I went to town at 7:30 this evening to pick up The Pony, who enjoyed a blissful day with his grandma. It was getting dark by the time we returned. Imagine my surprise when I saw the headlight of a vehicle down by the Mansion garage when we turned in to our driveway. I was not expecting anybody. Especially not anybody driving an old white Jeep Cherokee with one headlight. My first thought was: someone is casing the Mansion for a future robbery. Because that's how my mind works. Always suspect criminal activity. That's because I'm a teacher, I suppose.
The Jeep pulled off into the yard to let me pass. A woman shielded her eyes from the blinding rays of T-Hoe's brights. I stopped and rolled down the window, and the woman did the same. She peered out and explained.
I'm sorry, but my daughter was out running. She has to run two miles a day for cross-country. I told her it was getting too dark tonight, so she only got in about a mile and a half. I dropped her off down by the county road bridge and followed her really slow in the car. When she ran by your house, she heard a woman scream like she was being murdered. Twice. We came up in here to check it out, but the kids saw your dogs and were afraid. I saw that you have goats, and I told her it must have been a goat.
I explained that our dogs don't bite, don't even bark at people, only small furry varmints like rabbits and baby moles. And that while we do have goats, they don't sound like murder victims. I offered up Farmer H's two guineas, who make a gosh-awful noise, almost as irritating as peacocks. I mentioned that something has eaten a bunch of our chickens this week, and we don't find the carcasses like when our own dogs kill them. Also, I told her that a couple of years ago, I heard the screaming woman sound down across the creek. I, too, would have sworn that a murder was in progress. I'm thinking that maybe it was a panther. That's what we call a mountain lion here in the non-mountains.
Lady Visitor said that she tried to keep chickens, and that something got into the coop and ate them. And that she had seen a large fox. BINGO! That's what's killing our chickens, I'm sure. But as for the screaming, I don't know. The runner girl rolled down her Jeepy window and explained what she heard. The woman apologized again.
They were either Academy Award-winning actresses, or their story was true. I thanked them for caring enough to save me from my imminent death.
It takes a village to protect Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.