In which I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me.
Lately there have been unsettling omens around here. Omens from which one might augur, if one had the knack. In no particular order:
- Two hawks sat on my balcony and watched the young chickens below. Both swooped down. One managed to scoop up a chicken and take it away. The other hawk dropped its chicken, which then ran away at full speed.
- There is a new wren family living in a plastic pitcher on a back porch shelf.
- The stairs to the back porch, high and long, have suddenly come apart at the landing. One can now see that all these years we've all been thundering up and down a staircase put together with approximately four nails, all of which have now given way. Tripp Wrenn, for shame!
- This morning Jethro went nuts, running around and around in his round pen. I had to go see what the problem was. It turned out, he was in high dudgeon due to the presence of a very, very tiny fawn which was wobbling along outside the round pen, but INSIDE the deerfence.
The mother was standing outside the deerfence, watching the fawn, but she ran away when I approached.
While I tried to decide what to do (I was talking to Manhattan Hannah, who was at the time walking to work), the fawn lay down in the grass, utterly still. I hung up the phone and picked up the fawn in my arms. It was warm and smooth and soft and tiny and it didn't struggle at all.
I walked across the grass, cradling it and not wanting to put it down. I opened the gate and put it down gently in the forest and it wobbled away on stilt-like, crooked legs.
I think it was born this very morning.
- Then I went to Lockhardt's trading post (it's what we have instead of a 7-11: ladies grilling southern foods in the back, and local produce in the front next to the cellophane-packaged pork rinds) to get some tomatoes. I narrowly missed concussing myself walking into a cement pole that supports the ceiling. Then I dropped my wallet next to the sweet potatoes and left without it. One of the nice grill ladies called a while ago and told me to come pick it up.
- (Just now, I almost spelled potatoes without an e, just like Dan Quayle!)
- (I dropped my wallet in Walmart last week; amazingly, a nice lady called Hannah's number in New York, it's listed on my emergency card. So then Hannah called me - amazingly, I was still in Wal-mart! - and said, "Ma, a lady has your wallet down by register 4.")
- I went to Harris Teeter and nearly concussed myself again, almost walking into another concrete post, the second concrete-post-near-concussion in less than an hour.
- Earlier the same morning (THIS morning), when we were about to go to the airport so he could leave for Mexico, Zed realized he didn't have his passport. We spent from 4:45-5:25 am looking for it. The time for departure came and went and we were still tearing through his luggage and every pile of anything in the entire house. I finally found the passport in a pile of clothes under his bed.
- One of my young Buckeye roosters had a mis-aligned beak - as he grew it got worse and worse. He couldn't forage with the others, he could only eat scratch (cracked corn and wheat), and eventually he couldn't even manage that unless there was so much in the pan he could basically bury his head in it.
I decided he had to be killed. I read up about it and carried him away, cooing sweetly to him, until we were far out of earshot of the other chickens. As the book commanded, I put him on the ground and put a broomstick across his neck and pulled upwards on his legs. Too hard, I guess. His head came off. His body flapped wildly for a really long time while I desperately gripped his legs and got splattered with blood from his headless neck. I lobbed him over the deer fence for the foxes to find.
- On Sunday the power went out while Mark and I were painting, so we quit. When light was restored, next morning, I discovered my painting was spectacularly bad.