Sometimes I wake late in the night (or early in the morning) with something write downable.
It’s an authoring thing.
When I do, I check for guests.
Never know who may be joining me at the table.
It’s comforting to know The Old Ones are out and about.
Case in point, Opinetta the opossum.
Often, knowing our guests are taken care of, I write more profoundly.
Not necessarily better, merely with more energy.
It’s a good thing.
Our dog, Boo, has issues with some wildlife.
We’re not sure why.
We’ve never encouraged it. Quite the opposite. We’re open and friendly with all the Old Ones who visit.
Some times Boo is asleep, wakes up, and see’s me going out to say hello.
We’ve explained there are outside friends and inside friends.
We think it’s something more primal.
Something long ago and lost in canine and didelphine memory.
A opossum and a wolf walked into a bar, perhaps, started toasting each other’s good health, someone said something, you know how these things happen.
I doubt it started with an argument over a mate, even though the original Powhatan/Algonquian word means “white dog.”
Maybe an opossum or a dog was slumming, spending time with the other, got caught by their peers and later generations still carry the shame?
Don’t know, except that Boo doesn’t like Opie.
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.
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.
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.
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.