My parents live, let’s say, rurally. That is, they have a barn, and farm vehicles and a canning shed and a larder and a deer feeder. Among other country-type things.
They still live in the place where I grew up and though The Place, as it’s called, has changed over the 20 years since I left home, you can still see remnants of my childhood. It’s hard for my kids to wrap their little citified heads around the fact that I used to have horses, goats and chores. And even though I point out the fenced pasture (now overtaken by trees and salmonberries since the goat is gone) and the old water trough and what’s left of my tree house, somehow I think my kids suspect I’m making the whole thing up.
Every summer my kids and their cousins get together for Cousin Camp (more on that later) and get a very, very sanitized idea of what country life is all about.
One day at Cousin Camp last week I slept out in the tent with them and I’d forgotten how LOUD nature is. I heard deer running around all night long, their little feet making a surprising amount of noise. At one point I sat up and looked out the mesh tent door to see two deer run right past within a foot of my cot. There was an occasional scampering sound that I’m going to chalk up to moles, but let’s face it, it was probably mice scratching at the tent. I was awakened at dawn (or earlier?) by the excrutiatingly loud sound of dove wings. Hundreds of doves.
And then, there were these guys.
And their mom:
They pretty much own the place.
Even my parents’ cat likes to sit and watch them.