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Another Day in the Country

The hunt is on

© Another Day in the Country

Red-tailed hawks are sitting on fence posts this morning, and I wonder why.

Are they fully fed, tired, protecting their territory? Usually you see them wheeling overhead, searching the ground for prey, hunting. I hope they are not hungry.

A black cat sits in stony silence by a culvert, and I wonder why.

He is watching something, but he doesn’t move a whisker. Is he hunting? Is it breakfast that he wants or just amusement?

My cat often sits this way beside the tall grass in the defunct alleyway that borders our yard. Never mowed, undisturbed, in that patch the wild kingdom holds sway. Marshmallow sits silently, mesmerized by what he sees, or maybe hears.

A coyote runs across the road, looking furtively behind, and I wonder why.

“Stick to rabbits,” I say, “and stay away from the late spring calves.”

Deer skittle through the greening fields in my peripheral vision. I’m grateful they are staying to the high ground. Is there enough for the geese nibbling greens as well as the deer and the farmers, too?

I took water out to the chickens this morning, dumping what was left in the trough on the ground, and the chickens came running like I’d handed them treats. Sure enough, there were goodies exposed. Sometimes scratch grain I throw to them lands in the water dish, and those smart hens were delighted with water-soaked seeds, their version of porridge as they hunted for more. Chickens are always hunting for something as they scratch their way through the day.

It’s a lovely day and everything is on the prowl, hunting.

As I drive by, I hope the hawks have plenty of food and that someone gives the black cat kibble. How do the wild things survive in our midst?

Soon meadowlarks and red-winged black birds will be claiming fence posts, and hawks and buzzards will climb through the air, hunting, all hunting.

And as I ply the roads, I’m hunting, too. I’m hunting for groceries. Is there parsley in Herington, cilantro? Or must I wait to make tabouli until I drive to Abilene?

I’m on the hunt for friends to have coffee with and comrades in arms who exercise faithfully. I’m hunting for health and flexibility, something I doubt the wild kingdom worries about.

On weekends I hunt for entertainment, be it the Selected Shorts showing at the Art Center theatre in Salina, or the ever-present temptation of just walking through Marshals.

Do I need something? Is my closet empty, my shoes worn through, my jeans outgrown? No, I’m just hunting for inspiration, a bargain, something new and different. There is no real need involved other than adventure.

Some days I hunt for meaning beyond sweep and cook and rearrange. I hunt for favorite passages in books and write them down to reread when I’m in need of soul food if not sustenance.

As I go through magazines, I’m hunting for some new recipe to try, the latest fashion trend. So silly. We’ve been there before; but who’s to know?

Hunting. This is what makes life unusual. Never knowing what we’ll find, always on the lookout for something new, keen eyed observers of what makes up another day in the country.

Last modified March 1, 2017

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