Yesterday evening, about an hour before dark, I decided to listen to some music — something I rarely do any more, aside from the occasional YouTube music video — while enjoying a cold beverage out on my front porch. The living room, being currently carpetless and devoid of furniture, is a great echo chamber, so I carried in my old boombox, set it on the floor, and put in an R. L. