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Country Conversation

Ever been accused of talking to yourself? I have been.

(Wait, no, not ‘accused!’ Is talking to yourself illegal and something to be ashamed of? ………… I just realized I’m sitting at the computer talking to myself about talking to myself. That’s ironic.)

I talk to myself all the time – out loud, in my head, under my breath – but if you were to follow me around our property and listen closely, you’d realize that 75% of my conversation is directed at someone/something (and no, not you). I just find myself making passing comments to the animals and even plants around me.

I never thought about it much until a couple days ago. That was when I discovered something. Please be patient and embark on a quick rabbit trail with me. We’ll loop back around to the main path in a minute. I was blessed with a horse a few years ago, and this summer makes the 3rd summer of being a horse owner. And it wasn’t until I owned and loved and wanted to spend time with this horse that I came to understand how much … I detest flies. Flies were always an annoyance in my earlier years – now they are interfering little vermin that pick on my friend and won’t give us any alone time.

With my tolerance for flies decreasing, my tolerance levels for spiders have slowly become more gracious. But it wasn’t until a couple days ago that I realized that I am now on civil speaking terms with spiders! Not friendly, you understand – civil. As I was exciting my tack room (without a squashing a dozen of their comrades, like normal) I turned back and eyed the room with resignation. 248 eyes gazed back at me. I sighed.

“I better not find a fly in here,” I told them grimly as I shut the door.

Then I stopped with my hand still on the handle and stared at the chickens across the fence. “I just said something decent to a spider!”

The chickens stared back at me – shocked into muteness. All except the rooster. He threw back his head and laughed. I tell you, out of all the animals on our property (excepting flies, of course), he is the rudest. He’s new here, and didn’t have manners enough to wait and see how things are done before he did what he wanted.

I liked our old rooster. His name was Ornery and his personality was not! (That’s what comes of being named in your erratic teenage months.) Ornery got people up at the proper hour and occasionally woke up nappers in the afternoon. Alas – sigh. Ornery passed into the land of the good roosters and this newcomer took his position.

A week or so after his arrival, I seized an opportunity to have a hard but necessary talk with Mr. Newbie and inform him that crowing incessantly from 4 o’clock in the morning and ever afterward was not acceptable. He was waking my sleep-deprived Mama two hours before she needed to be, and this simply needed to stop. All that was required was for him to trim down his crowing schedule. I think I put it very nicely. He stood there on the other side of the fence with his head tilted, staring at me hard out of one eye. And then do you know what that stuck-up, cock-sure rooster did? Two seconds after I stopped talking he actually had the audacity clear his throat and crow in my very face! The rudeness of some people…

The ducks are much better company. They’re free range during the day, and they like to wander the property, so you might meet them anywhere, marching straight and soldier-like in their runner duck fashion. I don’t pass them without at least a ‘Good morning ladies, Peter…”. Their numbers have depleted over the years, (sniff), so we’ve been upping their head count.

We’ve kept the sweet ducklings inside, partly for protection, partly for our fun. They think we’re they’re mum, and like to be held close and stroked. A chorus of peeping emerges from their box when we walk by, and they follow us like shadows around the house. Jog down the hall away from them and you’ll hear a terribly frantic patter of rubbery feet flying as fast as they possibly can to catch up with you. (Sorry for the amount of adjectives.) They graduated to the duck house half an hour ago, and I watched the four babies dutifully follow Trysten through the front door and out to the garden.

Yet two complaints have I against the ducks. #1, they always seem to be around whenever I do anything wrong. And then they laugh. Do you own ducks? Then you know what I’m talking about. Lately it’s played out that I’m working Robin in the field and do something dumb and ridiculous. When I look around – okay, who doesn’t look up to see who saw you do something stupid? – there are the ducks in the corner, snickering.

#2, I’m afraid to say that the ducks are just a tad gossipy. Many’s the time I walk past them so:

“Good morning ladies, Peter.”

Polite quacking and bobbing of heads.

I move past and the instant they see my back:

Hush-hush whispering/babble and ‘oh did you hear’ hearsay chatter

I spin around with my hands on my hips,


One last quack, embarrassed silence, and then pretense of pecking the ground.

The chickens gossip too, to be fare. But gossip and chit-chat seem to be below the decorum of the peacocks. Too lordly and highbred to mingle with the lesser animals, they mostly keep to themselves and I can’t really chat with them. Corrie can, but then again, she is their owner and feeder, so perhaps that raises her to a higher level then myself. Still, I cannot go by the peacocks without paying homage to their position. “Good evening, your dignity. Pardon my passing.”

We’ve puppies right now, and if there was a living opposite to dignity, that would be the puppies. They are the funniest things! They might attempt a little lordliness by putting their nose up in the air and trotting away from you in a ‘huff’, if you tell them "no". But undoubtedly they will trip over their own paws and nose plant in the ground, and by the time they regain their footing, they forget you denied them their wish and run back to you as excited as if you’d been gone a year.

This was a lot of rambling, but I hope it put a smile on your face once or twice. This simple pasttime of being outside and enjoying God’s creation is another of my favorite things. It’s summer – get out there and enjoy the sunshine and the creatures!

I personally love being out in the wind and rain barefoot and coatless, listening to the rain hit the leaves in the woods and letting the wind whip my hair at the top of the hill ……. but I know most of you would turn your nose up at that. So I’m writing this now, during the nice weather, so you’ll have no excuse not to get out there and enjoy the Lord through his handiwork! (And while you’re at it, have some good ol' country conversation :)

The slideshow below just has some pics of country life around here. You can see some of the characters in the pictures, and you can see some of their antics we've caught on camera in the videos. Enjoy!

Ping the Second, one of our new ducklings.

This is Bandon, one of Corrie's peacocks, reminding the squabbling ducks of his rank.

My horse Robin, is quite the character, and deserves a whole blog post to himself, which he will get in December. He's the best! But in the meantime, have a laugh at this:

(And if you're still here, YES! Those darling puppies are for sale! They are purebred Australian Shepherds. If you're interested, you can check them out more on Corrie's website here: )

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