Rainy entertainment

For a while it seemed as if the sky had forgotten how to make rain. Morning after morning the weather man was pleased to tell us there was no threat of rain. While everyone in the back country is begging for rain, the city people think that moisture is a disaster. Evidently the city fathers had laid out the place where they believed it never would rain again. Now a few showers and the citizens become hysterical. Rain drains fail to work, streets are flooded, fenders suffer because people don't know how to drive in wet weather.

Except for routine trips to the barn at chore times I stay inside when the rains come. I can put in time at my typewriter, tidy up the house, answer mail, finish a project I've started. But I'm only fooling myself because, on a rainy day, I become like the mother of many small housebound children. Time and again I open the door and tell the dogs to go play outdoors. At first they want to go outside then they discover it's not what they want. A houseful of muddy wet dogs is bad, but a houseful of bored muddy dogs is worse. They are like little kids asking, "Mama, what can we do now?"

Oso and Macho think it would be nice to remove books from shelves; Annie thinks it's more fun to bite any dog that runs past her chair, the collie can't make a decision about anything, while Shadow and Robert solve their problems by barking at every one. The cats don't care.

Dishes need washing and I think that the kitchen may be relatively peaceful. But when I shut myself there i discover that I need to wear boots and to find buckets to catch leaks. I can scarcely wait for time to go to the barn. That's the time the dogs want out because they know I'll take them willy nilly for a walk in the nice cold rain. They run wildly while I move slowly across the meadow which is turning into a swamp. Past experience has taught me not to go briskly in the rain. One careless step, feet slide and one is sitting in a mud puddle. At least a mud puddle offers a soft landing.

Cows and horses are wet, cold and extra hungry though they don't have to be. The two pigs and the burro know to stay under the barn roof. My oldest horse, Cherokee, should have reached the age of wisdom but his idea of getting out of the rain is to stick his head into the barn walk-way and leave the rest of himself outside.

Dogs are still running happily as I feed hay. Annie is enjoying her favorite sport, crow chasing. She sneaks carefully, thinking that she can catch one on the ground. The crow lets her get almost within reach before he lets out a derisive caw and flaps away, low enough to keep a small terrior active and frustrated. Crows appear to have a sense of fun.

I hope that the dogs won't notice as I make my way back to the house. Rivulets are growing bigger, roaring as they spill into a canyon. Almost as soon as I am inside, the dogs are at the back door. I think that at least now they will be glad to settle down and go to sleep. But all their running has stimulated them, no one is sleepy and the house becomes as bad as when I left it.

I am on the verge of agreeing with the city people who think rain is terrible.

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