Today, I thought I’d share something with you from my first year on the Campbell Estate. My run at that time was beside an older area of the forest, and there are lots of old, decaying logs on the forest floor – all covered with soft green piles of green stuff that feels really good under my paws. The Silly Flappers like to go there in the Spring, and sometimes the young ones start practicing in the falling leaf time, too!
I was a puppy when I first heard the boy Silly Flappers showing off to their girlfriends. They kept me up all night. It wasn’t just the ones close to me. The sound carries through the woods for a mile or more. Sometimes you aren’t really sure you’re hearing it – it’s more of a sense of the air kind of throbbing around you. Elizabeth found a really good clip online for me to share with those of you who don’t live in the Boreal Forest so you can hear what it sounds like. The two-leggers who recorded this must have been really close, ’cause you can hear the whoosh of the feathers in the recording, which makes the drumming sound softer. I’ve never heard that before. The drumming I’ve heard is always just the thump that gets faster and faster.
By the time I find a drumming Silly Flapper, he has already stopped. I can get much closer to them than other Silly Flappers before they flap furiously away on me. They’re very unsociable. Most flappers are, I guess. They don’t seem to like me much, anyway. Even the Long-necked Flappers who call me all the time don’t let me come close to say hello back.
Elizabeth says that the reason the Silly Flapper drummer boys are easier to get close to is because they’re so full of something called hormones, and they have so much energy invested in showing off that, even though they’re scared by me (!) they haven’t got the juice to switch into flee mode. She says people who have approached a male peacock (she showed me a tail feather of one that she has hanging on her wall – very pretty, and very long!) will understand. The boy peacock with a fanned tail has a very hard time fleeing an enemy!
Imagine a flapper thinking of me as an enemy! Absurd! But Elizabeth says that’s exactly how they see me…. Come to think of it, though, I did try once to make friends with a little swimming flapper once when I was little, too. It went limp and quit peeping at me. Elizabeth says the flappers don’t realise that I don’t mean to hurt them, and there are other dog-like animals in the forest who eat them if they catch them. So I guess I understand a bit now why they don’t like me much…. -:o(=
Anyway, Elizabeth wrote this one Spring morning after I first heard the Silly Flapper drummer boys from my run the night before:
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m a bit nuts about my dog. Most dog owners will understand.
I sing to her. I noticed my last dog really liked it, so I tried it with Stella, too – well actually, the habit just sort of carried over. I’ll take a tune I know and add lyrics just for Stella.
Yes, I’m afraid I might be a little … touched?
Last night I woke up to Stella’s barking. She barked for some time. I’ve never heard her bark at night before.
This morning, as we were eating breakfast (mom and I), Stella put her head on the leg of the table and fell asleep. She began to snore. She got up, followed me into the kitchen and, while I made my hot chocolate, she flopped onto the floor and looked with exhausted puppy eyes at me. I began to sing. Appalachian mountain man kind of droning tune:
Ho, little Stella
Snorin’ on the floor.
Listened to the ruffed grouse
drummin’ all night.
Barked at the ruffed grouse
all night long –
Woof, woof, woof.
Stupid ol’ bird.
Woof, woof, woof.
Wanna go to sleep.
Barkin’ at the ruffed grouse
and howlin’ at the moon
all night long –
Woof, woof, Whoooooh!
All night long!
Now she’s snorin’ on the floor –
Snorin’ on the floor!
Hope you enjoy it as much as she did. She thumped her tail in time to the words.
Cheers! I think I’m going to have a nap, too!
Hmmph. You’d think she’d been up barking at them all night!