By the time I left the tub and headed towards bed, it was dark and Farmer was snoring. Still, a fat skunk's form and flashy stripes were easy to see from our window. It skimmed the chicken fence, seeking entrance.
I didn't have to say the word skunk twice. Farmer was up, swearing, scrambling for his gun and clip; slipping only shoes on for a quick walk around the yard.
First shot hit home, but he put in a second for good measure and I held the flashlight. No movement no smell. I congratulated him and he went back to snoring.
I went on to debate whether I'd done the right thing, waking Farmer. What if the skunk entered the run simply to drink from the chickens' water and was no threat at all?
Finally, I woke from this dream:
I am a man with other men being chased on the losing side of a war, barefooted through the dessert, around a great, overturned frying pan. We run well, turn on our adversaries and overcome them without a weapon, setting ourselves free.
We wander through the night to a village, a store, looking for games of chance and some way to win a currency that may buy us food. There are women, children and some sense of humour and humanity stained with hope. My dream is still real near morning.
It's still too dark to get up. Water drops from broken eaves onto an open window awning. Somewhere near morning I creep to the bathroom, careful not to wake Farmer who must arise soon anyway, pour coffee into his thermos and drive off to work in total darkness.
Farmer's getting dressed now. Reaching for my lamp, I knock my glasses into an empty trash can. One lens falls out with my first words for today: "Oh, no."
In a moment I am no longer sleepy. This quest of making sure I can see, do chores, feed the children, dress, then be on our way before 7 a.m. has taken over somewhere near morning.
Moments ago I was running in Syria but will say nothing here in the hills about my military action or chemical weapons and 1,400 civilians dead or what Canada, or the world should do about it. The UN, Russia, the U.S.: Peace, peace, then sudden destruction comes frequently to mind.
Perhaps in the half light, only prayers are safe.