In the usual way of things here on the farmlet the dogs will be hanging out wherever we are. They run alongside as we walk with the ponies through the Seven Acre Wood, look for forgotten bones while we weed out thistles and JC in the clearing, and recline on the deck when we go inside to do the work that pays the bills.
Recently Ella has been conspicuous by her absence. It took us a little while to figure out where she was.
A couple of weeks ago, somewhere under the chicken house, there was a disturbance in the force. Ella felt it, and ever since she has spent a couple of hours a day lying in this position — waiting.
It’s the perfect wheeze for an old dog*. Lying in the shade, busily inactive. When Maisie bounces in with whoever is feeding the chooks Ella waits patiently for her to leave. Maisie: ‘OOOOH what are you DOING?!’, Can I HELP?’, “Shall I dig a HOLE?!’, “I’ll dig a hole.’, ‘See me DIGGING?!’, ‘Want to dig?!’.
As you can see Maisie is a walking exclamation mark. Whatever disturbance is under the henhouse probably runs a mile when she arrives. And so, the old dog waits. She waits until Maisie leaves, and then she waits some more. Because she knows that one day, if she is patient, whatever is lurking under there is going to have to come out. And when it does it’s going to run straight into her mouth.
P.S. We think the disturbance is a rat, so as well as our self deploying canine time bomb we’ve set up one of these.
*Wheeze: BRITISH (informal) A clever or amusing scheme, idea, or trick. “a new wheeze to help farmers”. Synonyms: scheme, plan, idea, tactic, move, ploy, gambit.