I am not a morning person. I never have been. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, life required me to be at least vertical at a very early time. We lived on a farm, and I was responsible for feeding the chickens and gathering the eggs before I got ready for school.
Our winter morning routine was somewhat complicated, because we had to find out if school was going to be in session when the weather was bad. Mom would turn on the radio as we trooped out the door to take care of our chores.
One winter morning, it was snowing pretty hard when I went out to do my job. As I came in the door, the announcer said “schools in Putnam County are closed today, due to weather.” That was all I needed to hear, I went back to bed and snuggled down in my warm bed.
About an hour and a half later, my father came in and woke me up. I was not thrilled by this, but the look on his face said an argument would not result in me going back to sleep. When I came into the kitchen, he casually asked me if I’d seen anything interesting when I went out to feed the chickens.
I told him no, but I was puzzled about the question. He handed me my coat and took me out to the chicken coop. There, with only slightly less snow in it than my own footprints, were that of a full sized bear.
The conjecture was that somehow I had scared the animal off before he could get into the coop, which was good. The problem came in that I had no idea the critter was even out there. Needless to say, that was the end of my morning animal chores…