Friday, December 10, 2021 (December’s fullest moon [“Cold Moon”] rises on the 18th.)
From my long-time friend, Julie. Today’s header photo is of her eleven-year-old granddaughter, Abby.
I’ve known Julie and her husband, Dave, for years, but only recently met her son, Matt (Abby’s dad). While checking him out in the feed store where I work, his name popped up on my register. He was buying chicken feed. We started talking.
A couple years ago, Julie and Dave brought Abby to my little ranch for a ride on my donkey, Pimmy. Abby loved that! Matt and I, on recognizing one another, talked about the Christmas Parade looming ahead. I wondered if Abby might enjoy riding Pimmy again, and this time in the Parade. I’ve written previously that she did ride, accompanied by Matt, her Aunt Darcy, and Grandma Julie.
My donkey has proved that she’s a great binder of friends. I’m learning that chickens are too.
Folks at my register with chicken feed share quick stories about their flocks. These are cold days, and some have chickens still laying, others with chickens on pause. Mine still are laying, and although daily yields are diminishing, the chickens are providing enough to share.
Anyway, I was the recipient of three left-over pumpkins. They stayed on the barn floor a day or so. I wasn’t eager to try cutting them for the barn-related animals. Earlier experiences taught me that pumpkin shells and skins are tough-tackles.
But my pony, Sunni, walked over to a pumpkin, opened her mouth wide and took a bite. After chewing, swallowing, and managing to take another big bite, she wandered away. For me, that was a teachable moment.
I set the bitten-into pumpkin and another whole one out with the horses. Next morning, there wasn’t a single sign of pumpkin-remains. Now, I knew it possible to offer pumpkins without having first to cut!
Nonetheless, for the chickens, I halved the one remaining whole pumpkin with a very sharp pruning saw, and set both halves in the chicken area. By day’s middle, both looked like this one pictured. By day’s end both were thin-skin bowls, wobbling in the breeze.
Abby’s love for donkey rides and for her chickens squarely fits her to the local environment. After a few more years, she might routinely come through my cash register line for feed of one kind or another. Then as I’m learning, we’ll swap short stories, we’ll catch up.
Dear Friends: Who ever dreamed that operating a cash register could be fun. Diana