Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Part 1: Stella & Iris's Nutty Caper

Scroll down for Part 2...

The morning had brought the dew, just the way they liked it, crispy on the top but wet and soft underneath. This allowed a morning grazing without the shock of cold inner grass blades. It also added an especially fresh flavor to the dried leaves and made their crunch even crisper sounding inside their heads. The chewing sound resonated deep into their hearts, and made them happy.

The House activity started much earlier than normal this morning. Usually the sun rose, and a sequence of events took place in the same precise order: lights on, smoke from chimney, door opens, cats fed on deck, woman out, donkeys bray, rooster crows, woman lets chickens out, loud sound of barnyard gate, upper sheep out first, small goats out next, horse whinnies, loud sound of gate, woman walks back to house.

This consistent routine was comforting to everyone. Order in the barnyard was necessary not only for proper digestion, but it also kept the animals emotionally fit.

But today, the routine was altered. While the barnyard still dozed, and the sun was barely rising, the door opened. But there was no light on, and not a swirl of smoke rose from the chimney.

Stella and Iris looked at each other, quizzically.

Then the woman came out of the House and headed to barn. The large gate is heard opening.

"What? She passed by the chicken house?!" said Stella, quite alarmed.

Stella and Iris then hear the sheep wake in the lower barn and the horse whinny. Small goats were heard bleating, and the sounds of feed bins being opened and closed rattled in the crisp air. Only moments go by when they hear the large gate opening again, then shutting, and they see the woman at the chicken house. As she opens the door, the rooster crows, but there are no leisurely 'hellos' from the woman this morning.

As the woman heads hastily back to the barn, the goats ponder the events.

"It's all cattywompus!" Stella says in her best hushed detective tone.

After the woman enters the House, a light goes on and she is soon seen feeding the porch cats.

"Backwards, she did things backwards!" Stella says, somewhat agitated.

"Could she be sick?" asked Iris.

"Doubtful. The Dirt Man would have come out," said Stella, still in a curious wrinkled up nose expression.

"Perhaps they are both ill." responded Iris.

"Whatever the reason, it's all cattywompus!" said Stella, still miffed.

The two returned to their dirt mound, now slightly warmed and dewless from the sunrise. They lay down, chewed some leaf cud, and waited, never taking their eyes away from the House.

Within about twenty minutes, the House door opens and out come the woman, the man, the dog and the old woman known as Tilly who shows up periodically. They pile into the car, and within minutes the car is gone, leaving the sound of gravel under wheels resonating with the two goats.

"It appears to be a substantial ride." said Stella.

"Definitely. They took the dog, and his water dish." said Iris.

"Yes, I saw that too. Whenever they leave during morning dew time, it's always a full day before they return," surmised Stella.

As the two sat chewing on their mound, it was only seconds before they both seemed to get the same idea at the same time.

"Should be a good day to proceed with Plan M302," said Stella.

"Check. Do we need the ladder?" asked Iris.

"I determined it was physically impossible to retrieve it. Dirt Man tied it to the post to prevent us from further mishaps." said Stella. "But I have another idea."

"Better do a check first," said Iris. And she grabbed her binoculars to view the miles of gravel road to the east.

"It's clear, they're gone." said Iris.

And the two casually made their way through the electrified wire fence, without a blink of an eye.

Stay tuned. Part two to follow this week.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~