After I returned home from my travels north to see my family I hit a definite slump after learning the neighbors’ dogs had jumped over the yard fence, crashed through the roof of my chickens’ pen and slaughtered most of them.  Slowly, gradually, I am pulling my inner and my outer resources together to see what I can do to make absolutely certain no unwanted critter can ever again get into my animal yard.

I still do want to have a miniature goat or two, or possibly one big retired sweet nanny.  My 12 baby chicks are very soon outgrowing their box in my bathroom.  What if I decide I’d like to have a rabbit?  A pheasant or two?

What a JOB it is trying to remodel my original lovely goat pen area so I can keep ALL dogs, ALL cats, and ALL sparrows out of this area (sparrows consume massive amounts of expensive chicken feed!)

A HUGE job, a great investment of money and time.  I was too naive, I realize now, as I finished what I thought was a corral complete with small barn and shade shelter.  Now that I am in the middle of improving safety — I see how terribly far off in my assumption that what I had made last spring was ‘good enough’.

Not by a wicked long shot!


And of course I am always thinking of the upcoming books to be published next year as I work outside.  I want pain to stop.  I want infant and child abuse to stop.  I want the world to be NICE!  But – if this teensy experience I am having in my own yard is any indication, it will take a LOT of work to make the world safe for babies and children!  A HUGE investment of capitol and human energy input!

Safety doesn’t seem to be automatic.  Safety is not a given in this world, no matter how ‘modern’ we might like to pretend we are in our society.  What, exactly, will it take to create a world safe for little people so that they can get their needs met – to grow up happy and healthy in every single way?


I remain disappointed that I didn’t know last spring what it would actually take to do this job of mine right.  Remodeling is very unpleasant business as far as I can tell.  Having done this job right in the first place would have been such a better deal!

But I didn’t do my job right.  I still want little animal-people in my life.  I do not want them exposed to ANY chance of being harmed.  That is my responsibility once I choose to bring them into my life.  Nothing like raising children, of course — but safety and a life free from harm is just that!

Last spring I enjoyed every single moment of making the corrals and fences, barn, shade shelters.  I was making a work of art, which it was.  Which it is.  But this work of art is an absolute ZERO at accomplishing what it needs to!

Now I am at the stage of repair – a nightmarish job in my opinion – but one I choose to complete.  Having the little animals in my life is worth it to me.  And today I realized a little bit more about why this is so.


I cannot return to the wilderness of my Alaskan childhood.  I am HOMESICK for the wilderness, my first true love, my only attachment, my friend.  Having small animals (I don’t have land or finances for big ones) allows me to have a tiny bit of ‘the wilderness’ near me.

So tomorrow – back into the hot dusty yard I go like a miner after hopes in the future, a treasure of small life — as I re-create this place of safety.


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    • It is a terrific amount of work!! Not done yet – still hard at it! My chicken vault only a woolly mammoth could get into!!

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