Ever get together with a friend’s family for a meal out?
They don’t seem to mind.
Sometimes when I’m out there, they will gather around me. Raccoon kits nibble at my toes, other kits and pups wait patiently with their elders for me to leave food for them.
I once cracked some peanuts in my hand and two raccoons stood at my feet reaching up.
Do you have any idea how wonderful it feels to know The Old Ones consider you safe?
Not to mention being an easy touch.
A rustling woke us to beauty
One recent night, quite late, we heard a rustling.
No, not reindeer.
Mel and Janice, two mated Coyote, come to visit.
Coyote come at night most often. We’ve seen one or two during the day and we know there’s too much activity for them to stick around. We had a family of beautiful gray fox years ago that came often during daylight, probably because we made sure there was food available.
We still have fox, although also at night.
Smart Old Ones, they.
The frequency we see of Mel and Janice tells us they either have pups or soon will. It can’t be too soon because it is now winter and few Old Ones litter in the bitter cold. Late Winter, early Spring is best. Little ones have a chance to grow through the summer and prepare for a possible scarce winter ahead.
We are careful not to be our Old Ones primary food source.
Sometimes it is challenging, when you see a weak one, a runt. Our hearts tear but that is Nature’s way of keeping the line clean.
Sometimes I wonder why humanity gave up such practices.
But then I also know I would not have survived. Born blind, I would be too much a burden for a tribe to bear, any other talents I possess may have appeared too late to ameliorate the burden.
A friend once said I was probably the smartest person she knew. I laughed. Her husband is a skilled carpenter. He can go from tree to house given enough time.
“People will always ask Mike for help. He knows how to do things. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, ‘Joseph, I desperately need this double-differential calculated!’,” I said.
We all laughed.
But outside, the Old Ones dined and kept their ways, too wise for us, their teachings only shared when properly asked.
Table for One. And another Table for One.
A while back I wrote about Ophelia and Arabeth.
Well, they’re back at it again.
This time Ophelia came to dine first.
Arabeth, you’ll note, is hesitant.
Which is why we set a separate table for her a little further back.
Good host and hostess, we.
Not peace at all costs, more like peace if it’s an obtainable solution.
But truth is, we’ve never had squabbles in our backyard.
Okay, once when some foolish chipmunk decided to have a go at Agnes’s seeds (hence the Chippie War Dance).
But such things are rare.
If only Two-Legs got along as well.
You can eat. But not you. Or you. Or you.
It’s always a delight when friends get together and dine.
It’s wonderful (and wise) that two such different beasties commingle so easily.
You’ll notice Arabeth’s concern isn’t Ophelia, it is us.
Humans, you know…
I’ve lived among them many years. Years longer than an individual fox or opossum could. I still don’t understand them.
Given a full table, given more food than they could comfortable eat, some humans will keep others away, forcefully if need be. They won’t even offer the remains to those who are recognizably hungry.
A table so full you can’t possibly eat it all, so plentiful you have no need to store it, and you won’t share?
No wonder The Old Ones are cautious.