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Thursday, December 29, 2016

A moment in hell

Shiloh's spitface

Shiloh's spitface

I hear them entering the barn, on the girls' side. They're not too quiet, yet I can't see them for the bales of hay in the way. I can smell them though. I hear the girls shuffling. Moving. Trying to get away. The activity is getting more intense. And now I smell something else -- fear. Perhaps it's just me. But now the girls are moving faster; I hear many feet running. I strain to see around the bales, to no avail. More of the boys are joining me to see what's going on. We look at each other and wonder; worry. I hear Diva scream now, and there's Elekktra spitting. They must be cornered otherwise they'd run outside - outside to safety. Now I can see fleece flying. Little tufts I catch a glimpse of over the bales. Somebody just kicked a wall. The sound reverberates through the barn; then suddenly all is silent. I thought I heard a door open.....did I? Was it my imagination?

They're coming around the bales and making their way toward me. Slowly. Sharp points glint in the barn lights. They're covered in fleece. Diva's? Oh my god, my god. I'm so frightened I can't move....all of us boys are scared stiff. Then at once, moving as one, we all bolted away, in the other direction, any direction to be free. The door is closed. When? How? Who? Doesn't matter, find a pathway out. Become invisible.

They have me. I feel their grip on my neck. Pulling me toward them. Oh my god, my god. I spit, and spit again. My bladder lets loose. I can't stop it. I scream, stamp, dance, cush down and protect my legs. Protect them at all costs. They are my only means of escape.

But they don't stop. They just continue. I feel a saber-sharp bite in my side. And then they come at me again and again. And all the kicking and screaming, stamping and spitting aren't accomplishing anything. Then finally it's over. I lay there, gasping for breath. I stand. Test my legs. I've managed to protect them. They're strong.

Yes, they're still strong. No bleeding. No pain. I can't speak for the spitface aftermath I find myself afflicted with. But something else is different. My feet feel different. I look up. They're there. Mom reaches out and scratches my favorite spot behind my ears, and offers me a treat. "Poor baby. I wish you didn't hate your feet touched so much. But you need your nails trimmed once in a while, and your monthly shot. Are you okay now? Poor baby."

I don't care for the treat - I still have spitface. But I succumb to mom's cooing and gentle scratching behind my ears. I have to dig deep to find my dignity. I do. Give a stomp. One last kick in the air; and I move to the hay bin. Herd health is complete once again.

Gathering my pride,
Shiloh