On the Ranch...

On the Ranch Journal
August, 1999
by Cris Paravicini

Nighttime visit to the hen house

This is the beginning of Cris's ranch journal. Follow along with us through the upcoming months to see what happens with life on the ranch!

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August 6, 1999 - Nighttime visit to the hen house

Friday, August 6, 1999: It was pitch-black last night when I set out to gather the eggs and lock the hen house door. The raccoons, hungry for adventure, had already begun their nocturnal prowling around the barnyard. As I clumsily picked my way through the dried cow crap and scattered river rock, I could hear the little bandits slinking through the weeds by the cow chute, and I sensed their curious maraudings in the hayloft, stirring up the barn cats. I mumbled an irritated curse to my forgotten flashlight, but stubbornly forbade myself backtracking to its spot on the porch window ledge. racoon

I blindly slid my hand along a knotted corral pole, then nervously jerked it back as the fragile webs of huge preying wolf spiders tore and snapped against my fingertips. When I reached the gate near the chicken coop, I paused to listen to the gasping old water tank motor as it sucked and heaved, rhythmically satisfying its thirst. I filled a coffee can with eggs from the straw-filled nests, while mosquito wings and feet tap-danced across my face. Then, one by one, they fell to their bloody work in the small of my neck. I slapped at the air, rattling the can of eggs, and cussed the high-pitched song of their fevered feast. 

When I headed back to the house, a lonesome nicker echoed from somewhere deep in the river-bottom pasture. The brown mare was calling to her colt, Sunny, and I smiled faintly, thinking of how mischievous he could be. But the mare's call sounded wrong - somehow misplaced in the normally quiet pulse of the night. My eyes strained against the heavy darkness, and I worried aloud, "What the heck kind of trouble was Sunny finding tonight?"

The Pearson Angus Ranch is located approximately 2 miles northwest of Daniel, and 11 miles west of Pinedale, Wyoming. Cris can be reached by e-mail at: cowgirl@wyoming.com.

Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted, Cris Paravicini, 1999-2001. No part may be reproduced without permission of the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online, 1999-2001.

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