Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #200

October 12, 2013: Creating the Peaceable Kingdom

I’ve had a few people, visiting, say that our place is a “peaceable kingdom.” I take this to mean that it’s a place with a variety of seemingly happy animals. It appears to be a Garden of Eden of sorts. What I don’t say is that it’s not always peaceable. Like when the horses get out of the pen, the goats get into the grain bins, or the dogs start barking their heads off at nothing at all. There’s of course good reason for this. The horses are bored, the goats want grain, or the dogs do believe that something is out there that merits the red alert. At these moments, Squalor Holler seems the antithesis of peaceable. In fact, it seems to me to be just an illusion.

As I have come to realize, having a peaceable kingdom is something that one strives for. It takes considerable effort, time, patience, and quite honestly, money. In order for animals to be happy, they need exercise, water, and good food. When there is no dissension, and all goes well, it’s magical. I have found myself living for these moments.

Today was such a day. It began with Pete getting up to pee and discovering that the horses were up in the front yard, next to the porch. “Horses out,” he barked. In a matter of minutes, that is before I was even awake, we had them haltered and back in their pen. We gave them hay, and Pete went back up to the cabin. I then pen cleaned and filled water buckets.

After breakfast, I worked on dispatches. Then at noon, Pete and I took the dogs on a hike. We went where I went yesterday. A mistake – I’d forgotten that because it was Saturday, that the ATVers and hunters would be out in force. As three hunters (all decked out in camo) explained, it’s open season on black bears, and open season on grouse, that is until March. The dogs stayed fairly close, that is until the end of the walk, when as we neared the car, Ryder and Rainbow ran off to check something out. It took some time, but we managed to round them up.

Back at home, Pete worked on the chicken coop while I assisted. The coop is adjacent to the goat pen, so I put them outside the pen and closed the upper door. There was, however, a complication. Ryder, who wants to herd, but who doesn’t have a clue as how to go about this with goats, leapt over a far wall, and began barking and nipping at their heels. Pete took a pallet and made the wall higher, but this did not deter our wiry little dog. I brought her back in the yard, and she again got out. I dealt with the problem by putting her in the car for a bit. (Obedience school starts soon, remember?)

After finishing this project, we took Hrimmi, Signy, and Raudi for a walk around the loop. Once home, I rode Tinni bareback, doing the same. Then Pete went inside and I remained outside. Here’s the peaceable part. It was now dusk. I fed the horses, and then made my way back up to cabin. I stopped before going inside, and gave the goats some hay. Then I went inside. All three dogs were by now crashed. It then occurred to me that at least in the minds of the Squalor Holler animals, that it had been a wonderful day, for all had gotten what they needed – most importantly, our undivided attention.

Next: 201: 10/13/13: A Bit of Sunshine on a Rainy Day