Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Pandemic Files, Chapter 1

It’s been kind of a slow week at the Farr chateau. Went to the grocery store the other day; they were all out of eggs, and now I’m thinking the corner of our front yard that butts up against our neighbor’s wood-panel fence (probably put up so he doesn’t have to be reminded of my lack of landscaping skills), that front corner would be a great area to raise some free-range chickens.

While you’re reading this, I’m sitting on the front porch in an old blue metal chair, drinking a cup of coffee, looking at the corner and yes, I do believe a handful of happy hens could produce a plethora of perfect eggs, enough to eliminate extemporaneous expeditions in search of the aforesaid currently unavailable food item.

(I know, I know. It’s way too early in the year for alliteration and big words.)

Hey look! A squirrel.

One advantage of being pert-near vegetarian is there’s never a crowd trying to buy chickpeas or Portobello mushroom caps. And you never, ever hear someone saying, “They’re out of tofu? What is this world coming to?” because there’s always plenty of tofu to go around. Soft, firm, extra firm, it doesn’t matter – just take a fork and scramble the tofu all up, and if you squint your eyes and use every last bit of your imagination, it might just look and taste like eggs.

No, it doesn’t. I’m lying.

If I had a coop full of chickens working overtime to produce dozens of beautiful eggs, you know what I’d do with them? Well, I’d eat them, of course. But the ones I didn’t eat, I’d share them with you. Yes, you! And you wanna know why? Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Help each other. Someone needs a ride to work, you pick them up. Someone’s dog dies from old age, you help bury it. You feed the hungry, comfort the sick, offer a light to those who are in the dark – a shoulder, a smile, a laugh, and maybe even some extra rolls of toilet paper, if you got ‘em.

Did you know that without squirrels we wouldn’t have toilet paper? Squirrel finds nut, squirrel buries nut, squirrel can’t remember where he buried his nut, nut grows into tree, man comes along and chops down tree, lumber mill magically turns it into toilet paper, squirrel doesn’t care because he doesn’t use the stuff.

Next time you’re in the store picking up a package of Quilted Northern Ultra Plus toilet paper that has the strength and softness you can count on, thank a squirrel.

I just read a “treatise” on squirrels (located on the Mother Nature Network website) that describes squirrels as being “furry little forest ambassadors, using parks and backyards as their urban embassies.” That explains why we celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day every 21st of January.

I guess we missed it. Sorry.

During this crazy time of holing up in our homes until someone says we can come out and play, I’m thankful for being able to sit on my porch with a cup of coffee, think about chickens, and watch the squirrels play “tag, you’re it” from tree to shining tree. That’s just the cards life has dealt me; has dealt us all. So, don’t fret too much, help others, scrub your hands with soap and water, and take time out of your day to go watch some squirrels.

Maybe even encourage them to go and bury more nuts.

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