Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Young and The Witless

Well, the babies have been running amok and having a jamboree in the barn. Hannah Belle of course pays attention to her kids for about five minutes a day when she isn't having her nails done or testing fences and feedroom-door-locks around the farm. So her kids are pretty much latchkey kids anyway.

Scouty is mother of the year, but when the farmer turns her out for a couple of hours of herd time in the morning, she is glad to leave her four hungry kids behind, and they are happy to spend some time in daycare. And Mel's three little black bucks just go with the flow. So that makes ten babies in the jamboree, enough to find some trouble to get into.

It didn't take them long to discover that if they simply ran up the stairs they would find themselves in the hayloft where there are a lot of bales to jump on, assorted dusty furniture to decorate with little hoofprints, a cat to bother, and so on.

So ten of them raced up the stairs and scampered around. Then nine of them raced down and went on to other important projects.

Pretty soon a plaintive squalling issued from the hayloft: little HopScotch, being a boy and half-Nubian, was able to get up the stairs all right but couldn't get down. After a few minutes when he realized all his associates had disappeared, he began screaming to pass the time.

The farmer went up and showed him where the staircase was, but got exasperated when he still wouldn't come down.

Lori would have carried him down, but the farmer just said, "he'll have to figure it out himself," and went to feed the horses while Hoppity resumed his apocalyptic hollering.

All the babies continued playing, unmoved by Hoppity's end-of-the-world siren.

Except Harley.

Harley went to the bottom of the stairs and cocked his head sympathetically, listening to Hoppity. After a minute, he ran upstairs. As clear as day, Harley showed Hoppity how to go down the stairs. Then turned around at the bottom to see if Hoppity was following.


Harley ran back up again - "look, Hoppity," - and then ran back down.

No use.

By this time the farmer was back. The farmer watched Harley do another fruitless stair-descending demonstration. The farmer gave up and went into the hayloft and carried Hoppity down.

Harley was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. They ran off together to play with the other eight.