“ Here we go to another long, cold winter,” George Mackenzie sighed as he took up a menu at Mabel’s Grill the other day. “The winters seem to get longer every year!”
“Actually, seems like the winters have been shorter, the last few years,” said Dave Winston.
“Well I’m hoping that it gets cold enough that the racoons hibernate,” Cliff Murray said. “I could use a rest from them for a few months.”
“You’ve got racoons?” asked Molly Whiteside as she came up to take their orders. “They’re so cute!”
“Oh sure!” George exploded. “They’re cute when they’re in the bush, but there’s nothing cute about them when they’re in your attic!”
“Or a pair of them get up outside your bedroom window and start a debating society at two in the morning, like they did last night,” Cliff moaned. “Then the dog heard them and wanted out to get at them!”
“Yeah, but they’re funny to watch,” replied Molly.
“You aren’t feeding them!” Dave grouched. “I was looking at my corn field and I’m guessing they’ve knocked down a couple of hundred bucks worth of corn.”
“Oh,” Molly said quietly, then took their orders and headed back to the kitchen.
“I’ve got a son who lives in Toronto,” George said. “He tells me they have a population of around 200,000 raccoons in Toronto.”
“Sometimes I swear I must have about that many in my corn field,” sighed Dave.
“I was reading they’re estimated over a million racoons live in Ontario,” George said.
“Sometimes I think the whole million are outside my bedroom window!” Cliff said.
“Sounds like they might be easy pickings if you have a shotgun. I can come over if you give me a call,” Dave volunteered
“Oh I’m sure my neighbours would be thrilled if we set off a few blasts at that time of the morning and disturbed their sleep,” Cliff sighed.
“Too bad it’s the time of the year when you can’t get a little shut-eye after lunch,” said Dave.
“Oh I’m hoping to get a nap this afternoon,” Cliff said.
“What? With all the corn still to be harvested?” Dave asked.
“I’ve only got 35 acres and I can miss my nap the day you bring your combine over to harvest it,” Cliff smirked.
“Yeah, while I still have 500 acres to be combined!” Dave grumbled.
“Well that the nice thing about having cattle,” George put in. “We got our hay in and the silage corn came off in early October, so the summer season is pretty well over.”
“Oh those were the good old days,” sighed Dave. “I remember my Dad said he hardly grew any corn back when he farmed.”
“Those must have been different times,” Cliff said. “I’m reading this book by a woman who grew up about the same time as I did but she was the daughter of a Hippie mother and lived in B.C. and Alberta.”
“We had a bunch of Hippies rented an old farm house near us,” George remembered.
“Must have been an education,” Cliff smirked. “In the book these people seemed mostly to go naked .”
“I don’t know about out there, but they didn’t do it here,” George said. “Too many mosquitoes.”
“We’re just talking about Hippies and when they used to live around here,” Dave explained to Molly when she arrived with their breakfasts.
“Before my time,” Molly said.
“It wouldn’t be as much fun these days, now that marijuana is legal,” Dave said.
“Not for some people,” Molly said. “There were some guys in town here who got arrested for a grow-op in their basement. Apparently they were growing more than they were allowed to and selling it illegally.”
“Yeah, only when the little guy gets in on the action do the police crack down,” George grumbled.
“Huh! Sounds like somebody from my book about the sixties,” Cliff grinned. ◊