Arabeth and Ophelia

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.

 

Opalina Meets WinterMan

It’s good to go to bed with a happy tummy

Several northeast North American aboriginal myths deal with WinterMan, a hunter who follows the seasonal migrations of game herds.

One myth that I’m particularly fond of deals with the first and last snows of a season; the first snow is WinterMan following the herds south, the last snow is WinterMan following the herds north.

You can tell what kind of weather is coming based on the tracks WinterMan leaves. Heavy first snow indicates a long, wet winter, light snow indicates a cold, dry winter. Heavy last snow indicates good planting and harvests, light last snow indicates a dry, hot summer.

So far WinterMan has been dead on.

Funny, that.

WinterMan’s arrows, spears, axe, and what-not are the cold, lack of food, lack of shelter, things like that. Stories tell of WinterMan gathering people in his warm embrace, probably because hypothermia causes delusions and death comes in sleep.

Stories also tell of WinterMan caring for those in The Wild.

Case in point, Opalina. This is her first winter. She came out for dinner shortly after WinterMan passed through.

Okay, we provided the food.

But only because WinterMan suggested it.

Boo has issues with Opie

Can’t we all just get along?

Boo, our dog, has issues with Opossums. We’re not sure why.

He also has some issues with Immanuel Vickers, a beautiful and healthy coyote who visits us often. Sometimes, when we’re in bed, we’ll hear Immi and his crew howling it up. Quite nice.

But this post is about Opie and Boo. Boo has no issues with raccoons. Raccoons by the dozens, Boo barely lifts his head.

An Ops? Oh, well, that’s it, right then and there, how dare they, let’s go out and take of this, dad!

I asked him once, “What do you have against opossums?”

“Well…they’re opossums, dad.”

He could not have picked up such prejudice from me or Susan. We both go out and chat with our visiting opossums, dine with them, so on and so forth. Ditto coyote. Ditto wolves.

Where do our children learn such prejudices if not from us?

It’s a foolish question to ask in a media rich world. Especially when they’re young, impressionable, and have no moral reasoning ability.

Do we police their media time? How can we? We can’t police our child individually when they’re out of our influence for a good chunk of the day.

And you know other people aren’t going to police their children, right?

I mean, they’re other people, after all…

 

Ophelia and Arabeth

You can eat. But not you. Or you. Or you.

It’s always a delight when friends get together and dine.

Arabeth, one of our more recent foxen, recently graced us by accepting our dinner invitation. She was shortly joined by Ophelia, one of our longtime resident opossum.

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.

 

Opalina

Say hello, you little cutie, you!

Ah, the young.

Out on their own, discovering themselves, discovering their world, making it, owning it, eating some dogfood.

Remember Ophelia? She had pups.

Every time I went to talk with her when she had pups in her pouch, camera at the ready (me, not her), she shuffled away.

Such private creatures.

Opalina is, we think, one of Ophelia’s pups due to markings.

Also her habit of starting every sentence with “Beware my piercing teeth, Two-legs.”

Whatever.

And such a cutie.