Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sounds from the Barn
The swinging of a gate, the creaking of a floor board, the wind whistling through a slit in the wall, the rain of the roof.......sounds of the barn. I have had farm animals for over 9 years now and in the course of those 9 years, the sounds of the barn have become a part of me, part of my soul, part of my heart. I can sit on my back porch listening to the animals and know just by sound who is who. I can be walking up to the barn in the morning before the lights are on and know who is calling my name just by their baas or nays. Oh, sometimes they can get a tad too loud and mouthy but I am sure they say the same about me. I love listening to them, its a comfort, a security, a sense of harmony on the little farm.
This morning I lost a piece of that sound. Harry, my first Shetland wether, passed away in the early hours of the morning. Harry had a very distinguished baa, very loud, very deep. He was the first sheep sound on my little farm. As like most wethers, he was pathetically friendly and loved a good chest rub. Of all my wethers however, I could not put weight on Harry. He was always thin, regardless of how many times I wormed him or how much I fed him. Three years ago he started to roo his fleece in October and by December he looked like he just got sheared. This was the third year of this problem. I kept a fleece coat on him to try and keep him warm but this winter just seemed harder for him to handle.
I did not hear his call tonight when I was starting chores and I will miss it in the days to come. Even amongst all the sheep and goats that call out to me when I go to the barn, there is one less that I will hear.