Kenny know when he fell over the weekend and the paramedics were called that his days on the farm were numbered? In
retrospect, I think he knew. The already-dim glimmer in his blue eyes had been weakening along with his stamina for some time.
Despite the medics' advice that he "...go to the hospital and get checked out," he refused.
be alright," he insisted. But he wasn't.
"You grab my wrists and I'll grab yours," I instructed, trying to pull
him from his supine position in bed later that day so he could come to the kitchen for dinner.
can't. I don't have any strength," he reluctantly admitted. Getting him vertical wasn't easy, but he finally
managed to grip the aluminum walker and shuffle out to the table. He only ate a few bites. The writing was on the wall.
next day I noticed the sores on his feet and plans were made to force a trip to hospital. Did he know as the men, one
on either side to help him to the car, that he would not be returning to the place that's been his home for 90 years?
was wearing his red plaid jacket and that infamous green fleece-lined hat, the one with the earflaps that were never quite
up or down. He looked like an old beagle as they loaded him into the back seat. As the situation was discussed
among those of us who looked after the old man I glanced over at the person who has been a daily part of my life, but who
now sat with his chin on his chest, resigned and hopeless. My heart ached for I'm pretty sure he knew his fate and had
no choice but to accept it.
Not even the hundreds of bottles and jars of herbal potions, things like Swamp Root, Grumpy Johnee's Kidney
Potion or Libido Max for Men could halt the ravages of old age. Kenny has just worn out.
It feels strange not to have to plan
and deliver his dinner, tidy up the kitchen, and try to engage him in conversation. Of course there's still Kitty and
Stinky to feed, but Kitty will soon move to her new home and Stinky will have to forage like other skunks do. Things
at Kenny's farm will never be the same.
It's branding time at the Not-So-Okay Coral. The annual mass
mouse migration got underway a bit early this year, but who could blame the little bug-eyed critters? It's cold outside.
The stone foundation of this old house offers plenty of easy entries and so they arrive; eight so far. Cats dispatched
a couple, but the lucky ones wind up in the multi-mouse live trap which is baited nightly. In the morning the captives are
deported to the barn where accommodations may not be so warm and cozy, but that's a small price to pay for safety and grain
galore. I explain all of this prior to granting their freedom. Lest any of them decide to head for the house the
minute my back is turned, White Out branding will identify any unwanted repeat guests. I always wonder what their mouse
friends think of the fashion dot.
the skunk has become quite tame. Kitty knows that when my truck pulls in at Kenny's it's dinner time and it didn't take
long for Stinky to figure out that the red truck meant treats for him as well. Stinky is usually polite enough to allow
Kitty to finish dining before squeezing his chubby self into the ‘mess hall,' but sometimes Kitty sits on the stoop
just a couple feet away and allows him first dibs. The pair seem to have a nice relationship. I enjoy the animals and
the late afternoon solace of Kenny's farm, but the future for the old man is looking stormy.