Now that November is here, the weather gets colder, and everyone is getting ready for the cold winter. In a way, it is funny to me how much I took for granted living in a boarding or apartment situation. I did not think much about what homeowners had to do to get their place ready for the winter. There are endless chores which involve running around for the last minute of getting this, and that.


This winter, I received a new lesson that Albert and Janet had to teach me. I was trying to figure out how much wood I was going to be burning during the winter time. I had no idea what I was doing; I only knew that I needed wood for the wood stove. The house was so much bigger than my dwellings. Janet always ordered six cords, if it were a bitterly cold winter, the wood would be used up by the middle of spring, though if it were a mild winter, there would be plenty to make due through the spring and possibly the summer as well. I sucked at on the spot do the math, give me the time I can figure things out. My location is like two-thirds of the main floor, and if it takes roughly six cords to heat the two stories, I would only need a small fraction of that. I had decided to order two cords of firewood for this round. If needed, I could always order more wood.


I prefer to use the wood stove as much as possible. While I was getting all this ready, they mentioned to me about making sure the chimney was checked and cleaned. Since this is the first winter here, I would not have thought about this. I know the fireplace is new, I just wanted to make sure everything was in working order. I think the best part about living outside of the city is how you do not hear emergency vehicles all the time.


At the start, the sound of the coyotes scared the crap out of me. I had thoughts that they would be smart enough to get into my tent and eat me. Everyone has heard of the story “little red riding hood.” That is what was rolling around in my head. After a while, I got used to the sound, and I wondered what they were saying to each other. I imagine that they are talking about how they are going to get their next meal at farmer Joe’s chicken coop. The older coyotes were telling the pups stories of how hard it was when they were pups themselves. The story would go something like this “when I was your age, I had to travel many many miles to get food. You have it so easy the humans make it plausible to gather food.”


What would the bullfrogs be saying to each other? Would they be singing the song “there were five speckled frogs?” or would they be complaining about the lack of water to swim in. What about the lone bear? I know what I thought when one black bear came for a visit. I thought shit this is the time I wish Albert and Janet owned a dog! What would the bear be thinking? Possibly “where have all the berries gone, which grew here long ago, the humans replaced it with a road!”
I guess I will never know, though communication with animals is not one of my gifts. And the only animals I want to care for are the chickens, and sheep that Albert has. It is a small amount to look after, and that is good with me. I have to tell this story, there is this one chicken, I have named it Dinner! Every time I would go and collect the eggs from her, she will peak at my hand. One day I looked at the bird and said in a low voice, “your the first one to go!” getting in the bird’s face was not a smart move, she peaked my nose. I went into the house and asked Janet if she felt like cooking a chicken for Dinner. She looked at the blood coming from my nose and said: “let me guess Dinner?” I was like “yep! So let us eat Dinner for Dinner and end my suffering!” Sadly I was not allowed to euthanize Dinner. Albert wanted to keep her throughout the winter and wait to hatch some babies. I was told I had to play nice for the next six to eight months. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, accidents happen all the time … there is still hope for me! To my dismay, after being told this like two or threeish months ago, Dinner still lives!


The coyotes do not want to even mess with Dinner. Actually, they are more interested in sheep. I have to say, I thought a dog would be best to have to protect the sheep. Not even close, Dinner is the boss of the barn, no one messes with that hen.

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