Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pressed Into Service

It was dark and misty this morning, still a bit cold at 6:00. It was the day for fall shearing. I glanced at the old dog, Tess. She was snoring loudly on the bed and had put in a full day the prior before, moving sheep from down the road and sorting. She also took on a pair of belligerent rams, head on and won. Her feet, soft from retirement, were sore from running on hot pavement and I could see she was dreaming, perhaps running as a youngster again.

I let her sleep on with her head on my pillow and gently called her daughter, Rainey. Rainey, still a youngster, not quite two, just started to learn the farm chores, leapt up from the bed, eyes bright and gleaming.  I shivered as I walked outside and Rainey danced in glee.

The main flock was hidden in the mist, soft, shadowy shapes, and Rainey turned to me, a gentle wag of her tail. I gave her a flank and she shot off like bullet and I waited. I could see nothing but white. Nothing appeared.

Suddenly they appeared. A white wave of wool followed by a black dot. I counted and the young one had brought the entire flock, without a word from me.I opened the gate and they streamed in.

The old dog, Tess did well with her daughter. Tess can sleep in and I now have a good partner.

Rainey smiled at me, her white teeth sharp against her pink tongue. I reached down to her, petted her on her silky head and said, “That’ll do, Rain."

And she will do,  just fine in fact.

No comments: