All winter we watched deer, birds, squirrels, and an occasional raccoon scout our yard for food and water. We keep a small heater in the water garden. Just enough to assure a seven-inch circle remains unfrozen. The koi and the frogs lower their metabolism and come out healthy and happy when the weather warms.
The first thaw revealed the carcass of a “thirsty animal” who slipped and fell under the ice, never to recover. Who knows how long that thing was in the pond polluting the waters for my koi: Blue, Zorro, and Ida.
I am thankful Loved One only told me what he found. He is thankful the weather remained below freezing. He deposited the dead body to the “back 80,” where we observed, from the back window, while mother nature and crows completed the cycle of life.
Yesterday, Loved One took this sad picture. The “thirsty animal” had a baby waiting at home for her. Yesterday she cuddled up to the remains, still seeking the warmth only a mother can give.
I wonder how long she shivered in the cold. Waiting. Hungry. So strong is the bond of mother and child.
It’s enough to turn me into a vegetarian.