I open the gate but the sheep don’t come running. Slowly, one by one, I see them appear above the tangle of the maple that fell last year. Half hidden by the unruly wood, summer blue sky with two small puffs of grayish white clouds behind them, the sheep peer at me as if they’re not sure what to do.
It would have been a wonderful photo, but I left my iPhone in my studio.
“Come on sheep,” I yell to them, but they stay where they are. Maybe they’re still full from morning grazing or they’re confused, expecting me at the other gate.
It’s Lulu who breaks the spell.
She slowly walks down the hill and presents herself to me. I rub the insides of her ears and her head slowly lowers in donkey bliss. I find myself relaxing too, staring off into the woods behind the farm, forgetting to think.
When I’m done, I call to the sheep again, turn my back on them and walk deliberately towards the north pasture. Now the sheep fall in behind me spreading out when they get through the gate.
Fanny pulls mouthfuls of the tall thin grass that sprung up since yesterday’s rain. Constance chooses a bright yellow buttercup along with some plantain leaves.
I wade through the wild oregano, the familiar smell reaching my nose.
Robin grazes alone along the fence. He chomps down tall thick grass and Bud barks at him from behind the wire mesh then runs to chase a bird.
Bud is very busy.
I leave the dogs and grazing animals and bring Minnie her food on the back porch.
She’s not interested.
Last night I came home from Bellydancing to a headless rabbit on the welcome mat. “If you’re going to kill a rabbit at least eat the whole thing,” I scolded her. But she only looked at me from her perch on the wicker chair with sleepy eyes.
I throw the chickens some moldy tofu, pull a speck of a beetle from the water bucket then fill it up. The swirling water chases the last of the apple blossoms to the edge of the bucket and I watch them spill out carried by the overflowing water.
2 thoughts on “Afternoon Chores”
Maria, this is absolutely, lyrically poetic!