As many of you may know, I have a certain affinity for chickens, having thought I was one for a few years as a child until the medication kicked in. It didn't help much that my family members called me Foghorn Leghorn during the toughest times, but that was/is my family and thus is unchangeable, according to them.
Which I guess explains why it is so bothersome when my chickens turn up missing. Not just one or two due to the wily ways of some predator, but in dozens, such as approximately two dozen during the period of my absence from the Ecuadorian coop. Even Bolivar, my famous cock, was whisked away under cover of darkness while my head was turned toward the Northern Hemisphere. I have begun a round of questioning regarding this fiasco and so far have come up with nothing. Except for this: Apparently, during a heavy rain storm sometime in the spring, the back wall of our property, which does not belong to us, the wall doesn't, I mean, the property does; said wall crumbled leaving the wide open spaces beyond it open to Bolivar and his clan to do a little exploring. Luis is insistent that they vacated the premises and met their fate in that manner. Later, Luis suggested that the neighbor who is building the wool factory next door and behind us, may have taken the opportunity to either stock her freezer with Bolivar bits or to create her own new platoon of fowl. In any event, I have seen neither hide nor feather of the chickens since our arrival.
Otherwise, all seems relatively well. Mary found two scorpions hiding behind the ceramic borders of the temporary dining room, their appearance and ultimate demise then prompted a story from Luisa, who says her grandmother once told her that the best remedy for varicose veins is to catch two scorpions and one millipede, place them in a glass full of cane alcohol, leave them for one week and then use the liquid as a treatment for that particular disorder. When I reminded her that scorpions do sting and that it hurts, she looked at me as if I had missed the whole point of the story, that being that some things abut the world are dangerous but that doesn't mean they can't make good medicine. I am duly humbled. And she also said, "You know, you really can't find a decent scorpion when you're actually looking for one." I must admit, that is the first time I've heard that phrase in all my 63 years.
I will endeavor to join you all on a more regular basis now that I'm here again. The word for this season is beauty. I have vowed to appreciate all things beautiful in the world, and to that end, as some of you may understand, I have installed a mirror in my study so that I may gaze upon all of those little glimpses of beauty around me. Oh yes, and all the beauty beyond the mirror as well. See you all soon.