Monday, February 17, 2014

Time and the Weasel

It's my vacation this week and the kids are still in school. I have time. It's the most precious resource in today's world, because there is just not enough of it. Everyone is so overstretched and our expectations are so overblown. That's the cause of the demise of most marriages, according to this interesting article, just not enough time to spend together between couples what with working all the hours to make ends meet and keep up appearances. That's why I feel blessed to have vacations as a public school employee. Plus living in New Hampshire where it's okay to live fairly close to the land and heat an old house with two wood stoves. The stories I've heard so far this winter of people running out of money to pay propane bills, or running out of wood. It takes work to make a marriage last and it takes work to live an old-fashioned self-sufficient life-style. But the one thing they have in common is the element of time.
Yesterday I called a neighbor here to help me with a weasel problem. The little guy had already killed two hens two nights ago during a heavy snow. I went and looked and found no tracks leading in or out of the coop. When I moved one of the nesting boxes, I saw his little white head. This neighbor is a hunter who spends a lot of time in the woods. When he called me back he was in the car on his way home from Manchester and he said he had been looking forward to a pretty boring day when he got home, so he was happy to come over. He'd brought with him  a .22 pistol designed by his friend Bill Ruger. He kept the pistol low behind his car and we stood in the driveway for a long time waiting for my wife to pull away in our car where I'd parked it cross the road with the kids. I don't think he was joking about him being his friend either. This guy is pretty well-connected, like a lot of hunters around here, very Republican. But a great guy. So we went around together and I moved the box out of the way and he popped him, took three shots and then he apologized for taking so many. Typical. It was beautiful white fur. They change over in the winter, just the black tip of the tail left, which was valued by royalty in the old days - ermine. He took it home with him and said he'd skin it. Like time, the beauty of animal hides is something we've lost, but some people hang onto.

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