Lively Bones

Mist covers the morning, greyed, as though the road dirt has tainted it. No sun burns through. Cold holds the day. Snow could fall. The field where the old barn sits, beams cracked; calm in the process of demise; is unpopulated. The walk leads off road, over the stile and finds a line of spine and rib, a skull, the bones of two back legs. What was badger lies on grass, posed like a medical illustration, too unusual to be repulsive. Shinbones poke down into feet, a dancing skeleton in boots. Because of this: the curiousness, the nonchalance, it seems composed to this fate, even celebratory; it retains a certain vitality.
I lived a badger's life, it says, and died a badger's death. And that is how wise badgers judge success.
Dog sniffs, seems to agree, trots along the hedge, down the broad curving grass, over the opposite stile. Mud, ankle deep, heaps on rubber booted feet. They wash clean in the brook. A swirl of wet earth flows over flat stones, under the reflected sky. Footprints press the soft surface of the last unturned field, back out to the small road.
Wood smoke puffs from the kitchen, smells of charcoal and shelter. Daffodils; the scrunched and ruffled kind; cluster on a windowsill. 


Wow! Severed animal limbs seem to be a theme of late. A friend recently posted about part of a deer limb that was left on her front step, she thinks by coyotes. Very odd!
Lisa Southard said…
I often find bits of animal while out walking but since the cat became elderly we no longer have them delivered. I picked up a deer femur today for my brother who has a hankering to make a shepherd's knife handle from bone. The badger bits are still up in the field: I'm fascinated by the process of it being assimilated back into the earth.
Perhaps the coyotes wanted her to make soup?

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