Waiting for a tenant

by cheri sabraw

Last week on a day sure to bring out the rattlesnakes, Irv arrived with the owl box packed in his truck.

The Judge had done his part. His post-hole digIMG_3771ger almost broke from the clay cement soil thirty inches down.

Irv brought the box, the supplies, and the laughs.


“You can put your shovel away, Irv. The Judge already dug the hole,” I volunteered.




The audience rested along the fence in a repose, exhausted from the cruel and usual punishment.


The owl box, for its part, feigned weight and awkwardness, hitching a ride on the Gator instead of being carried like the stationing of the cross.

IMG_3770Irv dumped rocks into the hole and shavings into the box.



The owl box stands now in the orchard, waiting for a pair of barn owls to cuddle up inside and get busy producing heirs.

Meanwhile, while we wait, the voles and gophers are tearing up our lawn and plowing through the orchard in defiance.

Soon they will seek asylum from the Ranchovian Embassy but none will be forthcoming because they are traitors to the cause: a bountiful harvest next November.

For his part, Irv the Impressionist and maker of ecological housing, signed his name, took a long slug of ice water, and drove away.

He reminded me to be patient.

Owls usually shack up in January.

When an owl pair arrives, I will show you all.


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Education, People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Waiting for a tenant

  1. T E Stazyk says:

    Did you say rattlesnakes???

    • Cheri says:

      I did. We are mindful walking around the property, especially by rock and wood piles. As you know, the babies are the most dangerous. Dinah watches out too…

      • T E Stazyk says:

        Are snakes and dogs natural enemies or do they respect each other?

        • Cheri says:

          That is a very good question.
          Here’s what I have observed: If Dinah sees a snake moving around she will approach it (unfortunately). I’ve known several dogs who did the same and were bitten on the nose or neck.
          I don’t think a snake would have any interest in a dog unless provoked.

  2. Brighid says:

    This is going to be such fun for you, and hopefully death from on high to the varmints.

  3. Richard says:

    A fine piece of sculpture and just the right setting by the woods there.
    But are you sure the owls are into abstract art?

  4. Cheri says:

    Hello Richard!
    Good call. Perhaps they are romantics or from the Barbizon. I tend to think that under the influence of a bright moon, barn owls might appreciate Carvaggio’s chiaroscuro. Yeah. That’s it!
    What to do you and Glenys use to keep the critters away from your vegetables?
    Boo hoo!! A squirrel, we think, ate all of the ollalieberries.

    • Richard says:

      To wit –
      For foxes: Rolling Stones
      For slugs, moths, aphids, larvae and ants: Beatles.
      For sparrows: according to Wellington’s advice to Queen Victoria on how to rid the Crystal Palace of them – “Sparrow hawks, Ma’am.”
      For a multitude of species: old ladies who swallows flies – but they are increasingly hard to woo into helping out.

  5. Cheri says:

    You are funny and witty.
    I’ll keep these remedies in mind.
    But Glenys and I are not old ladies, right?
    Also,please send me your blog address so I can add it to Digg now that my Google Reader died.

  6. Pingback: Hogwarts in the Olive Orchard | Notes from Around the Block

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