Saving A Desperate Creature

in which I try to rescue a desperate creature

Early mornings are dark and quiet in November. I put on my boots, coat, and hat to walk out with a bucket of kitchen scraps in hand. I pause to appreciate mist rising from the pond and autumn’s complex scents. Some mornings I chat quietly with birds and trees as I head back to the barn. Other mornings I sing.

This particular morning I’m wearing a heavier coat against the cold, an orange hat in deference to hunting season, and carrying a bigger pail than usual. As I walk I notice a muted squeaking sound. Immediately, I imagine it coming from some small creature. I picture its dark desperate eyes. Maybe it is trapped or injured.

I slow and the squeaks become harder to hear.

I stop. The squeaks stop too.

Poor wary little thing, I must be close.

I walk slowly toward tall grasses lining the creek. A few desperate squeaks can be heard. I pause, hoping intuition might tell me where this little animal is hiding. There’s probably nothing I can do, but if it’s trapped I can free it. If it’s injured I might be able to move it to a place safer than the side of a flood-prone creek.

I stand still, listening.

Nothing.

Okay, I say to myself. It’s your imagination.

I head back toward the barn.

The squeaking starts up again, rhythmic and desperate.

Logic is late to this adventure, but it finally clicks in. I’m carrying a large bucket, one we left out on the cold porch overnight. The squeaking noise I hear is the handle rubbing against the sides. I stop to confirm. The squeaking stops. I feel silly. I also feel, against all reason, enormously relieved for the creature I’d imagined in distress.

I take a deep breath and continue on toward the barn, ever more grateful for the peace of the day.

I hope your morning is less emotionally fraught.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she's a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, ponder life’s deeper meaning, talk to chickens and cows, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art. Blog: lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/ FB: facebook.com/FreeRangeLearningCommunity FB: facebook.com/SubversiveCooking FB: facebook.com/laura.euphoria Twitter: @earnestdrollery
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6 Responses to Saving A Desperate Creature

  1. Charmingly related story – thanks so much for sharing. You made me smile this morning and feel an “I could so see myself doing exactly that” moment.

  2. katechiconi says:

    Your heart is made of warm marshmallow and compassion in equal parts… You hear the sound your heart imagines, not what cold logic might have instantly suggested. I’m glad there was no small and desperate furry creature in your life that day.

  3. Marie Pierre says:

    Hi
    what a great story full of compassion! and empathy, I was imagining a little frozen vole! I’m glad it was only a squeaky bucket. Nice way to start the day, thank you!

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