Off With Its Head


Three queens, Shiun-hime, Sunshine, and Svenda, up on their roost. Of the three, Shim-hime, exudes a most royal air. She looks down at me as if I am one of her countless subjects. You can almost see her fiery eyes commanding, “Off with its head!”


Svenda is out early this morning, enjoying a morning drink out of the cold flowing stream. The stream flows from fall through spring. The headwaters are just a few hundred feet away in the woods to the north. It’s pure rain water, flowing down through branches of cedars, firs, alders, wild cherry, and vine maples, filtering through mosses and ferns before running into the creek. It makes me wonder if Svenda can taste the different trees as she drinks. “Hmm, today’s stream has a heavy taste of cedar with a hint of maple.”


Ungetsu-hime is one of the many hens who are back to laying after their winter break. The basket gets fuller every day, a sure sign that spring is around the corner. Tonight, quite a few frogs are singing at the pond. It’s only January and frogs are coming out of hibernation. It’s a most unusual year.


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