Ethel and George

I am an equal opportunity anthropomorphizer. Like most transplanted urbanites my targets include the predictable assortment of cows, horses, chickens, sheep, and dogs that litter my jogging route. But lately two trees have become the objects of my affection. They grace the crest of the hill as you come out of the village, standing close enough to each other to indicate coupledom, far enough apart to indicate it’s been a long marriage. I’ve even named them: Ethel and George.

I’ve been watching Ethel and George with some concern for the past couple of months. While the rest of the countryside was waking up in a spasm of green, Ethel and George stayed resolutely brown and brittle looking. I even worried they may be dead. Then, in the last week, great poofs of green sprung up on both of them, sticking every which way like a home perm gone wrong.

Things have gone less well for my other animal friends. Last week a fox got twenty of the hens that share a field with the chestnut coloured horse. I was worried the horse was feeling lonely without them (nevermind my depression over the egg drought) so I stopped and rubbed his nose for a little longer than usual today. I was also disappointed to find that the herd of dark chocolate cattle with yellow tag earrings that had been calling the field next door home for the past month have moved on without so much as a goodbye. The field has been mowed short and in place of the cows there are round, plastic covered bales of hay. Despite my success with Ethel and George I think even I might have trouble crafting an emotional life for hay.

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