It’s late. Far past when I should have gone to bed. The loss of the guinea is still weighing on my mind. But it isn’t really the guinea. I know that. But I feel like I’m sinking into this downward spiral and I don’t know how to make it stop.
Micah will be 21 months at the end of this month. And everything hurts.
It’s 3:30 in the morning. Sometimes I have to look at the clock to be reminded what is really bothering me. Because Tiggy died at 3:30 in the morning and for months I would lay there, recounting the last hours of his life until 3:30 when I would finally fall asleep. Now it isn’t so conscious, but there are nights when I’m restless and agitated and feel this incredible weight in the center of my chest. And when I finally go to bed on these nights, the clock always says 3:30.
But I need to bring Jake in and let Luke take his shift outside for the rest of the night. When I open the door, I am greeted by a noise I cannot begin to describe. High pitched and raspy, it reminds me of hyenas. I guess fox as the dogs bolt past me and run down the road at full speed, not even taking time to bark.
And the missing guinea almost runs into me as it comes around the corner of the house, diving for the safety of a lilac bush.
I pick her up. Her helmet is bleeding and a large number of feathers are missing from her back. I realize the sound I heard was her distress call and that my dogs very likely just saved her life.
I just want to hold her. Cradle her to my chest and just feel her breathe. But she is frightened and I don’t want to stress her any more. So I hold her wings firmly as I tuck her under my arm where she can neither see nor move and return her to the henhouse where she can recover from her shock in the midst of her flock.
I return to the house with Luke on high alert. He is on patrol, sniffing in zig zags across the property and doesn’t seem to notice that I let the other two dogs in. He has a job to do and I leave him to it.
And I fall asleep to the sound of Micah breathing and the dogs barking but I am relieved that for tonight, all the animals are safe.