The horses are not the only ones who receive unwanted visits from mayhem. From time to time, the dogs, Fiona, goats and Rosemary have all contributed a moment of despair interrupting the serenity that blankets Moose River Farm. Although the incidents are infrequent the stress induced during the height of chaos is intense.
While working in the backyard one windy afternoon, a loud crack from the top of a tree alerted Rod to a most horrifying scene. In slow motion he reacted as our terrier, Niles dashed with predatory interest toward the source that snapped. Helpless, Rod watched in horror as the top of a tree hurtled toward Earth with Niles directly in its path of impact. By the time Rod reached the grim scene, Niles was pinned under the trunk.
From the barn I heard my husband frantically calling for me to come quickly. Rod's alarmed demeanor indicated that Niles was in a bad state. The tree had smacked the dog directly on the top of his head causing him to appear listless. In those initial minutes we were certain he was close to death. Fortunately, he recovered quickly and after an hour or so of mandatory rest, bounced back to his usual happy self.
Niles is the hero of yet another tale about the day when mayhem led baby Fiona astray. It happened on our daily walk when the piglet was only 10 weeks old. By that time she was following along without a leash in the procession of dogs and goats. At one point Rod and I became distracted when the terriers Nina and Niles took off through the woods in pursuit of a squirrel. By the time we rounded them up again, we realized that Fiona had wandered away. Immediately, a frantic search for her began with no idea as to which direction she was headed. Rod and I separated in search of our tiny swine to no avail. Then we became aware that Niles had disappeared as well. For the next 2 hours we searched near and far for both dog and pig. That was plenty of time for my imagination to confirm that Fiona had drowned in the river and Niles had been snagged in a trap.
These images haunted me while retracing the steps of our hike on a 6-wheeler. Rod combed the the trail in the opposite direction on the tractor. Eventually, we met back in the driveway, each hoping the other had good news. With great disappointment we headed back out into the woods to search again. While we were out searching for the last time, Michele and her granddaughter arrived at the farm. They wondered why Niles and Fiona were lying together on the knoll in the middle of the driveway. Perhaps we had posed them that way for a picture. Returning this time, I was convinced that I would never see these two family members ever again. But there they were lying right next to each other, heaving with exhaustion from their long journey.
I am convinced, from similar events, that when Fiona wandered off, Niles took it upon himself to stay close to her and lead the way back home. They must have traversed the woods; off the trails that we had been scouring. The sight of them safe and sound in the tranquility of our backyard promised me that mayhem, once again, was sent away!
|Luckily, the camera only records moments of peace...
|Perhaps the next generation can absorb this before mayhem visits their busy adult lives.
|The more time I spend with my animals such as Bing-o-licious and Frankie-precious, (in the background), the less opportunity mayhem has to visit.
|Donks and goaties; my own Nativity scene.
|Sharing these pleasures with the next generation ...
|...provides great hope that the future of our world is in good hands.
|I am thankful for any day that goes by without mayhem.
|An unsuspecting red SQUIRREL may be visited frequently by mayhem today.
|Nina poses next to the offensive tree that pinned Niles to the ground.
Niles, (sitting behind Fiona), Huxley and Nina safe and sound out of harms way.