Get Behind The Mule in The Morning to Plow

It was demolition day, as I tore down two old decks. The first one was not bad at all, just tedious as I reversed the screws to take it apart. The second was a living, squirming hell. It had been covered in carpet, which was completely soaked from last night’s downpour. I had to cut the carpet in half just to drag it outside the gate. Under the carpet was particle board: The sawdust & glue concoction that is used in cheap furniture. It has swelled to twice it’s normal thickness from the moisture. I’m always amazed by how people “build” up here. The particle board came apart like a giant jigsaw puzzle. I hauled it away in a wheel barrow… load after load. There was a nest of ants under the particle board. They swarmed in alarm every time I removed a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, racing over to grab a white egg sack and then racing off with the sack held up high, although it was clear that the ants had no idea where to run off to. I kept exposing them one small puzzle piece at a time; extending their hell until all the “decking” was finally removed. It seemed like there were millions of ants, but I’m sure the number was only in the hundreds of thousands. The job made me itchy.

It was a beautiful & sunny day with a 70 degree high and absolutely no clouds. I was looking forward to going home, putting on a pair of shorts, opening up an Alaska White, and going onto my own deck… made of treated lumber.

After a shower, I did just that.

Outside, the voice of John Hammond sneaked through the cracks of the cabin; the sound of the Blues guitar tumbled out of the small, home-made window. I had a book, but my mind was speeding off towards tomorrow. I tried to concentrate on the large raven that was perched on the very top of the immense black spruce that dominates my “yard”. The raven was squawking at the sled dogs next door, because it knows that the lone male dog hates ravens, and he goes absolutely postal when a raven flies overhead, which causes the rest of the dogs to get all riled up. It’s pure hate too; I’ve heard it in the lead dog’s bark. I think a raven once stole his dog food when he was a puppy. I’ve also suspected for a while, that the raven does all of this on purpose, simply because he enjoys tormenting the sled dog. They really are brilliant birds. Fortunately, for me, it is hot for the dogs, and they are in their houses oblivious to the raven.

I’m relaxed and immersed in Blues when I hear car tires on loose gravel, followed by the sound of a car door, and then a second door being slammed shut. I swear out loud and the raven flies off. Someone out on the driveway says, “He must be home, both his cars are here.”

I swear again, and wait for the intruders.

Choppity chop goes the axe in the woods

You gotta meet me by the fall down tree

Shovel of dirt upon a coffin lid

And I know they’ll come lookin’ for me, boys

I know they’ll come lookin’ for me

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

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