Usually when we hear the coyotes singing they just sing to each other, each to each, and they don't bother troubling us with their conversation.
But last night I was lying in my stall and I thought I heard one of the coyotes say, "Millie, why don't you come outside? Come outside, Millie, I want to show you something."
I thought it was just me or maybe I imagined it so I didn't say anything but when I got up in the morning Betsy and all the bigs were standing in a large clump instead of sprawling every which way like they usually do. Blue Umbrella and Betty had attached themselves to the clump. And so had Eo and the rest of the minis. So there was a big crowd of everybody standing inside an invisible fence that was built for about half as many goats as were in there.
"What is going on?" I asked Eo. As usual she said, "Why?" very pointedly, and went back to plotting to overthrow the government.
So I asked Pinky Jr.
"Nothing," said Pinky Jr. "We are all just standing together."
"Oh," I said.
"Because Atticus isn't here."
"Oh," I said. I did a little doublecheck to make sure Izzy and Ringo were right by me.
Just then the coyotes started singing. And sure enough, one of them called my name. In the broad daylight. Oh dear, I thought. I scooched all three of us inside the invisible fence.
"How do they know?" I asked Pinky Jr.
"Know what?" said Pinky, Jr., because she has a short attention span.
"Know Atticus isn't here."
Pinky Jr. shrugged. "They just know."