Farm Eight

If this were 1781 or 1856 I’d write the weekly letter home.

“Dearest Mother, How is Aunt Maybelle? Tell her not to take too much of the laudenum. As it is habit forming.

“As for myself I am confined to my room with a corona sickness. But do not fear. I know that my redeemer liveth and by the grace of God I shall come through. Do not worry over much.”

But this isn’t something to write home about. It’s the damned flu is all and I need someone to poke a hole in my head to relieve the pressure. For all its side effects trepanning had its advantages.

I fell asleep and in my nap I found myself on a farm crouched on the ground at the foot of a deep hedgerow. Something was calling to me. It was necessary to humble myself with an ear to the ground and an eye in the dirt to peer into the dim tangle of undergrowth.

In a moment I saw something I hesitate to describe. No doubt some will judge me to be touched. I don’t doubt it, but that’s beside the point.

It was a family of field mice just sitting down to supper. The table was simply but neatly laid. Grandfather was present (he was the one moving slow, as he seemed to have a bum leg, deformed, perhaps, by an unfortunate encounter with some sort of spring-loaded contraption), and there were, I think, only 15 children.

The sound of the tiny dinner bell is what had drawn my attention. Such a cozy, home-spun simplicity was something of which Thoreau would have been proud. I wished I could join them, the feeling was so strong.

It was a peaceful rural scene to be sure, and my perspective on small agri-rodents changed forever.

But alas, the moment left as quickly as it came. The scene was withdrawn from me, so I withdrew my head from the hedge in resignation and found myself in bed sick again, drooling from the mouth and snotting (?) from the nose.

“Dearest Mother, believe me when I say that to judge another species from recycled hearsay and fairy tales is the height of foolishness.

“Also, it is a good idea to lay on your back whilst napping.”