You step outside into the dark, leaving the lights of the house behind you and all is silent and still. You stop, look up and gaze at the stars high above. This one a tiny pin prick of light, that one a bright dot, and everything in between. You gaze at the moon, a soft glow, in contrast to the days brilliant sun.
You take a deep breath, the scents drawing an incomplete picture for you. Fresh mown grass. Damp earth and dead leaves. The sharp scent of pines. Barn scents float to you on the breeze that plays with your hair. Chickens and goats, the sweet smell of horses. Everything is silent. But is it? As you stand reveling in the silence, the stillness, it grows on you that the night is not so still and silent as it seems.
You stand still and listen to the Whippoorwill call. You slowly turn and hear the crunch of gravel under your feet. Movement catches the corner of your eye as an owl glides by. A rustle in the undergrowth catches your attention as a wild rabbit moves about, looking for food. You hear the distant yip of a fox.
The frogs start peeping their night time chorus. Listen to the chirp of the crickets. You hear a horse stamp and blow, and it settles again. You wander toward the barn and pause, hearing the grunts of contented goats, and the crooning of the sleepy hens. You hear a scratching and light thump from behind the barn door and then the rumbling purr of a barn cat as it settles down. Your ears catch the muffled whimpering and woofing as one of the guardian dogs dreams.
Then, a long howl comes from just beyond the pasture fence. The muffled whimpering and woofing stop and become full throated, booming barks that fill the night as the dogs run from the barn and race toward the sound, their feet only making whispers of noise. A second howl is heard and the barks become intermixed with snarling growls that echo through the dark night as the dogs warn off the predators.
When the dogs are satisfied, they trot back to the barn and settle back in, and quiet and calm reign once more. You start back toward the lights of the house, marveling in the sounds of the night.
I am Alison. I enjoy writing now and again, I love my simple life with my dogs, my horses and other critters.