Stare Out At the Auburn Sky

Pete made a fantastic broccoli quiche with prosciutto, fennel and a sharp Vermont cheddar for dinner, so afterward, he went upstairs and I tidied up. After a minute or two, I heard voices. They were not telling me to do anything, so I assumed they were real voices, but I couldn’t locate them. They seemed very near, too near to be the neighbors. I looked out through the windows and the kitchen door and couldn’t see anything, so I wondered if maybe our housemate had left a radio on. It didn’t seem very important, but then I head the voices again just as two people ran across my backyard. And where most people would run to the phone and call the police, I threw open the backdoor, ran out on the porch and shouted, “CAN I HELP YOU WITH SOMETHING?”

“We saw your garden and, truth be told, enthusiasm overtook us,” said a rather elderly gentleman. So I stopped shouting and talked to him and his daughter, who has just moved in next door and is only trespassing by about twenty feet, about the composter, the solarizing bed, the greenhouse shelves and the raised bed garden. He was very impressed, so I showed him the neighbor’s chicken coop and talked about how easy it is to take classes at the agricultural extension – all the cool kids are doing it. There’s a beekeeper right down the street, even! By the time Pete, who had also heard voices not telling him to do anything, came outside to find out what was going on, I was laughing because my teeth were chattering. We said goodnight. It was at that point that Pete and I noticed I had gone out there without a cast iron frying pan or a chef knife and we wondered if I was out of assault and battery practice.

Chase, the next door tenant’s ambassador to the chicken kingdom.

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