It was a dark and stormy night…


I was just about to head for bed when the dogs started to act weird.  Growling, pacing and just not happy with something outside.  I turned off my music, and listened…  and yep, something is not right in the yard.  It’s something animal sounding, like something attacking or fighting…  just not good.

Nevermind that it’s 2 am and I’m in my jammies…  but around here, jammies are a nice wool skirt and a worn t-shirt and hoodie!   Time’s a wasting and someone might be in trouble, so there’s no time to pick out something more suitable!

Well… got my shoes and my whacking stick. (not a shotgun, but just a nice sturdy herding, walking, pointing, whacking and all purpose hard sturdy stick…) and a flashlight… and the dogs. Let them out in the dog yard and they are strangely very quiet. They know somethings out there too. Instead of being insane goofballs, they are running about, sniffing and all quiet. Not good.

I walk over near the garden and poultry barn because that is where I thought I heard the noises from my office… something fighting or in distress, something not right. I check and all the roosters are in the barn, snoozing away in their little bachelor clutch. It’s kind of funny, during the day they all have their zones and there’s no mixing but at night, they all roost together. Guess they know there’s strength and safety in numbers.

Something bumps into my back and nearly gives me a heart attack and it’s Cody Pony. He is like a ninja pony in the dark, I swear! I probably make too much noise as it is, talking to the roosters and urging the dogs to check out the yard for me. Cody is not puzzled why I’m out here, you can see it on his face, he is concerned. He stays close behind me, bumping me with his soft nose to stay in touch with me.

I’m not fooled by his cranky old man pony routine, he really is very alert and watchful over HIS herd of small hooved peeps. He may not have a band of shaggy little Shetland mares out on the highlands and moors, but he takes his shaggy little ewes and lambs very seriously. The goats are on their own, however.

Within a few moments Buttercup and Daisy are trotting over, roused from their slumber spots out in the middle yard with the sheep. I shine the light out and see all nine sheep in a big circle, laying down and just waiting out the long night. I hear coyotes in the distance, quite loud tonight and I’m sure that is part of the noise I must have heard. You can tell with every yip and yap and howl from the coyote party way out in the woods that the animals here are just a little nervous and wary. They know their song means death.

We check on the couple chickens and hogs in the big barn. Ebony and Oscar are awake and grunting soft piggy grunts at me, wondering if they are going to get some special late night snack. I don’t see Meyer and get a little worried until a pile of hay wiggles and he lifts his snout with a questioning grunt! Haha… he’s already made himself a hole and filled his nest with straw. Pigs are funny. Everyone is accounted for, so we move on.

Duke Kitty has joined the late night parade as we wander through the homestead, checking out each group and doing headcounts. Everyone seems fine, just on alert. And then I hear it… the sound I heard in the house, muffled and what got the dogs all upset. Coons fighting. Way way out at the edge of the woodlot. Probably fighting over territory, who knows. I just know it’s coons by their skittery high noise and also hear a lot of brush and such getting knocked around.

They seem totally interested in their battle and it doesn’t seem that they are coming up near the barns. Hopefully my presence this evening will keep them away. We haven’t had any coon attacks since spring, but I think I’m going to suggest to Maggie that she might want to put out her trap and see what we might catch. Just don’t want to take any chances. Jessy saw a big possum a few evenings ago, and we think it might be in the attic of our garage! I suspect he might be stealing eggs because something tried to get Lizzy, our broody hen and smashed up all her clutch of eggs a few nights ago! She’s okay, but she’s roosting way up high again with the others and has been cured of her broody behavior…

I head back to the house with my Barney Fife gang of farmyard deputies. I stop at the screen porch door to hand out lots of pats and rubs to my fearless bunch and then get the dogs and head inside for a cup of hot cocoa and a facebook and blog report. All is well, for now. It’s bedtime!!!!



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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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