Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Color of Rain

January 11, woke to the color of rain.  Such a storm of hail for me to walk through along the length of the deck to the covered porch.  I called Bummer, and called and called, while hail and rain pounded off the the roof.  Maybe for twenty minutes I stood out there, hunched under my orange rain hat that makes me look like  I'm under a toadstool, calling.  I was becoming hoarse.  Still no Bummer.  I began to be afraid.  I begged, "Please don't make me go out there looking for you."  I thought about all the hungry critters that might have carried him off during the night.  I thought about the people who sneak around, chase him into a corral, and close him off, where I will find him shivering and hungry, unable to get to his feeder.

Still no Bummer and still lots of rain.

It lessened  and I yelled out that it wasn't raining so hard and he could come out now.  "Bummer, it's stopping!  Bummer come on!"

I kept looking around, scanning the slope, becoming ever more fearful.  Had someone closed the gates on him, the way they had before a few weeks ago?  Had dogs gotten through the fence?  Had some creature eaten him?

I thought maybe if he heard me opening the door of the shed, heard  the metal can banging around, and heard me rattling pellets into the pail, then, maybe . . .

I was halfway down to the shed when I thought I saw movement.  I thought I saw his little black head, his sweet little face, poking between the bars of the gate on his shelter.

Yes, there was Bummer.  He was a smart little guy.  A very smart sheep who knew I would be coming to feed him at the same time I fed him every day.

Usually when I call to him, he answers.  Maybe he did and I didn't hear him over the storm; the hail and rain were overwhelming. As he ate his pellets, I stroked his ears and talked to him.  "Smart sheep.  Nice and dry."

Nadia, the Great Pyrenees, refused to leave the house.  When I went outside, she ducked out, sniffed, and backed into the kitchen. Moses the St. Bernard also went inside.  I had to mop the floor . . .

What do wool growers do with the wool they don't sell?  They hoard it.  I wash almost all the fleeces and store them in cardboard boxes.  When I do start spinning them up, I put the yarn in a bag.  The shawl pattern I have been using takes a lot of yarn.  But if a friend comes over, I like to give her a hank.

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