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Feeding The Flock

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Feeding The Flock

I woke up this morning at 6:10 and then decided to turn over and go back to sleep because I could. H was still asleep which was unusual since retiring. Even after a year he is still on work time and usually is up by six am every morning. What was the point of rising at the crack of dawn when there was nothing pressing on our calendar? 

At seven-thirty I decided it was time to start the day. H usually feeds Franklin the turtle and the Foster the cat, but since he was still snoozing, I made coffee and then began feeding animals. 

I dropped the container of fish food in Franklin’s tank as I was feeding the school of fish we had acquired while trying to get Franklin to eat last month. He doesn’t have a taste for fish and we haven’t decided what to do with them. You know how fast fish multiply don’t you? 


After scooping up the flakes floating on the surface, I threw the jar away and made a mental note to buy more. 

When H came into the kitchen I was in the middle of filling up the dish detergent pump on the sink. While trying to get the fish food smell off my hands, the well had run dry. 

He went out to feed Foster, who was meowing at the back door. Evidently, according to H, I had fed the animals in the wrong order. The cat gets fed first because the turtles are usually waiting,  then Franklin and the fish. I told him he probably needed to write all those directions down for me because I didn’t know there was a law about who got fed first. 



I wasn’t planning on feeding the birds and squirrels. I left that detail to H. The squirrel’s eat no matter where you put the food! 


By nine am we had finished breakfast and I was folding my second load of laundry and planning my day in my head. I sent Deb a quick text to ask her what time she needed me to pick up the pillows she was cutting. Twenty minutes later she called me and asked if I could go in to work for a few hours. 

“Of course I can,” I said. 

It’s not what I had planned in my head earlier. I was going to sew on some outdoor cushions for my sister and then run to Niceville to pick up and then sew on pillows in the afternoon. It was a rainy day and we couldn’t go pick blueberries as we had planned. Somewhere in the day I had planned to add more chapters to my latest fiction book. 

I told H he would have to fend for himself. I had to go to work. I had some sliced roasted turkey he could have on a sandwich for lunch and some soup in the cabinet. When he went out to move his truck from behind my car I dug in the cabinet for the soup and knocked a jar of salsa onto the floor. Crash! 


There was salsa and glass everywhere. Now this wasn’t just a jar of salsa. It was Casa Manana salsa from a restaurant in Louisiana. It was the BEST salsa and I couldn’t get a replacement in Florida. It also wasn’t my salsa. It was Andrew’s salsa. Sorry Andrew. 

I spent fifteen minutes cleaning the mess up before I finally left for work. My day went much better from there, but my house smelled like a Mexican restaurant when I got home. We went out to eat Chinese because there are no good Mexican restaurants in Florida. 

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

4 responses »

  1. Lordy? I’m so glad for not having animals around. Yeah they’re cute an’ all. Do not miss any rituals of feeding. I mean they’re freeloading off us. Loved it when I had them. Yet my life is now beyond that. I listen to the gulls, geese and summer birds in the mornings. That is wonderful but no responsibility. Roast turkey? I don’t eat animals or birds. It is always strange when people talk about it.

    Blueberries? Now I know you’re in the south Blueberries here not until maybe next month. Better yet are the mountain huckleberries that do not appear until late July.

    When I had a cat and dog living with me. I just kept their bowls filled and they regulated themselves.

    The local park has turtles in the ponds. That’s about as far as I get.

    I have a bag of stale crusts in the trunk of my car and will toss a handful in the many parking lots of shopping malls. I wonder how they exist? I mean how many outlets selling foods and stuff can survive? The mega stores, the supermarkets, the booze shops, like soldiers standing to attention they’re all around. I was happy living on the edge of wilderness. Now immersed in a consumer paradise. Where does it end? Cheers Jamie

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    • While feeding the birds, the squirrels take advantage. We have yet to find a squirrel proof bird feeder. They are fun to watch though. We had such a mild winder the blueberries have been ready for weeks now. Usually it’s late June that we go pick. The strawberries were ripe a month earlier too and I hear they are still picking! We have to bring the cat food in at night because the raccoons sneak over to eat. I hope someone cares for us in our old age as well as we do the animals! Ol! ~Elle

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      • My son’s mother-in-law had some. Honestly I cannot remember how they worked? I think they span around once the squirrels got on them? Two years ago, I was staying with her in her house. She generously allowed for that, as a trial run for her, sharing her house with tenants. All for nought now, as she has come to the end of that road now and has to sell.

        When her, then husband was there. They had a whole run for the squirrels. An obstacle course if you will? Ending in this spinning tray. My time there saw only some bird feeders and the inevitable rats underneath, that the free seed enticed. When I lived in my house in Nelson. Some neighbours three houses away, would feed the squirrels, peanuts. Every so often I would find the nuts, in my plant containers.

        Another neighbour had a cat and a door cutout for the cat. One night she went into her kitchen and found the racoon happily eating the cat food.
        Cheers Jamie

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