Yesterday late afternoon I look up and there in the pasture, live

Yesterday late afternoon I look up and there in the pasture, live, is the inaugural spring parade. It has just started, the sheep, as always, lined up three abreast and leading the way, the mother on the high side, the daughter in the middle, the son on the low side, their crooked lips working the grasses (if there are actual grasses), their black hooves lost in the spring soft soil…

and next the chickens, fifteen strong and like with like, the reds, the blacks, the speckled, the one-offs, their beaks reworking the same already-gleaned grasses, their stubby rumps showing up/down up/down with each peck peck. And now a lone red hen pauses on one foot, looks abroad, and pecks some innocent twice on the head just because, just because she can, which of course momentarily disrupts our quaint pastoral… o glare, or better to peck some innocent twice on the

and this yet: trailing three feet back see two ducks: one mallard, one hen, and maybe twelve feet still further back in near isolation, a second hen, but not because she’s rude or standoffish, no no, but because she’s one-legged, a beggared one-legged duck and as such still more evidence to undermine the long-argued notion of universal love and heavenly benevolence: because look at her

 hop hop hop falldown rest

hop hop hop falldown rest

hop hop hop falldown rest

all day every day. And always when I snatch up the one-legged to help her move somewhere faster, she panics and flaps her wings, and I can feel her crazed heart, and the mallard, his maleness full-bore suddenly, freaks and comes charging, and all the chickens flee and so too the sheep if they happen to be nearby and paying attention. Which is always. Sheep never miss any thing. Even if I’m hiding but three grains of chicken feed in my fist, the sheep know it and here they come running already to stand directly in front of me their three noses nosing…

this quaint pastoral alive and well

this center that seems still to hold

this hop hop hop falldown rest…

 some innocent twice on the head just because, just because she can, which momentarily disrupts our q

One response to “Yesterday late afternoon I look up and there in the pasture, live

  1. Susan Curtis

    This is amazing! I love the descriptions of all the animals – the way you bring this spring ritual to life with the individual nuances you know so well. I really pictured a parade on your land with your animals. You must have known it would take place today. Lucky you. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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