The Old Girl’s Still Got It
I wrote in Safe for Another Year that we had not seen Agnes for a while.
We may have been premature.
True, we had not seen that glorious hen in a bit. Perhaps she rested. Perhaps she attended to to her matronly duties.
One can never be sure with matron hens.
But then we saw her. We think we saw her. In all her matronly glory. We’re pretty sure it’s her from her markings and more so because she’s standing where we often put seed for her, where she first performed her Chippie War Dance, and is staring at me, basically saying “Come on, Two-Legs! Gimme some!”
We like to be with our friends for as long as we can.
And the Old Ones…they are the truest of friends.
A little over a year ago I wrote Thankful Turkeys Celebrate – Turkey Day of Infamy 2018.
You’ll be thrilled to know they made it through another remembrance of avian holocaust.
We waited to publish this year’s turkey celebration until all holidays had past.
Safer for them, safer for us.
Sometimes I’ll go out and commune with them. Don’t want to be mistaken for a turkey, me.
You’ll note that Agnes is not in attendance.
We’re concerned, as we miss our friends even though we know they wait for us.
That is The Old Ones promise handed down since before Two-Legs walked on two legs; “We’ll wait for you.”
They have no sense of worlds beyond their own (or at least they’re not telling. I mean, would you? And ruin the neighborhood?) and, as Borges said, “To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death.”
So we ask those that move on to wait for us.
Or they tell us they will.
There is no hurry.
All things return.
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.
Hecate and her kits come out during daylight now. Fewer predators and a good supply of food, I’d guess.
This is not to suggest the children wander about unchaperoned.
Enter Matron Aunt Gracie.
You may remember Gracie. She’s appeared on her own and often with Hecate. They’re BFF, you know.
Gracie will fluff at first when Hecate’s tribe trundles out. They’re not delicate or subtle-footed, this brood.
Then she settles down. Remember toughguy Clyde (aka Brutus)? He’ll charge her. She’ll look down at him and spread her wings. He runs back to Hecate. She ignores him.
Sounds like my mother, my aunt, and me, come to think of it.
There are no egos in The Wild. Not for long, anyway
For about a week, Gracie and Hecate didn’t dine together. Regular readers may remember our previous post about these BFFs and we were concerned when we’d see Gracie or Hecate for a bit. Then one would come, not the other.
Not sure what happened.
Did these BFFs have a falling out?
In The Wild?
Such things don’t happen. Different species will often have overlapping territories. Members of the same species usually don’t unless they’re pack, colony, hive, et cetera, creatures.
Overlapping territories easily occur with different species when they require different resources; a turkey and a raccoon don’t go after the same food supplies.
This brings us to another territorial constraint; same or similar resource requirements. Example: two relatively equal predators usually don’t mark out the same territory. Unequal predators – fox and bear, for example – will have overlapping territories and you know the fox isn’t going to challenge the bear for a bit of food.
In any case, the rules of The Wild make good precedent for us Two-Leggers: Respect your neighbors. Clean up after yourself. Share when you can. There are no egos in The Wild. There can’t be. Egos are expensive and never worth their cost. Rules are simpler in The Wild. There are no empty threats; if Old One A shows a territorial display and you insist on invading A’s territory, A will respond with force to get you out of its territory. Two-Leggers are always making empty threats, most times because they don’t know what’s their territory and what isn’t; the border between selfish and selfless is poorly defined or doesn’t exist at all. Ego kicks in and attempts to create a territory where one doesn’t exist.
And Gracie and Hecate are together again. The borders are intact. We’re glad.
Besides, they were probably off visiting friends.