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Monday, June 18, 2007

Counting chickens

Pie cherries, photo taken seconds
before the appearance of the fox

I have been picking the tart pie cherries, which the birds have not yet scarfed away in a day as in previous years, and these have proved more popular with our Bing cherry-lovers than they expected. Having filled my bucket, I climbed down from the ladder and ambled over to chat with Beloved in the garden, and while we were standing there, a red fox, a very large adult male, ran right by us not ten feet away, then across the road, headed in the direction of the neighborhood pheasant's mating calls. We were nonplussed, to say the least (I've before only seen one in all my fifty-eight years, from a passing car); and then, belatedly, we both ran up to the barnyard to count chickens.

Everyone there (all the Barred Rocks, Khaki Campbells, and White Chinese geese) had clearly seen the fox and were standing frozen into various attitudes like so much feathered statuary. The Araucanas were "within doors" and had blithely missed the show. All were present and accounted for. Beloved rounded them up and put them away for safekeeping.


Daughter has applied to a pre-dental program at a college in the Big City to the North. Recently she received a letter from their financial aid office, with words to this effect: "you are denied financial aid because your parents filed jointly on their federal income tax form."

Excuse me? We've done that for twenty-nine years.

Oh! I get it.

"What do I do, mamacita?" she asked.

"Do you want to be the one to call this guy?" I pointed to the name on the letter.

"You betcha!"

"Okay, tell him that we're both your natural parents, that I've had a legal name and sex change, that in Oregon the legality of a marriage is determined by the sex listed on the birth certificates at the time of marriage, that I haven't even changed my birth certificate yet, and am willing to furnish all necessary documentation."

"Yes, ma'am!" (Well, she doesn't use that kind of antiquated [to her] language, but that was the substance of her reply.)

She found the guy willing to back down, but in such a curmudgeonly way that she called the office again and talked to someone else.

"Who did you talk to?" asked the lady at the other end.

She told her.

"Oh! Some people have no imagination... wait here."

Silence on the phone for a bit, then:

"Everything will be fine, dear; thank you for calling."


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