Wednesday, June 30, 2010

not a plane ticket

Today, with the help of my friends Christina and John, I was able to enlarge the sheep pen ten fold. I had been pounding t-posts and running old field fence every night this week, but today I was able to encircle and build on the old pen structure. Now the sheep have an entire hillside to enjoy with their home shed up high in the pasture. I'll post photos in the morning, but tonight I feel wealthy from the work. When I pulled into the driveway after the office my sheep had a hundred square feet to call their own when they weren't grazing. Now they have a quarter acre. Thanks to the selflessness of new friends, I was able to turn a petting zoo into a pasture farm.

The flock was still eating grass when I returned from Christina's place in town. (Just three sheep. No lambs to speak of. I dont know if Maude is pregnant or not. I lack the eye.) When I got out of the truck all three were Sstaring at me through their fence right by the driveway. They aren't used to being that close to the house at night. I'm not sure if they expected me to walk them up the hill to their pen or if they wanted grain. I let them enjoy their confusion.

The turkeys know nothing of going home to roost. When I came home from the celebratory ice cream at Stewart's in Cambridge—all four were huddled together in a circle on the lawn, their heads meeting in the middle. They looked like a dead rabbit, all hunched and over each other to stay warm. I thought to myself how funny that they didn't understand home, yet understood night. They knew when to be still, and warm, and stop, but not where to belong. I know a lot of people who remind me of young turkeys. I'm one of said people.

I picked them all up in two hands. I was instantly nostalgic for the moment, knowing in a few months they'll be so large it will take two hands to barely hold one. But tonight they are small and four heartbeats quietly hummed in my hands in the dark. I placed them on the clean straw of the chicken coop and shut the door from danger.

Fence lines and poults. It's not a romantic dinner, a plane ticket, or even a night in a bar with friends: but I'm happy. I'll sleep well.


Blogger Artful Gathering said...

sleep well......

June 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

It's not a plane tickey, but oh so much better! It is so good to have friends willing to lend a hand. I am happy for you and the sheep.


June 30, 2010 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Strangely, for turkeys any roost come nightfall is home. I have mine, Royal Palm x Naragansett, in a chainlink dog kennel on grass with a roost. This keeps them safe from predators and out of the chicken enclosure as the roo doesn't want them anywhere near his girls. If allowed to run free they'll be looking in your kitchen windows to see what you are doing as they are very inquisitive.

July 1, 2010 at 6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given how much of a homebody I am, fencing (or something to fence in the first place, I suppose) sounds better than a plane ticket to me. I bet the sheep are happy, and congrats on getting the new pasture in.

July 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

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