In the middle of the night, I woke to David standing at the sliding glass door in our bedroom looking intently out into the darkness. Assuming he had probably heard something and was coming right back to bed, I didn’t think much of it and rolled over and fell back asleep. What felt like hours later (but probably only minutes), I was woken up to David panicked and telling me to get up. “Babe! Babe! Get up! The sheep are screaming!” I lied there momentarily, foggy headed wondering how Sheep scream. And that’s when I heard it as well. The desperate and terrified cries from out in the pasture.
I leaped from bed afraid of what those cries meant. Disoriented, I followed David downstairs and clumsily put on my muck boots making sure to tuck my sweatpants into the tops of them. David grabbed his rifle and we hurriedly walked out to the barn where the geep (goat and sheep) congregate at night, my heart beating faster and faster. I suddenly felt as though I might cry. What if the coyote made its way back onto the property bring friends and they were working their way through the sheep? What if we were about to walk into something that resembled one of those horror movies I use to watch as a kid. Am I ready to see the ugly side of country life? Will this be enough to send me running back to the comforts of waiting for the bus on 3rd AVE in downtown Seattle?
David entered the barn first and I almost couldn’t take it anymore. Imagines of curly bloody wool and injured suffering sheep ran my mind and as much as I wanted to be a supporting girlfriend, a part of me wanted to run back, crawl beneath the covers, and not come back out until it was all cleaned up and all evidence of a massacre had been cleaned up.
David stopped in his tracks, handed me his rifle and told me to hold it as he sighed annoyed. “I had a feeling this was the case” was all he said as he walked around the corner. As I inched closer inside the barn I could not believe my eyes.
Dorothy, or Little Devil as I like to call her, had jumped the fence that separates the animals from the outside world and didn’t know how to get back in after her midnight snack. The cries in the night didn’t actually come from the sheep after all. They were from Daisy, Dorothy’s daughter, Harold, and Maude. The three other goats. Where they cries of jealousy that she got to eat a little something other than grass in the pasture or cries of fear that they would be separated for eternity? We may never know. I do know this, next time I am woken up in the middle of the night Dorothy and I are going to have a little chat. Goat is a delicacy in other countries after all.