[lit-ideas] Thereabouts

  • From: Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 May 2016 16:05:52 -0700

I wouldn't want it thought that I am moving to Sandpoint Idaho just so I can acquire chickens and compete with David Ritchie. This is only a plan and not quite a sure thing -- the move I mean not the chicken acquiring because if things do go according to plan a chicken coop will definitely go up on my property. Furthermore, I was responsible for getting eggs away from a fierce Rhode Island Red Rooster before David Ritchie was born.

I was warned to wait a year after losing Susan before moving to demonstrate that I was not moving for emotional reasons. I'm not sure how that works, but I never wanted to stay in California after I retired and only did so because Susan didn't want to leave her parents (who lived in Indio). Sandpoint, if I am going to move and I certainly hope to, is fixed by two daughters, a grandson, two grand-daughters and four great grand-children living there. I've been pouring over real estate descriptions of properties and have noticed that if I am willing to locate a little further away, in Sandpointean terms, I can afford five to ten acres near a National Forest.

I've learned that people with five to ten acres in the Sandpoint region control their weeds with llamas and goats. I like the idea of getting a llama. Not only will a llama protect my chickens but I can load one up as a pack animal for hikes. They will carry 20 pounds per 100 pounds of body weight; so a 300 to 400 pound llama should be able to carry as much as I would want to take on a hike. Depending upon how agreeable the llama was, we might do some overnighters in the forest. On the other hand, if the coyotes and wolves (wolves are protected in Idaho) have their eye on my chickens they might take advantage of our absence and hop our fence. I may have to stick to day hikes or build a wolf-proof chicken pen.

As a kid it was my job to go into the chicken coop each morning for eggs. Neither my mother, grandmother, nor sister were willing because the rooster would go after their legs, but I wore Levi's and the rooster couldn't hurt me. I wonder now to what extent that rooster influenced me. I had (or developed) a reputation as a risk-taker, didn't mind diving where there were sharks and don't mind hiking amidst coyotes. I do not plan to be deterred by the wolves, but any risk will be reduced by my llama, Rhodesian Ridgeback and a couple of other dogs. I gave some thought to acquiring another Rhode Island Red rooster for that purpose, but he'd probably just ride up on my llama and watch. They aren't all that helpful as I recall.


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