Opanella Stays Warm Under Our Shed

She’s cute and she’s quite the homemaker.

Opanella is small by Opossum standards for this time of year (this video is from the first day of Winter 2019). Last days of Fall, first days of Winter, opossum need to be beefy and bulky, better able to withstand the cold, coming months.

You’ll notice Opanella is neither. Petite, one might say. We first noticed her trundling under our porch. A few years back an elderly opossum decided to pass over there. Had a devil of a time getting his remains out.

So seeing Opanella’s interest there, we blocked her access.

Undaunted, she cast her tiny-eyed gaze on our shed.

Yep, that’s where she’d homesteading now.

Less of a concern, this. She’s well protected and it’s much easier to lift a shed than a porch.

As with all who bless us with their company, we make sure she has something good to eat.

‘Night, all.

 

The Inheritors Chapter 4 – Yu-Ping Chang, 22,360BC

Read The Inheritors Chapter 3 – Reginald Seth Van Gelder, 1635AD

Creator and above level members can download a PDF of this chapter to read offline

The Inheritors Chapter 4 – Yu-Ping Chang, 22,360BC

 
The dogs beat her to the kill, so once again she satisfied herself with the tall, dry, yellow-green shoots of the tundra hiding the mouth of her cave. Far below another band of nomads crossed the plain stretching from the base of her mountain to as far as her eyes could see, the nomads moving across the high grasses like seeds blown in the wind. They wore heavy, thick furred coats and boots, meaning they came south before catching the herd trails taking them north and east, the place the old skywalkers called Next Place, the place some called Heaven.

Hidden from view, she sucked what little juices she could from the stalks in her mouth and wiped the core resins on her skin to mask her scent. The nomads were dirty and smelled, but their dogs knew their masters’ scent and would bark if they got wind of hers. Then these nomads would rush up her mountainside with their stone knives and spears, barbarians whose children were of less use to them than their dogs. At least their dogs would get something to eat.

She spit out a shoot that had nothing left to offer and pulled a tick from her hair, crushing it between her fingers then licking the juices back in. The nomads’ dogs weren’t all tame. Some would hunt their masters as well as hunt with them, an uneasy truce Yu-Ping used when she could. This was the third such party she’d seen, another slow procession to pass the day, the first so long ago she could not count it.

But oh, that day.

Others in her band came running, warning of hunters marching through their lands. Her family and others sought refuge in the mountains the skywalkers said gave them birth. There they escaped the sickness of those first wanderers. Those of her band that did not die on the tundra from the wanderers’ breath died by their hand and were eaten. For that she could not blame them. Many of the herds found their way to the Next Place long before any people followed leaving nothing to eat. Often those in her own band waited impatiently for one of the old ones to die, or in some cases, if the old one had no one, hurried them along.

Her belly ached when those first wanderers came. She climbed further up the mountain than did others in her band. That’s when she heard the horror and, fascinated, followed it to its source: a bear and a tiger rending each other limb from limb at the mouth of a cave, a cave in time she would call her own.

She never saw anything like it, never heard of anything like it. No elder spoke of such a thing. The bear and tiger fought fiercely but for what? Her mouth opened to call the others but her words were silenced by their roars.

She watched for what seemed like days as these two great beasts circled and mauled each other. Blood poured from them, skanks of fur hung from exposed bones, until finally both fell, exhausted or dead she did not know.

What caused these two great ones to battle each other? Powerful magic, this. Old ones and the skywalkers talked of such things but never anything so dramatic as this. Seeing these two animals fight would shape her life, this she knew. It must. She would make it the mission of her life to find out why these two great spirits fought until both lay dead.

She would.

Yes, as soon as she rejoined her band, she would tell them and she would do this.


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Turkeys, NPR, and Morning Coffee

Who would have thought Turkeys would enjoy listening to NPR in the morning, or sharing a wake-up cup of coffee with an old friend?

This video is from almost two months back. We have more recent Turkeyings. Probably get to them about two months hence.

Often a few turkey will come to our windows, peer in, look back and forth as Susan and I sharing a morning croissant.

