The noisiest ones are the pigs. They wait for me at the fence and as soon as they see me they start grunting and squealing. Noisy little buggers. They follow me all the way to the barn and stand at the gate demanding their breakfasts. The ducks have waited by the house and fly past my head. The goats hear me coming and start calling, the rooster is crowing, hens squawking, and the calf is mooing. At the upper barn the horse hears me and starts calling and once in a while the sheep. The only ones that are quiet are the dogs. They are too busy playing.
I let the chickens out so they can get out of their sleeping quarters, grab a little of their grain and feed the ducks. From there of course, the noisiest ones get fed first. That lowers the noise level by a whole bunch. I have to separate the big pig from the little ones so they can all get the food they need. Then the goats get their grain. (Later when I start milking them this routine will have to change.) I feed and water the rabbits, throw hay at the calf and goats, then let the little pigs back out for their treats.
My daughter gets old bread by the garbage bag and so I hand feed everything some bread. Well……not the chickens, I just throw it out for them, but they know the routine and are waiting. One little pig takes a mouth full of bread and runs clear across the creek to eat it. That way she does not have to fight to keep it. The others just fight, steal, and squeal. The dogs get a couple of bites. Even the calf and the goats will eat some bread.
But there is still noise going on. The horse calls. Heading up the hill is the time I see and hear my cat. She is waiting for her breakfast and says good morning. But it is not her turn yet and she knows it.
The horse nickers constantly until I throw out her hay. Then I feed the sheep which are the most patient animals on the whole farm. When I start grinding the horse’s grain, she paces with a mouthful of hay going back and forth waiting impatiently. When she sees me coming with the grain she gets noisy again……until her mouth is full.
Right now, everything is frozen so I have to make several trips to the pond to gather water for everything. A couple of trips to fill the horse trough, then a trip to the lower barn with buckets to fill everything there. But now the dogs know it is their turn and they are following close on my heels. And the cat is a little more vocal.
Dozer, the Great Pyrenees, is funny. I have to stay where he can see me while he eats or he leaves the food to follow me and my GerLabSky gets it. The cat is eating and happy. I scratch her as I wait for Dozer to finish.
Then everything is quiet. Peace descends.
Peace is more than quiet. It is a sense of knowing all is well. It is knowing that all the animals in my care are healthy, happy, and fed. Now I can sit and relax with a cup of coffee and as Proverb admonishes me, I know the condition of my flocks and herd.
Quiet is very valuable too, don’t get me wrong. I love the quiet on my farm. Standing there after all the chores are done, the only noises that I hear are the ones made by the birds. Spring is coming! Peace reigns.
When are you most at peace?