An Autumnal Ramble

Fall time is quickening time. A time when the warm months are hasting towards winter, a time when all the creatures are quickly preparing to move South, and a time when I suddenly realize that there are things to do, and I really should be doing them. Accordingly, I spent a great deal of time outdoors today. Mostly, I did a lot of odd jobs around the barn. These jobs have needed doing for awhile, but the recent influx of livestock have made the actual accomplishment of them necessary. The horse stall is clean, the blue gate now stays open, the hay-feeding system has been rendered more efficient, and there are enough barrels in the tack room to store the feed properly.

So, when the tasks were done, I sat down outside of the barn to savor the day and the pleasant sense of accomplishment I felt. Silver and Lassie, who had been my faithful shadows, saw an opportunity to get some attention. They came crowding around, mobbing me with cold noses and offering to shake hands. It is odd that only two dogs can seem like a veritable swarm when they are vying with each other for attention. At last I brought order by making them both sit down and behave themselves, and then I sat, with a hand on each of their heads, watching the horses lazily munch hay in the pasture. I admired the ripple of muscles under their sleek skin as the horses' jaws ground back and forth, back and forth, chewing hay.

Then the cat arrived. She jumped into my lap, then rolled around, purring and chewing on the hand I reached down to stroke her. I am not really sure why she was chewing on my hand. It probably tasted of rust, dirt, and the grease that comes from the hair of unwashed dogs. But cats are cats, and they will do what jolly well pleases them. Silver glared at her. In his opinion, the only good cat is a dead cat, and it has been very difficult to convince him otherwise. Lassie, on the other hand, exuberantly loves all living and breathing things. She made friendly advances to the cat, but the cat was not convinced and responded with an arched back and a hiss. Lassie also loves the young guineas. She caught one the other day, and carried it gently around in her mouth until it died of shock. I have been endeavoring to train her that loving the guineas is not acceptable, and get her interested in hunting rats. I caught a rat and gave it to her, hoping that she would kill it and get the idea. She did, indeed, kill it, but I think that she loved it to death. She patted it with her forepaws, carried it around in her mouth, and was greatly amused when it squeaked. I felt about as bloodthirsty as an ancient Roman, encouraging the dog on to slaughter. "Good girl! Good girl! Bite it! Harder!" I chanted. The family all thought I was crazy, but then dead shrews started showing up on the porch. We shall see...

So, I've done it again; written a long and boring post that will probably not appeal to anyone but myself, and somehow managed to change the subject from rambling about Autumn to blathering on about my animals, AND I've just written a sentence that rivals the run-on sentences of the apostle Paul. Well, now, I've gotten the itch to write something out of my system, I shall be a sensible person and go peacefully to bed.