It always comes as a surprise when I get caught petting the kittens in the barn. I had two of the little ones on my lap while sitting on the stool and watching the barn cats eat. I like those little ones but I sure don't want to advertise how I enjoy fooling with the kittens.
I did not hear the door slam on a vehicle and the door opened before I knew anyone was outside the barn. Clyde stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat and scattered felines all around the place, putting two on top of me!
He was laughing and saying "Howdy" at the same time. We stepped out into the morning air and walked on around to the horse stalls. I was asking him about his reason for showing up so early. It was just good and daylight, and he was about to explain when he spotted Dog watching something by the far gate. He punched me and pointed down there and I stopped to watch.
Dog was bristled up like a bad one was about to show itself, ready to fight or run, and I suspect he was still young enough, or silly enough, to fight! Clyde started easing toward the spot and I sorta followed him. Dog was now growling deep and serious like! I stopped still because I am not fleet of foot anymore and it might be a skunk or something worse, if there is anything worse. Clyde continued to slip on down the fenceline. I coughed, trying to muffle the sound, but Dog looked at me for a sign to attack the menace and I was not gonna let that happen without a clue as to what was there!
About that second Dog let out a sound like a grunt mixed in with a bark and growl and attacked the monster! I had flight on my mind and in my heart but, because there was a man to see me run, watching the action, I didn't. Dog was suddenly out of sight and barking on the trail. I finally gathered my wits enough to tell it was a bobcat he was chasing and it was halfway through the cows in the calving pasture, outrunning old Dog by fifty lengths!
Cows scattered and calves were spooked. Dog stopped at the fence and let the bobcat carry on to places far away, I hoped! We were watching in silence and finally began to look at each other in total shock. I haven't seen a bobcat on our place in several years and we began to laugh and relax enough to enjoy what we had just witnessed!
It was a morning to remember, caught with kittens, surprised by company, and then the chase of the beast by the Old Dog! Life is fun -- especially when the varmint left without a calf in its belly! Just thought of that and wheeled around to look at the cows again. The youngest offspring was on duty but he was at the far east end of the trap and I don't know if he was asleep or aware. At the moment, all looked OK. all the animals were pairing up and no bawling for lost calves.
It is my opinion, and everyone has one, fresh days, days that are brand new in flavor and not one spot on them, are so absolutely wonderful and few between! I will forever enjoy going over this one for the taste and flavor of the surprise and the thrilling little second of the sight of a bobcat and knowing the farm dog was on the job! What a morning, chill still in the air from the darkness and the sun just barely over the treetops and already filled up with fun and gratefulness! Sure am thankful my Lord is so generous with this good life!
Last evening I tried to shoot the armadillo in the yard and my gun was empty. Let that be a lesson to all of us, and Remember the Alamo!
Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.