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Screaming

Alpaca Farm Morning Shetland Sheep

This morning, as the sun was coming over the trees, frenetic, persistent shrieks moved me out of my cozy slumber.  The dogs started with their own barking and howling sectionals and I tripped over them to open the door and release them as fast as I could.  I climbed into my muck boots, grabbed a sweater and ran into the cold, misty morning to find out who was attacking.  The henyard was moderately peaceful.  The patient horses stood by their gate for breakfast. The dogs ran around in circles and decided to chase each other since they didn’t know what they were looking for.  But, the goats and pony in the paddock stood at attention, pointing toward the alpacas.

Hayden & Indy were running like nitwits, chasing and tagging, tackling and screaming.  It was alarming, to say the least, as I’d not come upon this extreme sport of theirs before.  They do love to wrestle and they’re curious to watch. The screaming was short starts and fits of high-pitched, piercing notes.  Occasionally the shrieks were sustained and resembled the sounds of large groups of migratory birds.

Their previous owner, Abi, had told me that they would make those sounds as a warning call and they would be unlike anything I’d ever heard.  She recollected that we had peafowl and knew their warnings were distinctive, so the sounds could be categorized along those lines.  Though their antics appeared it was all about the sport, I decided I’d better check the rest of the farm before my first cup of coffee.

I hustled out back to spy on the sheep.  We’d moved the flock to their final grazing spot of the year yesterday and I’ve been letting them stay out at night.  I’m usually very anxious to leave them out overnight because of coyotes, but I’ve been sleeping with one-eye-open, so to speak, to allow them the maximum grazing before the frosts put an end to fresh forage.

AND, the flock was silent.

BUT,

the flock was zooming around and around and around within their fence.  The dogs and I caught up to them in the back field so we could inspect the wild activity to see if there was a mystery guest, like the skunk of early spring that had created a maelstrom in their pasture.

No skunks, no coyotes, not even a cat.  They were just having an exciting, but silent, game of tag amongst themselves.

Hello October!

Hayden & Indy, the Zen of the farm, when they're not shrieking
Hayden & Indy, the Zen-Masters of the farm, when they’re not shrieking

 

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