Our good friend, Walter Watkins, was born, lived, and died, on his family farm, much of the while alone. The eight-by-twelve foot cabin that Micki and I lived in for our first year of marriage was built on our land right next to Walter's farm. We visited often. And when we invited Walter to come with us for a drive into the Cascade Mountains, at a drive-in restaurant twenty miles east, Walter told us with excitement and appreciation that that was the furthest he'd ever been from home.
Walter died of cancer, and it was sad to watch the disease progress and this good man decline. Afterwards the farm was put into the hands of his sister and her husband, Loyal and Bill, and they had Micki and I house-sit on the farm for free. It was the first time Micki and I had lived on a farm, and we took advantage of it by buying a flock of chickens. We also bought a purebred, white boxer as a pup, named him Buck, and he grew fast.
Our chickens had a coop in the barn, and we enjoyed caring for them and watching them and collecting eggs. We also bought a big, white rooster, to oversee his feathery harem.
|Sam walking Buck on the Watkins Farm|
To our surprise and to Buck's, the big, white rooster ran crosswise between the boxer and the hens. Buck accepted the challenge and swerved to chase the rooster instead. As Buck gained on his prey, all the hens managed to reach the barn and run in through the little coop door to safety. The rooster almost didn't make it. Buck had some of his tailfeathers in his mouth when the rooster barely survived by darting under the fence and into thick blackberry bushes.
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