There Was Gnashing of Teeth


The cooler weather has given us more animal visitors around our house than we care to admit. I smell the tell-tale signs of skunk too frequently and one giant possum is scurrying around bothering my beloved chickens. C-Man tried to shoot him several nights ago, but the darned thing is elusive.

This brings me to just a couple of evenings ago. Here in Arkansas we are experiencing a drought. The weather is warm and inviting and rather dry. It reminds me a great deal of the fall in the South West.

On the evening in question, C-Man is out on the porch enjoying the mild weather. It is dusk, the sun is set below the horizon, but figures can be seen in outline and sounds carry blithely upon the languid breeze. Suddenly he calls me outside to the porch.

Come out here and listen, he says.

I step out into the pleasant evening air and listen in the direction he points out.

Look over there. Do you see anything? He asks.

To the east of the house I can barely make out a dark form. It is only a shade lighter than the dying grass surrounding it.

Hear that? He asks now.

I see something. I say

All of a sudden a clattering sound develops. It sounds like sticks hitting against one another.

That’s it! Do you hear it?

I do hear that. I strain to discern the dark figures in the grass.

It isn’t an animal chewing on a bone is it? C-Man is concerned a mountain lion (not an uncommon occurrence in our neck of the woods) is in his yard and his children will be next on its menu.

I see them. I say.

There are two bucks only fifty feet from our house, quarreling with their antlers. The clatter is unmistakable.
This is rutting season, after all.

They are oblivious to the chatter on our porch and when we do draw their attention, they barely retreat. Then they resume their dispute. Within minutes they are swallowed by the darkness and we return to our lives inside the safety of our house.

What you hear is exactly the sound were heard in the deepening dusk.

So much for this episode of my little piece of heaven.
What is happening in your neck of the woods? I’d love to hear it.



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