It’s practically axiomatic that the greatest sin anybody can possibly commit on a farm is to fail to close the gate. Right? I’ve known that all my life. I think I was born knowing that!
Well, on Saturday evening, I got home, let the dogs out, prepared their supper, let the dogs in, called the laggards (“All good dogs can come have supper!”) and … the youngsters did not come in.
Of course sometimes they are busy digging holes or whatever so I called again. Then I went and looked. No dogs out in the main part of the yard. Then I went and looked around the corner. No dogs at the back of the house … but Leda standing by the wide open gate, looking up at me. (“Did you say something about supper?”) It turns out a guy had come over to do stuff in the yard, and he had failed to latch the gate.
This left Conner and Kimmie missing.
So I called Leda in and shut the gate and grabbed the phone and called my mother and gasped something like “Gate open! Puppies gone!” and dropped the phone and grabbed two leashes and ran for the door and ducked around to the side of the house with that gate and peered into the woods …
… all in one breathless rush, exactly as expressed above …
And saw two white tails waving about 100 meters away.
So I recovered something resembling wits and called the youngsters in a cheerful tone. Conner came bouncing toward me and Kimmie stayed exactly where she was (which turned out to be investigating a scattering of bones and feathers; I have never been happier to see the evidence of a hawk kill). I put Conner on leash and went and got Kimmie and came back to the house in time to tell my mother — who had run over in her robe and slippers — that everything was all right.
Then I posted vehement comments on Twitter and Facebook. Then I tried to recover my nerves, which took some time and required chocolate and much petting the dogs.
Then I spent some time deciding upon the appropriate wording of a sign to post inside each gate. Something like this:
But more … expressive. Perhaps something more like this: