...quiet, about a lot of things...
Friday, October 20, 2006
The most unlikely thing.
I'm writing this to appease the Helicon gods. I try to listen to life's cues, to find the rhyme and reason. But somethings you are not prepared for, you have no way of knowing. I said it is the most unlikely thing. It is that thing, for some reason, I see myself telling my muse...looking into his eyes..I would say..."I never, ever never thought this would happen. I could not have even imagined it."
Five acres isn't that much land. I could stand in the kitchen and see my fencelines. I had gotten used to it. I had really grown to love it, my little house on the prairie. Before we moved to the country, I worried that I may be scared out there on the dirt roads, far from the city, (ok, suburban) lights. But I felt safe. Safer than I had ever felt before. Michael traveled often, and yet I slept like a baby.
There was a lot of work to be done, even on a "boutique ranch." We built a barn and I quickly filled it with horses. My husband stretched smooth wire taut against wood posts. Gone were the barbs. Safe fencing. Safe horses. The dogs were more of a problem. Mia, the "SAINT" Bernard..was always escaping..to chase deer or fox. I worried constantly about coyotes..Mia could hold her own..but Emmy the golden, was 13 and getting old. As for the two terriers, they would put up a heck of a fight..but they would lose.
And then the night came. Rachel charged into the room..and said Mia had jumped the fence..and all the dogs followed her. It was February and pitch dark. Rach was crying. She'd heard something out there in the dark. She was scared, truly scared for the first time in her life.
I told her to go downstairs, and keep Maggie with her. I threw on my boots and ran out the back door through the snow with nothing but a plastic pink flashlight, with its pathetically dim light. I shook it in my hand to will it stronger..but no luck. I passed the barn and counted eyes, two by reflected two. All there, upright and present but a little too wound up for my liking. Shit.
Heading down towards the pasture gate, I remembered not recognizing the sound of my own voice. It was shrill and scared. I (am)was used to annoyed and worried..but scared..was new.I screamed a line of names into the night like a banshee..I started to panic.."MIA EMMY ZOEY ZEUS...where the f are you.."It was supposed to be a prayer. It came out sounding NOTHING like a prayer.
But then, there they were. Four sets of glowing eyes in the gully.In the gully, beside a fallen doe...,a young fallen doe. They could not have taken her down.She was too fast and too big. They had just come upon her or smelt her and her attackers..Yelping, baying, yowling in a confused frenzy, they circled her, nudging her with noses but no teeth. My blood ran cold. I screamed and flailed my hands..and THANK YOU GOD..they came back. With blood on their faces. I felt sick and stunned and so grateful all at the same time. My dogs were back. The coyotes would claim their kill in the night. It was a sad sick fact.
The dog brood locked securely in the chicken coop for the night, I shook and tried to sleep, wishing my husband was not on another continent. I cried. Maybe this was all too much. I slept and dreamt of wild coyote bands.
I was up early, to feed the horses. I tended to them..thew their hay..cracked the ice on the water tanks with a pick axe..patted a shoulder,kissed a muzzle. They were hungry and calm. Everything was better..the sun coming up over the pastures to the east. I walked to the gate..expecting to see a patch of blood in the gully. A sad patch of blood.
Instead I saw the deer. Still there. I was shocked by this, and worried. Why had the coyote(s) not come back?... My dogs must have scared them off...way off. AND THEN IT MOVED. The deer moved, on the snow, in the gully, on my land.
My daughters were sleeping in their rooms. My horses were eating their hay in their stalls. I was walking in the snow, to the gully, on my land, to see the doe. The doe who was not dead. I came up on her as she shook. She was very badly wounded, but alive. I had left her alive in that pasture, all night.
I was back in the house. I was on the phone. Calling my vet. Come. HELP. HELP HELP. My vet asked where, how bad. Here, very bad...missing parts. Please come and put the doe down. She was suffering. I had let her suffer. My vet was a rock. He calmed me down...had me breath and listen.
He couldn't do it. There were laws against it..Game laws...WHAT THE FUCK! He asked me if I had a gun. NO. I did not have a gun. I asked him if I could give her an injection..If any of my horse sedatives would be enough. Looking through the shelves of my fridge..past the eggs to the drugs...I listed them, Aceprozimine, banamine, Rompun, Torbugesic..but none of them was strong enough to kill the doe, dying in my pasture. My vet told me to call the office of wildlife management..then call him back. He gave me his cell. I called the game warden, and left a message...It was 7:30am. It was Lincolns Birthday..or at least..it was when we celebrated it in Colorado.
I'm going to take a break here. I'm not being coy. I'm not trying to have a cliff hanger. I just need a break. I'll finish this tomorrow, in the light of the day.