Sunday, January 10, 2010

Signs of Rough Weather

When my wife noted in early August how thick the onion skins and corn husks were, I did not suspect that we were in for a rough winter. “You will have to start shucking the corn,” she told me, “because I just can’t pull the husks off. And if you wouldn’t mind, please get the axe and chop up a few onions.” I thought that she had been adding Wizard Water© to her garden, but she swore that she knew better than to do that.

“A hard winter’s coming,” she said. “Haven’t you noticed how wooly the caterpillars are, and what a thick coat Bleb has put on?” I didn’t believe her. Later that month when I found several pounds of acorns in the wagon, I figured someone was playing a practical joke. “No, it is squirrels with foresight,” declared my wife. “Now just you watch the spiderwebs. If they are extra large, and if the crickets come into the kitchen before the first frost, we’re in for some harsh weather for sure.”

“Pah. Old wives’ tales,” I said, and threw the acorns into the pig trough.

I finally had to admit she was right, though, when the pigs started building a chimney. By the time I noticed, they’d gotten as high as the fence post.

“Those pigs will be more comfortable than us,” scolded my wife. “What will you do when you can’t drive the wagon because the roads are iced over? You will sit in this cold house with me, and I will remind you every day of all that you could have done.”

Let it never be said that I can’t adapt quickly. I went right to work. We have a new fireplace now on the north side of the house, and the attic is double-insulated. Still my wife complains. She says she was looking forward to bacon and ham this winter, and I had no right to promise the pigs a room in the basement in exchange for moving their project. Also, acorns keep dropping through cracks in the ceiling.

I tell her to feed them to the houseguests below.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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