Back in the day, my kids and I loved the lyrical, slightly mysterious “Barn Dance” by Bill Martin, Jr., John Archambault, and illustrated by Ted Rand. We would cuddle on the couch and chant together, “Out came the skinny kid, a-tickin’ and a-tockin’!”, transported to the bright barn in the black night somewhere in the fictional countryside, keeping an eye on that fiddling scarecrow.
I thought of that book and those times together while bundled and bent against the wicked cold wind and dry, flying snow of this pre-Thanksgiving November day. There are additions to the flocks and herds and I’ve been moving animals here, there and everywhere. There was the splitting of the Shetland flock to accommodate the new ram, moving of a partial flock of turkeys to a temporary new location, catching that snazzy, jazzy hen that doesn’t want to be housed with the others, integrating the curly haired & straight haired goat herds…just tending everyone.
In my winter coveralls, I lose lightness of step and am the big, brown trudger. Trudge to the coop, trudge to the far pasture, grab buckets, trudge to the middle pasture, grab buckets, back to the barn to snag the squeaky wheel barrow. Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak across the way with bales of hay for the sheep. Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak across the way to the duck yard with water buckets. So it goes.
Trudging is good for thinking, though. One can ponder well when one is moving so methodically. Thoughts of the days when little kids on my lap would bounce and chant to favorite storybooks was peaceful and consolate.
Vermont seasons have me moving through many barn dances, and, in that way, I can be assured of new steps, old steps, spring flings and fall waltzes.
“Listen to the night, there’s music in the air!”