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Thursday, December 20, 2018

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, on the Farm

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all of the sheep
Were tucked in their hay-covered beds, fast asleep
All except one little lamb named Lily
Who often got scolded for being so silly
The first to run out, the last to come in
Lily thought life without fun was a sin
She skipped through the fields and climbed on the rock
She never came home until five o’clock
Each night when the sun said goodnight in the West
Donkey knew Lily would give him a test
She’d hide in the fencerow behind a thick bush
Donkey would have to kick and push
Through thickets and thorns to find the wee thing
And soon as he did, Lily would sing
She’d bleat and she’d baa in terror and glee
Dart through his legs and off she would flee
To the barn where her worried mother stood
Snorting and stamping one little hoof
Into her pen Lily would race
Laughing as Donkey gave up his chase.
But on that December 24,
Donkey returned alone to the door
He looked at the ewe and shook his big head
The look that he gave her filled her with dread
A coyote was seen early that day
Stalking and searching out his prey
The wild dogs often came back at night
To catch what they saw during daylight
“I can’t find your Lily,” said the old beast
“Oh dear,” said the ewe, and she looked to the East
The coyotes’ song hung in the air
So eerie but sweet, it gave them a scare
And then, a flash of something so white
Dashed into the barn like a shooting star bright
Lily! The barn cat started his hissing
And mother ewe noticed something was missing
Lily had returned without fail
But somehow she had lost her tail!
Out in the dark, a coyote or fisher
Had tried to steal the lamb but had missed her
All Lily wanted to do was play
But she almost lost her life that day
As Donkey trudged back up the hill
To watch the farm by night
He thought of Lily – now she’s Lil
Who’d given them such a fright
The sun rose high on Christmas morn
As the animals gathered ‘round
To see what the Farmwife was placing on the ground
The scent of molasses filled the air – a very special treat
For animals in wintertime, a snack that is so sweet
But when she looked around she saw that something was amiss
She scooped up the smallest lamb and gave her a big kiss
“Oh my,” she scolded, “come on now, you’ll have your very own pail.”
“It seems that someone in the night has stolen your wee tail.”
Donkey started to wind up his own familiar song
And soon his bray was ringing out, like a bell so strong
“Hee haw, hee haw,” he sang, loud and clear
And all around the barnyard, coyotes shook with fear
The beast was declaring his watch over the sheep
All they had was one tail that they could keep
“I guess,” said the big dog, “we could eat mice,”
“They are here all around and they are very nice.”
And so, with Christmas, we marked one more year
Of life on the farm, which was safe without fear
“Watch out,” said Donkey to the lamb, “I want to be clear,”
“Listen to me or next time you will be missing an ear.”
Life on the farm is never boring
Animals do not rest
Farmers are awake at sunrise
Giving it their best
And so we want to send a wish
To all that may hear
To each Farmer, Merry Christmas
And to all a good year!

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