Sunday, June 4

Friends in High Places

Mom always taught me not to brag... but in this case I can't help it. In school, I always hung out with many different stereotypical groups, but never could quite get an "in" with those who I considered to be really cool. I had to get past my 10-year high school reunion before it finally happened: I regularly hang with the musicians.

My new musician friends are weird folk, I admit. They tend to repeat the same few bars over and over in their songs, and they ingest all sorts of wacky substances to sustain themselves: grubs, soft-shelled Japanese beetles, and other psychadelic-looking insects. (Artists, man. They'll try anything to foster their creative edge!)

In fact, their weird taste in food is how I befriended them in the first place. Seems they like to stop by and see what sorts of interesting things my shovel turns up for them to sample. As I generally turn over one long strip of sod at a time, they can investigate the just-turned part while I work on the rest.

About a week ago, they were boldly foraging a mere six feet away from me. I came across a rather juicy-looking grub, and before I really thought about it I found myself saying, "Hey Robin, check this out!" and tossing my offering a foot or so in front of my new friend. He cocked his head at me, but then hopped over and scooped it up.
Slurp, it was gone. And he was asking for more.

Now, they come by often while I'm in the garden. If I haven't noticed them, they'll fuss at me until I see them and toss them a bug. If I'm standing up and walking around, they don't hang out much... but they'll stay for quite a while if I'm sitting on my rear end, especially if digging is involved.

It makes the hard labor go quickly to hear them singing to me from the fence posts. For my part, I feed them whatever I find that I think might strike a chord with their palate--yes, even a precious garden worm or two. I hope that they remember how much they like my yard next spring when it's time to build a nest. After all, rent here goes for a song... and meals are included.

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