I have a problem with my neighbours. I live in a house with a shared wall, and the neighbours who live on the other side of it are very loud and inconsiderate. They make a lot of noise late at night, and their children shriek a lot – clearly they haven’t been taught about ‘inside voices’. What would you do under the circumstances?
Yours at the end of her tether
SHUT UP KIDS, from the USA
The flock has nominated BETSY BOODLE, otherwise known as FOGHORN BETSY, to answer this question, for obvious reasons.
Dear SHUT UP KIDS
Humans do have such a weird relationship with noise. Aircraft, trains, cars, tractors, combine harvesters – you fill the world with mechanical noise all the time, and you don’t actually seem to notice it! But some noise really gets to you, and I think this is probably your case here. We all like our homes to be peaceful and quiet (unless we ourselves want to make some noise, of course – I myself LOVE to have a good loud bleat, and I have passed this skill to my lambs, especially my daughter Viola! My humans were particularly delighted about that) and your neighbours are making that difficult for you.
Our closest neighbours, the cows, love to make a real racket, and to be honest there’s not a lot we can do about it. We do tend to pay attention to them, though, because they might be making a noise about something which we could do with hearing about. Perhaps there’s food on the way, or the farm dog is on the prowl, or the humans are out and about. But sometimes cows just moo for the pleasure of having a good shout, and they don’t realise that it can be a problem for other creatures. I doubt your neighbours actually have anything important to tell you about, otherwise they would have found other ways of letting you know – so I think we can safely assume that you can ignore what they are saying.
Perhaps your neighbours don’t realise that they can be so easily heard through the wall? I am sure they must be quiet sometime – when they are asleep, perhaps? – and that would be the PERFECT time to demonstrate to them how thin your walls are. You could let fly with a really loud BLEAT and see what happens. Your neighbours might think that you actually have a real sheep in your house, and that might be a Useful Deception, although I’m not quite sure how it would be useful. But you never know.
The problem of the children shrieking is a bit more difficult, because if human children are anything like lambs, they aren’t very good at remembering to be considerate to others. I have noticed that you humans aren’t allowed to BUTT one another’s children, so that particular way of disciplining them is out. Human children sleep too, and so I think waking them up with a lot of noise would also be a clever way of dealing with the problem.
Of course, if none of this works, perhaps your local sheep would be prepared to give you some of their wool when they have finished with it? If you put it in bags and fixed them to your wall, you wouldn’t be able to hear the neighbours at all, and that would solve the problem nicely. And your house would be much warmer in winter, which might be good considering what the weather’s doing in America right now.