One recent afternoon I went to feed Miss P. and couldn’t find her. That was unusual because lately she and her girlfriend Miss Chickadee hang out close to the gate. They’ve got the feeding time firmly written in their calendars and are right there.
The image of these two old dears waiting on me adds to my guilt if ever I’m late. It’s a great motivator!
When I didn’t see them, I readied the food and then went on a walkabout.
I checked the shed.
I checked the water.
I checked the adjoining pasture where I’ve sometimes found them.
No Golden Girls.
I even ventured into the larger herd, though I knew that was folly.
These two will do anything to avoid the herd.
When I was about to give up and embrace the idea that they’d been transported onto an alien space ship, I caught sight of them.
Naturally it was at the opposite end of the pasture.
I really got my workout that day.
When I came upon them, I just stood and watched for a moment.
They had their backs to me, looking out at the Interstate. Two skinny butts, tails swishing flies away.
The girls would face forward and then every so often turn to each other as if sharing an observation. Then it was eyes back to the highway.
What were they doing?
Of course, I can’t say for sure, but looked to me like they were sharing comments about the cars passing before them. I thought they might be counting cars, or looking for red pickups with cute cowboys driving, or noting how many people were driving alone versus car pooling.
You know, important scientific observations like that.
Eventually I called to Pepper and she turned to greet me. Slowly she and Chickadee followed me to the gate and lunch.
That night when I told my husband about it, he suggested they were playing “Slug Bug.” It’s the game kids play, shouting out each time they see a Volkswagen Beetle on the road. It can become quite a competition.
“That’s it,” I declared. “Pepper and Chickadee were playing Slug Bug.”
It’s an image that makes me smile.
And I wonder who won.