 2, 2009

For the Love of a Duck

For the past few days and nights, we've had major coyote activity on the farm. Mike walked out to find a coyote not 20 feet from the front door in broad daylight, so he ran towards the wild dog, waving and yelling. Oh, I wish I'd been here to see it.

At night, we can hear packs of them yipping and yowling. Our dogs, Sadie and Mia, have spent the nights running the property, chasing away the wily predators that have us surrounded. We hear Mia and Sadie barks coming from every angle, round and round the house, down by the barn, up by the road. They work hard protecting our critters. They don't stop. It isn't until around 3:30 or 4 a.m. that the battle wanes, and then it starts again around 5:30a.m. Those dogs work hard for us; they're vigilant protectors. They collapse, weary and wasted when daylight comes.

I want to kill them.

Oh, we've been so tired. No one's sleeping well. The incessant, important barking has us up all night. It isn't fair to direct ire at the canines who live to serve, but when you're sleep deprived, you lose rationality.

At the crux of the issue has been the duck. The duck has always been skittish. She takes off when you come near her, squawks as if she's been violated in some way when you turn your attention toward her, constantly averts her eyes then casts furtive glances our way. It's hard to herd a reluctant duck, so she's been staying out at night. So she won't be lonely, we've occasionally let Gertie the Goat stay out with her; hence the need for guard dog duty.

Bless my little lion tamer's heart, somehow Tanner has begun exerting a calming influence over the duck in recent days. I don't know why, but night before last, she let Tanner stand nearby as she followed the turkeys into their pen. Last night, I decided to take advantage of this change in dynamics on the farm. I had Tanner pen up the duck with the turkeys and the girls pen up Gertie, and the dogs stayed in the house.

Mike and I were relishing the thought of a night without barking or bloody carnage. I was snuggled deep in slumber under my down comforter.

Until 11:30 p.m. when the black kitten came scrambling THROUGH THE SWAMP COOLER into our bedroom and jumped up on the bed, frantically rubbing against me.

Because she had been sprayed by a skunk.

I'm going to go get a soda or two to see if it will help clear the grit from my eyes.

Love from the farm,

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