Thursday was a gray morning with me stepping into my boots, trying to keep my second cup of coffee from spilling, when the phone started ringing. It was our next-door neighbor, asking, nicely, if I could come over, which, being neighborly, I said sure, of course. Coffee down, hastily-kicked-off boots back on, I was over there in a flash.
Life on the farm has put me in contact with two expected but not necessarily always welcome things: Poop and death.
Poop is mostly welcome, though I admit there is that maddening period of time wherein the snow has retreated yet the hose remains frozen: poop, courtesy of free ranging chickens and turkeys, is everywhere on the walk and the deck. (The hose has remained unfrozen for a couple of weeks now, yay!) I am an inveterate harvester of poop and bedding, and goodness poop is what makes a farm productive so…as long as it stays out of the house, poop’s not a bad thing in its ubiquity.
Death, though, is also everywhere. I found it ironic that this morning my neighbor happened to call when I had already killed or found dead five things (three trapped mice, one cabbage butterfly and one egg-stealing raccoon) and they were asking me to help with a sixth: their fourteen-year-old Golden retriever had died in the night. Their 120-pound dog. Yes. Who’re you gonna call but the feedsack-slinging, haybale-hauling, ditch-digging, raccoon-shooting neighbor, heck, SHE can lift old Annie into the trunk.
And I did. Then I went back, got my now-cold cuppa, and had a sit in the old greenhouse, musing about my lot. There’s turkey poop on my boots, I notice, and that first greenhouse bed needs more compost. More poop, more death, to bring more life.
Sometimes, you feel small.