1. Earthworms 2. Coyotes 3. Egg 4. Cat


Yesterday when I pulled a length of arugula out from one of the hoop houses, there was an amazing show of earthworms in and around the plants’ roots. I had never seen so many worms. I kept stopping to watch them, to bump them along with my finger, to smell their soily home. Earthworms are no geniuses, maybe, but they do know what they want.  Yet the thing is, what worms want is likewise what I want. Is it possible that man and worm can somehow hookup over some common need? Some life force?

It is possible. This:

soil rich in organic matter


One night about two weeks ago, there erupted an astonishing brouhaha in the vicinity of our fire ring. It was coyotes, a great gathering of them, maybe ten or so, the most I’d ever heard so close to the house. Our dogs, which usually go crazy when they hear coyotes on the mountain, went mute; after an initial rush to the door, they returned to the fire, flopped down, and didn’t move. Turning off the lights, I slipped out onto the deck. The sky was massive, bright and constellated, yet dwarfed it seemed by the song of the coyotes. Coyotes make a variety of sounds, and for maybe two minutes their uninterrupted shrills and yaps gathered in the night, hovered, and covered me. Orion, who was directly overhead, seemed listening, too. But then they were gone, disappeared. When I stepped back inside, Quetzal was at the window, her nose against the glass, and when I turned on the lights I could see she was crying. I didn’t say anything, and she didn’t say anything. Everything worth saying had just been said.


When Quetzal found me in the pasture yesterday, she had the egg basket in her hand, and in the basket where five eggs: two browns, two whites, and a green.  Reaching into the basket for the green, she held it up. “Feel it,” she said. I felt it. It was hot almost. “One of the hens, one with the puffy eyes, she laid it right into my hand. It never touched the nest. It dropped out of her belly into my hand,” she said.


Farm cat Kiki done up by Quetzal.

10 responses to “1. Earthworms 2. Coyotes 3. Egg 4. Cat

  1. Thank you for your stories about Quetzal. What an extraordinary person; what extraordinary love.

  2. Piercing to the soil. Stunning.

  3. Catching an egg, what a lucky girl.

  4. Coyotes and massive sky and Quetzal with the nose to the glass. ❤

  5. These are great stories. Loved her excitement over the egg.

  6. My first chuckle of the day. What is it about cats? No matter how you dress them up they always have that inscrutable gaze. I think you recapitulated the whole story of a farm right in this little essay.

  7. Renee. Reason #22 for why “small farms matter Big”: worms, coyotes, egg

  8. Susan Curtis

    1, 2, 3, 4 were soooo sweet. I think I liked 3,2,4,1 in that order. That said, I am totally in love with earth worms. Perhaps it is better to just say this was a fine episode of Plough Monday and not bother with preferences. You have an enchanted life and an amazing daughter. She is going to rock the world. So glad to be part of your CSA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s