Picking through the last droppings in the third stall of the morning, which is an awful lot like the practice of Zen garden raking, except you have to wear muck boots and sometimes hold your breath, my mind began to wander, as it is wont to do.
Today, in particular, about deer.
Friends had recently mentioned that they couldn’t believe deer have never decimated our roses – more than 300 bushes, to be exact – while their half dozen have been eaten to the ground.
“It must be,” I thought, pushing Valentino’s rump out of the way while I tried to fork the last couple of “apples” in the back of his stall, “because we live in such a rural area and are surrounded by so much woodland and orchards that they’re stuffed by the time they get here.”
But still, I mused, sliding the stall door closed and pulling back the heavily laden wheelbarrow, we rarely see deer at the farm. Wonder why that is?
Checking the barn clock (it whinnies on the hour), I noted it was time to rotate horses in and out of their respective paddocks. I strolled out of the barn toward the small field, where the mare met me at the gate, agitated, pacing, flagging her tail – horse speak for, “Monsters! MONSTERS!!”
Clipping the chrome hook of the red nylon lead onto the ring of her halter, I spoke reassuringly and followed her alarmed stare to an excited group of no fewer than six young does, trotting across the field toward us, along the tree line.
They reminded me of giggling teenagers: spirited and silly and when they noticed us, the herd stopped so quickly that the laggers in the group smacked into the hind ends of those in front who had stepped on the brakes. They crowded next to the fence along the woods and then took their turns, one after another, leaping astonishingly high to clear the 4-foot top rail before disappearing into the pines.
I had just been thinking of deer, and there they were.
If only I could harness my power for good ...
Actually, in the past, I’ve had a couple of goose-bumpy psychic occurrences. But I’m not that interested in knowing the future.
How’s that going to help anything, except maybe knowing which particular asteroid is going to wipe us out? I’d much rather know my past. As in, what just happened. A second ago.
If I were to have some kind of sixth sense, I’d be far more interested in knowing how my most recent column, which I had two-thirds written, suddenly disappeared from my computer screen into cyberspace.
What just happened?
Or the good-natured teasing one has with a spouse that suddenly turns into a donnybrook, complete with snarling and slamming doors – how did that just spin out of control?
Or the Entenmann’s Raspberry Twirl coffee cake that I devoured, before reading that it “serves six.”
How on earth could I have done that? After a huevos rancheros omelette?
And a venti latte (I don’t even know what venti means, except that it costs $4).
But that’s life, isn’t it? We’re all in such a big hurry to know what’s around the corner, as opposed to the room we just entered.
Trying to remember why we decided to come in there in the first place.
Reach PAM STONE at firstname.lastname@example.org.