Monday, 24 September 2007
Bloody Sunday/Blue Monday
Sunday was bloody.
We came home from church and I spotted two of the hens in the patio, where they don´t belong. I don´t know how they got there. Stranger still was the usual hysterical joy of the dogs, jumping for joy that we´d returned after less than an hour away. How could the chickens have been in the patio with the dogs, without Tim reducing them instantly to Fryer Parts?
Tim the Dog was there in the entryway with us. Two hens clucked quietly in the opposite corner. Only the yard stood between them. I yelled ¨Get the chickens!¨
Maybe we overreacted, but we are fond of our hens! We made a run for them, and of course they skedaddled into the yard where lots of broken bricks and busted stumps of ruined rosebushes are hidden beneath the ivy. Paddy grabbed Blodwyn and headed for the back yard with her in his arms. The dogs chased after him, keenly interested in this new game.
I heard a shout from the darkness inside the house, a loud cackle, an "Oh my God!" I thought Tim had made it through to the back yard, and was attacking the chicken girls. I looked at Libby, then ran to the noise.
Just inside the back door, Tim was cowering at Paddy´s feet. Paddy continued with the "My God! My God!" The chicken was fine, making a run for it across the back yard. I slammed the door shut and turned around. The dog had seen the chicken fluttering in Paddy´s arms, and had made a lunge for her. He clamped down instead on the middle finger of Paddy´s right hand.
Libby was still in the patio chasing the Gladys, with little hope of catching her... those girls can go when they´re scared! I shouted at Libby to come get this dog so I could get the chicken, so Paddy could get into the house and get some water and soap on his bloody finger. I headed out across the yard and the hen obligingly hunkered down to be picked up. (they are getting tamer, despite having a killer dog around.) I delivered her to the back yard, freed Libby from the dog, and headed for the bathroom to patch up Paddy.
It hurt him a lot, the pain and blood even made him woozy for a little bit. But the damage wasn´t that bad... Tim´s teeth just grazed the surface of his skin, really, and made a big bloody mess. No punctures or gaping wounds. A good cleanup and gauze and antibiotic cream (and a nap) put Pad to rights. We took an expedition to the ruined castle in Cea late in the day, (that´s the picture, with me and Paddy looking so wee)to take our minds off things. ...And in the evening was a big paella, with rabbit and chicken, made up later on by Anselmo the Resident Valenciano!
Monday was hopeful at first. It was sunny and bright and we´d been told last week the Bozo Builders would be on the scene today, tools in hand.
When they didn´t arrive by 11 a.m., we drove to Palencia and filed the legal complaint papers. It was done in 10 minutes, and was kind of anticlimactic. God knows if it will go anywhere, or have any kind of effect.
We got some major work done on the inside of the Chik-N-Hut, enclosing the nesting box and making it secure for winter or days when the gates are open and workers are moving back and forth. As if.
No one came at all, except Anselmo. He helped us pull old nails out of what once were the floorboards in our house... they´ll see new use as wallboards for las chickitinas. I became more and more sad as the day went on, and the sensation was made worse by Libby´s planned departure tomorrow.
I should be very proud and happy. She is walking the Camino de Santiago! But I wanted to send her off with our ultralight sleeping bag, and an American Pilgrims credential stamped with our Moratinos "sello." I couldn´t find any of them. They all are stashed somewhere in the barn or garage or despensa, and finding them would lead only to madness and allergy attacks or discoveries of hidden nests of mice. (I did find the long-missing staple gun, though, and the Horowitz Plays Scarlatti CD.)
Libby´s big fat sleeping bag won´t fit in the ultralite pack we´d intended to send with her, so Anselmo lent her his big blue backpack, which has made two pilgrimages so far. She packed it all up, and the weight is only 5 kilos... really good!
I know it´s time to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start feeling excited for all the cool things Libby´s going to discover and live through in the next few weeks. We also expect company here in the coming weeks... including Sophronia, another old Camino buddy from my 2001 hike. Gotta keep the eye on why we are here. Not to build a house, But to take care of each other in a peaceful, warm place. And to welcome the occasional pilgrim.
And so we will, goddammit.