Sunday, August 30, 2009

Voices in the Night



A recent post by GB reminded me of a night several years ago, when I was living at Tapora. My house was set quite a distance back from the road and had a beach access track that ran through the farm passing close to it. The access track was only meant to be for walking but my son didn't mind people taking vehicles through the farm as long as they left the gates as they found them. The nearest neighbour's house was several hundred metres away, behind a shelter belt of trees.

One night, around 2 am my dog woke me with his barking. It wasn't a bark that alarmed me, not a 'hello stranger' or 'hello person I don't like' bark. Closer to his 'get off my patch' bark that he kept for any bird that landed on a fence close to him or any rabbit that crossed his line of sight.

His kennel was about 20 metres from the house, beside a farm equipment shed. So I yelled at him to be quiet. But he didn't, he just kept at it. Another yell, louder and more impatient, same result. I gave up trying to get back to sleep, got up, turned on the light and went to the back door where he would be able to see me by the light within. I spoke to him but could not quieten him. Finally I went out to him, asking him nicely what was the matter.

When I touched him he quietened for a fraction of a second before starting up again. He was pulling at the end of the chain and trying to go in the direction of the beach. I was getting quite annoyed with him by this time so spoke harshly to him and he stopped and sat at my feet whimpering unhappily.

But he was quiet enough for me to pick up the sound of mens' voices. I turned to look through the dark in the direction they were coming from and could see the lights of a vehicle shining up out of a dip in the access road. Then I heard, "Shhhh. Shhhh", mumbled mens' voices then the most amazing mens' giggles. Yes giggles. A bit more Shhhh-ing, hushed voices, I thought I heard my name mentioned, more giggles, then the vehicle started up and continued on its way out to the beach.

The access track to the beach


I really wanted to know what had happened down the track that night. I imagined a few mates going out fishing, something funny happening just down the track past my house, they stopped and were having a laugh about it when they heard Lewey barking and saw my light come on. I could imagine them saying, "Shhhh, we've woken Pauline up." but I couldn't imagine what that something might have been.

Tapora was a very small community and I asked around but there was no gossip circulating about that night.

It remains a mystery. And I'm fine with that. Except I know there is one funny story out there that I've missed out on. And I'm not fine with that.

3 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I'd have been a bit more spooked by that I think. I was going to say that I'd be locking my door when I realised that I live in 2 places where I never have to lock the doors at night. But.....

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  2. Great story! I always listen to my dogs, they are my guardians x

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  3. I'm impressed by your ability to differentiate your dog's barks -- my two are idiots who bark their heads off at any noise outside. Or maybe that's just the way it seems to me, and they're really saying, "What's wrong with her? Can't she tell a "welcome" bark from a "mailman" bark from a "squirrel" bark? What an idiot!"

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