Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Man and His Dog

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.

A man and his dog go out for a walk on a winter's day. The man follows a hay hauler's tracks through the snow. His dog bounds ahead of him, reveling in the deepest drifts and the scents he uncovers beneath them. He turns to the man.

"I smell rabbits! Let's chase rabbits!
"I'll chase and chase and chase the rabbit and then you shoot it, okay? Okay?"

The man doesn't hear. He's thinking about his cows and the price he got. Should he have held out in hopes of an upturn? He's thinking about his city job and its wages. Should he look for something better? At this age, would anyone else hire him?

The man turns down the section road toward town. In a few moments the dog emerges from a fallow field, shakes the clumps of snow from his coat, and runs after the man.

"Hey! Going to town, eh?
"Maybe we'll see some people. We can jump on them and lick their faces!"

Continued at... A Man and His Dog

Rural Delivery
Outrider Reading Group
Artwork: Walking the Dog in a Winter Landscape

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Winter's Sleep

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.

These are the longest nights. From now until mid-January the sun will set before most of us are done with the day's work. We'll be coming home in darkness and leaving the house again before dawn. Some folks never see their home in daylight this time of year except on weekends.
This is a time of torpor, when many mammals take to their burrows for hibernation. Colder weather and shorter days signal biological changes in the Earth's creatures, including man. Holidays alone are not the reason we do more shopping, put on more weight and feel more tired than usual.
Each of us comes with a built-in biological clock that affects virtually every function of our bodies, including sleep. Blood pressure rises and falls, pulse quickens and slows, and glands secrete proteins according to daily -- or Circadian -- rhythms established by this inner timepiece.

Continued at... A Winter's Sleep

Rural Delivery
Second Nature
Outrider Reading Group
Artwork: Winter's Sleep

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Carol's Tale

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved.

Hardly anyone sings old Christmas classics like "La Bonna Novella" and "Nowell" any more. Both were big European hits in the 16th and 17th centuries. So was the German carol "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" ("Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming.")
Like a well-worn pair of boots left on the back porch, old songs lie forgotten until they lose their usefulness. Then they don't seem to fit any occasion.
One Christmas carol defies this musical evolution. It plays as well today as it did in 1818, and to ever larger audiences. Composed in a single day by two amateur musicians, it began its charmed career in Oberndorf, Austria on a Christmas Eve.

Continued at... A Carol's Tale.
Rural Delivery
Holidays and Notable Events
Out of the Past
Artwork: Church Choir Singing