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Wednesday, February 07 2018


The whip-like mind of a Border Collie crackles with electricity. Unlike the snap of a whip which results in a loud impressive pop, the end result of the Border Collie mind snap is silence. Total silence. Their chi, their fundamental life force, every fiber of their being, is concentrated in the power of silence which is filtered and released in the power of the stare. The stare of the Border Collie is the Jedi lightsaber.

Border Collie owners become particularly fine-tuned to the soundless hum of a Border Collie lightsaber being powered on.

Whuuuuuuuuushhhhhhhhhhhhhhzzzzoooooommmmmmmmmmm . . .

A lightsaber has powered on. I look around. Yep. Mesa has the chickens again.

It has taken her three days to turn this simple chore into an obsession. She is a sheepdog who has now added chickens to her growing list of things which must be controlled. The chickens have taken to going on walkabout. They leave the safety of the barnyard to scratch and peck the forbidden fruits on the other side of the fence - in the Land of Boogey Beast. The little Jedi dog has made it her mission to keep the birds where they belong.

The evolution of an obsession goes something like this:

Day One - Note the chickens are out of the barnyard. Cuss. Champion of Justice, the young Jedi warrior, is sent on an impossible mission: Go into the Land of Boogey Beasts to recover six missing chickens. She bows her head, places a hand on her lightsaber, and runs off. Minutes later she returns pushing six cackling hens. You are amazed and tell her so. As if you had approached a cop in the middle of a traffic stop to ask for directions to the donut shop, she raises an eyebrow in disdain and continues to push her suspects through the gate and into the sheep pen. Since you didn't get the hint the first time, you congratulate her again. She turns her head away, embarrassed and disgusted by your praise. And yet - Darth Vader has been born.

Day Two - Chickens are out again. Dispatch the Jedi. She pads off into the jungle and returns with six hens. As she stalks past the gate with the hens ahead of her, you hear the hum of a lightsaber and begin to detect the wheezing, labored breathing of Darth Vader.

Day Three - You are in the barnyard picking up firewood and hear the hum of a lightsaber powering up. You look around. Nothing. You catch glimpses of white sheep in the forest. The Livestock Guardian Dogs are on duty, thus you are unconcerned. You go back to picking up firewood. There it is again. A lightsaber. You walk toward the sheep pens. All the sheep are now in the pens. What the . . . ? Young Vader is standing in front of a hut, her lightsaber humming. You peek inside the hut. She has gathered one flock of sheep and six chickens from the forest and moved them into the sheep pens where she is now holding them.

Day Four - You scatter scratch grains around the barnyard and let the chickens out of their pen. A moment later you notice Darth Vader gathering confused hens and returning them to their pens. You snarl at Vader. Vader backs off but you note the veiled eyes. The wheezing breath increases as black gloved fingers open and close on an imaginary throat. Vader's obsession is growing. Vader doesn't need my praise. It is a self-rewarding activity.

And so it is with all Border Collie owners. We listen for sound of a lightsaber being powered on, heralding the launch of a new fixation, for Border Collies are Jedi Warriors, knights who are merely one step away from becoming Darth Vader.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
So happy you are posting your life stories again. From your early part cop/part farmer writing to total farm/ranching I live vicariously through you. Love it and you.
Posted by Christine on 02/07/2018 - 04:50 PM
lol. such a cute story. I can see the fingers closing around the throat.
Posted by cindytennant on 02/07/2018 - 07:24 PM
Great to see you posting more often! I've followed your blog since the early days and enjoy every entry. Looking forward to hearing more about the rest of the two- and four-legged family. Does this mean the book is out of your hands and in prep for publishing?
Posted by Heather S on 02/08/2018 - 02:53 PM
Yes! The book should be available in both print and e-book in a couple of months. Hoping to see it out by the end of march or April. We also have a Briar children's book and a Darwin children's book in the works soon.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 02/08/2018 - 04:19 PM
LOVE it! Be sure to make a BIG announcement on FB when your book is ready for sale.
Posted by Terri's Pal on 02/25/2018 - 08:19 PM

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