Monday, March 16, 2009
Footsteps in the night...
If you live in a suburb and it's daytime and you hear soft and small and rapid footfalls, you know the children are playing happily outside, and right in the yard where you want them to be. As long as there are no shreiks, in which case it could be the neighbor dog chasing them. You get up from your reading and peek out the window in case you are needed. The chance it's not a bear is great.
If you live in the city and it's nighttime and you hear hard and heavy and rapid footfalls, you hide in your closet. It's definitely not a bear, but there are worse things than bears.
If you live in the country and it's daytime and you hear heavy and lopsided footfalls, it's the cat. Cats can make themselves sound ten times as heavy as they are. You smile and go back to your reading. She only thinks she's a bear.
If you live in the country and it's nighttime and you hear any kind of footfall at all that is coming from outside, the animals are out and running around the house and in and out of the garden. Herd animals do not do this alone. You get everyone up right away and grab the flashlights and go capture the wild beasts and put them away and fix the hole in the fence or close the unlatched door, and do it now before they get into the neighbor's peas in the garden or hay in the barn. This is worse than being chased by a bear, and if one happens to emerge from the woods tomorrow, you will feed the entire herd to him.
These are important applications of universal rules and every homesteader should learn them.