Someone Raids the Compost Pile

It started with a piece of cabbage. There was a piece of cabbage in the yard. I went over to stand near the vegetable scrap. I scratched my head as i examined it. What was a piece of cabbage doing in the yard? 30 feet away i could see an orange peel….and now that i was looking, there were vegetables spread out in every direction as far as the eye could see. I went around gathering them in my apron, trying to make sense of how they got there. Squirrels? Was Max pulling things through the square holes in the fence… the fence. Cashew! I dropped my bounty in the grass and ran to where the fencing around the compost pile had been. There was a mangled, folded, sideways origami of fencing that had once been a neat and tidy circle with a compost pile in the center. Cashew stood a safe 25 feet from me looking on with interest. “You!” I pointed a finger at her accusingly. She turned and ran. The sun was setting and i had no time to lose fixing the compost pile. I couldn’t go after her just yet. I pried the fencing apart and shaped it into the best circle i could manage with the wreckage she had left me. I gathered as many scraps as i could find and put them back on the pile. I needed rebar to hammer the fencing into the dirt but i didn’t have any. There was no hardware store in my town. I had to improvise. I grabbed my hammer and the box of 3 inch screws from the shed. I hammered the 3 inch screws into the dirt at an angle, catching the bottom edge of the wire fencing beneath the widened head of the screw. Each time i hammered a screw into the ground i hammered one at an opposite angle on the other side, trapping the fencing between the two. In this way i secured the fencing to the ground all the way around the circle. It was a short-term fix but it would have to do. Exhausted and angry i put my tools up, locked the shed, and returned to the house. Sili came in for the night. Cashew was nowhere to be found. I thought maybe i’d been too hard on her. Maybe she was feeling remorseful for all the extra work she’d made me. Then i remembered who i was dealing with. She was an incredibly useful dog but “remorse” was not in her vocabulary. I took the lantern through the dark, back to the compost pile and sure enough, there she was. On her face, she had the look of a child on a road trip with her finger 2 centimeters from her sibling’s face singing, “i’m not touching you. I’m not touching you…” This child of mine. As i’d told her many times before, i said, “You’re going to be the death of me.”

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