Sunday, January 19, 2014

The 27 Days of Never

In case you are wondering how long Never lasts, the answer is 27 Days.

Not even a month. Not even a February.

That is how long it has been since we made our Never announcements of the things that would never happen here. Since then Willen has stopped knocking down the fence - well he's probably just taking a break, 27 days is not a no-knockdown record.

Then Fred woke up one morning and realized that, since his legs are about four feet long, he could just step over the sagging fence in the back-up buck pen. He went walkabout, following his nose.

And wonder of wonders miracle of miracles it now appears - "APPEARS," says the farmer, with a high degree of skepticism, when people ask - that Pebbles is bred.

So now we have the thankless task of beginning the quest for Pebbles baby names, which should somehow evoke the names of the Pebble baby parents (Promisedland Chaotic Bliss, aka Chaos, and Herron Hill EJ Pendleton, aka Pebbles). Chaos, euphoria, tiny rocks, rodeo towns in Oregon.

Taller name orders have not much been filled. Also should start with E.

Euphoregon? Estonia Joy?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sammy's Vacation: The Screenplay

Scene One:
A dull-witted farmer comes home from the grocery store with a boston terror puppy. The farmer is carrying several bags of groceries and accidentally drops the puppy's leash. The puppy follows along anyway, pretending to be obedient. At the kitchen door, the farmer turns to the puppy and says, "don't go anywhere." The puppy sits by the door angelically. The door swings shut as the farmer goes to drop the groceries on the counter.

Cut to: the puppy gallops exuberantly down the driveway trailing its leash.

Cut to: the dull-witted farmer puts some turkey in the refrigerator and returns to the kitchen door. "Sammy?"

Cut to: a kindly couple, Harv and Gloria, out for a drive. They see a puppy bounding gaily along the road, trailing its leash, with no owner in sight. Oh dear, they think, and they pull over. They open their car door. The boston terror puppy leaps in, pleased to meet them. Off they go.

Cut to: "Sammy? Sammy?" the dull-witted farmer circles the farm.

Cut to: Harv, Gloria, and Sammy arrive at Harv and Gloria's house a few miles away, where Sammy immediately begins annoying Crush, their extremely handsome Great Dane. What is this thing, thinks Crush. It must be one of those lolcats from the Internetz.

Cut to: "Sammy? Sammy?" The farmer and the farmer's neighbor split up, one goes east on Herron Rd and one goes west. "SAMMY!"

Cut to: Sammy eats one of Crush's gigantic milk bones, then lies down for a nap, burping. Crush looks on in consternation.

Cut to: farmer crawls through brush in the dark, shines a flashlight down a steep ravine that drops into a creek. Flashlight flickers and goes out. The batteries have not been replaced since it was purchased in 1999. "Damn it," says the farmer. It begins pouring.

Harrowing montage as Team Sammy canvasses the area. Jen makes a big sign for the front of the house. Paul takes flyers to all the local stores. Janet drives around looking for Sammy. Lori goes door to door delivering flyers. Lori goes to one too many doors: a pit bull bites her arm. Peggy calls all the vets in the area. The farmer visits the Humane Society, looking at all the lost dogs. Closeup on the farmer (played by Jennifer Lawrence), stony-eyed and grim.

Cut to: Sammy explains to Harv and Gloria that she really doesn't like that kibbly dog food that comes in a bag, would they mind purchasing a few cans of wet food? She isn't fussy, any really expensive brand will do, organic if they have it would be great. Thanks!

...almost a week passes before Harv sees a Sammy flyer. Gloria calls the farmer immediately. The farmer arrives in record time and scoops Sammy up. Whew, thinks Crush, as the car with Sammy in it backs out of the driveway. Music soars. A rainbow comes out, and a unicorn frolics in a meadow. Bette Midler appears carrying a basket of puppies and starts to sing "Wind Beneath My Wings." Applause applause applause.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Terror

Monday did not really want to go in the horse trailer but once she went in she really did not want to come out. She went on the time-tested BUB program with the farmer as her Big Ugly Baby. But she could not fully suspend her disbelief so she would alternate chuckling fondly to the farmer as the farmer milked her, doing her best to fix the farmer's hair, and squalling like a hysterical hyena at the mere sight of the farmer.

"There there," the farmer would say, and that would usually bring her to something like her senses, such as they are.

That all seemed like it would be enough farm drama for the week.

But no.

On Wednesday The Terror disappeared.

You might be surprised how attached a farmer would get to a little useless creature that runs around yapping all day long. A creature that does not even give any milk, and has to wear a jacket to go outside. The secret lives of farmers can be mysterious.

But anyway, our farmer has not been doing anything except driving around putting up flyers and searching the Internet all day long and going into Tacoma to the Humane Society to look at the rows of lost dogs, almost all of them pit bulls, and calling the overnight lost pet hotline every morning, never hearing anything about any boston terriers, and holding the phone slightly away, not right next to the ear because who wants to hear that up close, when they get to the part at the end where they read, tonelessly, "Dogs Found Deceased," and "Dogs Euthanized Before Holding." And then exhaling slowly and going back onto Craigslist to scan for lost and found boston terriers.

The farmer walks around stony-eyed and grim, doesn't seem to hear anything, except maybe Monday's sympathetic murmurings as she allows herself to be milked. Monday understands.

I never thought I would say this, but we need our Terror back. As soon as possible.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Blue Monday

The farmer heard on tv that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. That turned out to be true.

Around 8 in the morning Poppy's yearling daughter Monday started hollering.

She stood at the gate and hollered at the farmer, which is odd in itself because she is naturally standoffish.

"She must be in heat," the farmer said to The Terror. The Terror doesn't know anything about heat, so she just yapped in solidarity.

The farmer doddered around feeding everyone and then went to make a mark in the new breeding calendar and just for once scanned backwards in time and saw that Monday really shouldn't be in heat.

Because she is already bred. And due at the end of February.

The farmer went outside and Monday was lying under the apple tree crying in an unmistakable way, you will know it when you hear it if you have ever heard it before, and she was shivering a little bit and when the farmer got close she turned and looked longingly at the farmer.

It was a look of pure love so deep that the farmer knew right away it was a case of mistaken identity, and that Monday was going to lose her kids if she hadn't already, but that she was still in the hopeful stage and thought the farmer lumbering toward her might be, possibly could be, there was a one in a million chance, all it ever takes is one in a million, her baby.

"All right, then," sighed the farmer, and crouched down, and Monday allowed herself to be carried up to the barn where within an hour she delivered a tiny hairless bobbleheaded baby. It wasn't anywhere near finished, just an outline for a baby, a cave drawing, eyes sealed shut, looking like a prehistoric broken baby bird.

The farmer took the baby away, and then came back and settled Monday in the horse trailer in a little private stall, since the barn is not set up for kidding yet, and sat with her reading a book.

"This is the most depressing day of the year," the farmer explained. "Don't worry, tomorrow will be better."

Monday stared blankly at the farmer, crying softly. What else could she do.