Posted 06-04-2004 at 05:40:29
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The cows let Fred walk among them last night when we fed, but wouldn't let him touch them. He reached for the brown one, but she made a U out of her back and scooted under his hand before he could make contact. He just smiled at me like the rejection didn't matter one bit. Everyday there is progress. He knows that.
Jennifer Lopez got up yesterday. All four of her piglets are still alive, but she still has a date with the butcher. Two years and eight piglets does not a productive sow make. Fred and I talked about that, and he had to get mad to get his mind around the fact that she had to go. He gets attached.
The pups came out from under the house. I knew they would eventually, but who knew they'd come out with such...enthusiasm. We were sitting on the porch after feeding yesterday evening. There's a hole in the underpinning right by the front door that I blocked up with a hunk of plywoood. All the sudden they all went to scratching on that plywood and barking. I removed the plywood of course. Out they came one by one, blinking, stretching, yawning little cavernous pink-tongued yawns. We called to them.
"Come on babies."
Elvis came running over and startled them, and Fred fussed at him.
"You're not a baby!" He scolded.
He hung his head and his tail stopped wagging, and I gave Fred a look.
"You'll always be my baby." I reassured Elvis, and his tail picked up where it left off.
The first out was the little girl. Her eyes were open and well focused. I reached down to pet her and she made a U out of her back and scooted out from under my hand, leaving it hanging there, useless. I smiled at Fred, letting him know that that rejection also didn't matter, as she just didn't how who I was yet. She proceeded to wreak havoc on my shoelaces. She had no idea I was attached to them, I don't think. Jill went to talking to her in her sweet, mother-to-be-one-day voice and my heart got all fluttery. One day she'll speak to her own little one that way, and it's not that far off.
All five puppies ventured out onto the porch, and almost as quickly, went back under the house. I think all the excitement was just too much for them. That few minutes was enough of a glimpse of the huge world filled with light that was just beyond a piece of tattered plywood.
Sugar, their mama, was on the porch with us and she sighed. From way down deep. I guess she knew they would come out eventually, too. She also knows someday she'll have to let them go, and it's not that far off.
We went to bed, Fred and I, and the house went quiet around us, while the world slept and renewed itself.
My big red 'replacement' rooster found the back porch at the crack of dawn this morning. Just like Big Red used to do. He's out there now on the washer crowing his head off. How did he know that that was the one place that he could go so that I could sit there quietly and enjoy him? The little game rooster is somewhere out in the south pasture answering him back.
Jill has taken to getting up at six a.m. so she can talk to her boyfriend on the radio on his way to work. She's out there now, on the front porch, murmering to him in the same voice she used on the puppy. Commiserating about early hours and long drives into the sunrise and how they're better with someone to talk to, and "I love you too, honey". When did she grow up? I know one day I'll have to let her go. Did I say that it was not that far off?
One day she'll be standing at the altar promising herself to that boy. She's a good girl. She'll say it and mean it. Then she'll go with him, leaving us behind, paper-thin and empty like two old cocoons. If Jake's not already gone by then, he won't be far behind her. Then it will be Jenny.
By then the pups will be grown, their puppies making someone else grin in the evening hours as they frolick and play. The cows will have their calves and their calves will have calves, and the big red rooster will be replaced by another and then another red rooster as life changes and shifts and adjusts itself on into eternity. My sincere hope is that I will be here to see at least most of it.
I called Fred on the radio this morning while he was on his way to work, and we commiserated about early morning drives into the sunrise and how it was better when you have someone to share it with, and told him that I loved him.