In one of our school reading books there was a story about several children who slept in a barn on fresh hay during the summer. It was something that I found very intriguing and wished that I could sleep in our barn too.
We talked about it to Mom and Daddy. They seemed a little amused that we would rather sleep in the barn than in our nice comfortable beds, but they agreed that we could on Saturday night before our in-between Sunday. That way we could sleep as long as we wanted to.
For the rest of the week we looked forward to Saturday night and once it finally arrived we headed to the barn before our usual bedtime. Daddy went with us and spread out several buggy blankets on the hay. Mom brought out a few old quilts and pillows and after they said goodnight we settled down in our little nests. We talked for a little while and then lay there listening to the sleepy goodnight clucks from the hens, the goats were laying in their pen chewing their cud. Their sharp little teeth sounded quite noisy as darkness started to envelope us and we could see stars through the cracks in the barn wall.
Our cats couldn't understand why we didn't want to play with them and they continually walked over our blankets and rubbed against our faces. They finally gave up and went to do what ever farm cats do during the night. As we nestled under our blankets we finally fell asleep only to be awakened a little later to a loud thump and a high pitched terrified scream of an animal. We all sat up, John had a flashlight and we all looked trying to see where the noise had come from. The light fell on one of our cats, and we watched horrified as it played and teased a terrified little mouse that kept screaming. I couldn't stand watching it and lay down and pulled the covers up over my head to try and block out the noise. A little later it was quiet and then the sounds of a cat eating the mouse started which wasn't much better.
We finally drifted off to sleep again but awoke later in the night. The barn that had soaked up the warmth from a pleasant summer day had changed as the cold mountain night air seeped in through the cracks. We got up and added all our blankets to one nest and all lay shivering in it until the first streaks of a sunrise stole across the sky.
We hurried back to the house, but didn't really know what to do with ourselves since Mom and Daddy were still sleeping. Once they got up they asked how our night was and we told them about everything. I helped Mom fix breakfast while John, David, and Mahlon went to the barn with Daddy to do the chores and bring all our blankets in. At breakfast Daddy asked if we want to sleep in the barn again in two weeks, but we all assured him that our beds really were the best place to sleep.