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  • Yesterday our sheep-farming neighbors opened their barns to the public. They do it once a year. Beautiful old barns that smell of sweet hay. Quiet but for the birds hanging out on the rooftops. Usually. Now the barns have swelled with scampering lambs and piglets and kids--of both goat and human variety--and guard llamas and dogs.

    I make myself walk the mile over there. I don't want to look away.

    Yes, I'm a vegetarian. Have been off and on since I was sixteen and decided I could only eat that which I could harvest. An oddball around here in farming and hunting country, a bit like my father whose idea of fishing was to rescue the bait. I'm helping our scruffy farm return to the wildlife corridor it once was, a place where bobcat and fox, bear and coyote, beaver and muskrat, deer and turkey, grouse and songbird squeeze through between farms, hunker down between roads.

    Yesterday morning the lambs and children chattered and eyed one another innocently.

    Last night I couldn't sleep. The coyote howled and the bobcat screamed.
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