Friday, December 6, 2013

Two Hearts on a Friday Night

Ah, yes. The week is over. The weekend is nigh. There is the sense of freedom, of possibility, dare I say…romance? Certainly here next to the roaring fire with a sheepskin adorned in front of it the wine glasses are clinking and two hearts are thawing near its fiery embrace.

Or, you know, you're defrosting some old pig hearts to feed your hawk.

No, there's no romance here these days. But there is a lot going on. Mostly animal related. There was a goat escape today (just little Ida) which was met with many games of tag. Ida is totally happy to sprint after GIbson and together they run around the side yard and woods, taking turns chasing each other. It's absolutely darling to watch, but soon as Annie emerges from her den (the living room) Ida goes stiff as a deer right before the headlights smack her. Maybe it's Annie's wolfish appearance or perhaps just the strangeness of a new animal? (Gibson is outside as much as I am) but Ida has no interest in Husky Tag. Which, let's be honest, is probably for the best. I'm pretty sure that game would end with a heart attack killing a very happy 14-year-old dog with a goat haunch in her mouth.

I picked up Ida and dumped her gently back into the pen with her mama. Both goats seem happy to be the best-kept animals in the barnyard. And I say that in the sense of the animal's choice. The sheep, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and humans all have shelter, food, water, and space - but only the goats have the sense to tuck into a warm pile of hay and spend a rainy day inside - coats dry and bellies full. Everyone else - from this human and her sprinting dog to the trotting horses on the hillside - to the chickens by the stream bed searching for salamanders and the pigs in their muddy slush - none of us but the goats act civilized. We all have the same options but only goats keep themselves looking good all the time.

It was such an oddly warm day yesterday, so I took advantage of not having to focus my life around heating the farmhouse. It was a little vacation, and I spent most of it doing odd jobs around the farmhouse, inside and out. The big project coming up is cleaning out the goat pen, which has become not just the goat pen but the Antlerborns' Winter Chicken Coop.

I have a horse cart to fix, just a new wheel, but I've been putting it off like it's radioactive. I'm not sure why. I think because it seems like such a "fun" thing at the moment when there is so much to do to get ready for winter, to sew, to mail, to design. So it sits out there. I'll get to it soon.

Italics is doing well, eating from my fist which is a great sign and that shows real trust between us. It was a big step to get to that point and now it is a matter of slowly adding more experiences and distractions as we work towards better communication. Progress is not fast with this kind of thing, but anything moving forward is good!

P.S. After posting this I got several emails from falconers about not feeding hawks pork or pig organs? I could understand not feeding anything cured or salty, or anything processed commercially, but why is a freshly defrosted antibiotic-free pig heart bad for a bird in small training sizes? Please email me if you know!

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