“Is that a ham and cheese?” one gobbles. Another gobbles, “Is that a blueberry?” and another “Is that a cherry?”

Well, first thing, if it were any of those we wouldn’t share.

Okay, we would, but only because the Turkey guard our backwoods furiously and we appreciate their diligence.

You haven’t lived until you’ve ducked from a wild turkey flying overhead.

Enjoy.

 

The Inheritors Chapter 3 – Reginald Seth Van Gelder, 1635AD

Read The Inheritors Chapter 2 – Tommy Ayers, 210 Cavalos Era

Creator and above level members can download a PDF of this chapter to read offline

The Inheritors Chapter 3 – Reginald Seth Van Gelder, 1635AD

 
He woke up terrified. And pleased. Nothing — Nothing! — Father ever told him mentioned anything like this.

Addie, his nurse since suckling babe, came in at his first stirrings. “Young Master?”

He wanted her to take him to her breast as she had for every fall, every come-uppance, every insult since first he walked.

Instead he pulled his bedsheets tighter around him, feeling naked for the first time before the woman who had washed him since birth.

His young sister Sharon called him from the hall. “It is morning, Seth. Come out and play.”

“Close the door.”

Addie stared at him. “Master Reginald?”

“Close the door , ” he shrieked.

She closed the door behind her and approached his bed.

“Stay.”

Her dark, Welsh-coal hands fell against her white apron and black skirts. “Master Reginald, it is Addie here. ” She raised her arms to embrace him and started towards him again.

“No. ” He struck his foot to the frame beneath the covers of the bed.

She turned and opened the door. “I will get your father. He will see to this. ” She stared at him from the doorway, “full-rigged ” as Father said when talking with his chums.

Seth did not answer. She closed the door and left.

He pulled the scattered bedclothes around him, feeling himself and something else, something new and different recently come from him.

One of his mother’s nurses knocked on his door. “Are you well, Reginald?”

“Yes. quite well.”

The lie sickened him. Something was different today. The childish-fat still clinging to his chest and stomach and arms and face, something Addie rubbed to a fine glow yesterday to make him laugh, not to be touched today.

Not to be touched by Addie.

Father’s heavy steps came down the hall. The door opened and Father stood there, short and solid, balding without his wig but with his mustache perfumed and stiffened until it curled like some vizer’s sword upon his face.

“Get out, ” Seth shrieked.

Father lifted a rod he’d hidden behind him. “That so? Get out yourself, then. Get out of that bed I’ve given you and then get out of this house.”

Mother rushed up behind him and pulled the rod from his hand. “No, James. Please. You know the boy. It’s his fits. It’s not him at all.”

Father bloodied her nose and took the rod from her. “A fit, is it? We’ll see to that. Get out of bed, Reginald. Do you hear me? ” He lifted the rod over his head again. “Get out of that bed.”

Addie came back and stood behind Father. She rested a dark hand on Father’s arm and, upon seeing her, he put the rod down and stared at his wife.

“A fit is it he’s had? See to him, then.”

Addie curtsied to Mother and Father alike. “Yes, Master James. ” She closed the door behind her as they left. “You are well, Master Reginald?”

Seth tensed, hoping to stifle the quivering of his chin, to squeeze shut the watering of his eyes. He promised himself not one summer ago to no longer suffer Father’s rages.

It was no use. His own rage grew at each failed attempt.

Father was correct. He, Reginald Seth Van Gelder, was less than a worthless churl, some high-toby gloak, not fit to be seen by Father’s eyes.

His rage turned inward once again. What had he done? What warranted such rage between Father and son?

Is this the proper fit in every London house?


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Asis Likes Opera (and he owns the yard)

It’s wonderful when you share joys with your neighbors.

One of my joys is music. Can’t get enough and there’s not much I don’t like. Or at least recognize cultural value in.

I noticed Asis the Hawk a’bobbin and a’weavin’ to some classic tunes.

Opera.

I enjoy a good opera. A good Gilbert and Sullivan.

Evidently Asis does, too.

Enjoy.