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Getting Ready For Winter
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Our resident woodchuck, Willie, has been out and about lately, fattening up for the winter. You can see the weeds at the edge of the yard moving, then Willie will sit up to look around for a moment, some green salad hanging from his jaws. Since my idea of gardening is to mow around the ferns creeping in from the woods, I'm not bothered by a woodchuck. I like watching him.

As a human, I've often thought it might be pleasant to lead the life of a simpler creature. I don't suppose Willie agonizes much. He knows what he's supposed to do and does it. He's not bedevilled by choices or by mistakes he's made.

I did some preparation for the winter. I nailed a few sheets of rolled roofing over the most badly decayed part of the sun porch roof. Those sheets and several gallons of patching should keep the roof from collapsing until it can be replaced -- by someone other than me. I have no handyman skills. Well, except in this case. The one required skill was weighing 110 pounds. Most people who knew what they were doing would've gone straight through the rotted boards before they had a chance. My knee went through once. I don't like heights so I was glad when the job was finished.

Willie doesn't need to climb up on a roof to get ready for winter. A hole in the ground is a perfect home and holes are free, as are all those succulent weeds that I worked so hard not to wack down this summer. Come to think of it, Willie doesn't need to pay for propane for heating either. Maybe I should be out looking for a hole. What do those weeds taste like? I'm already vegetarian.

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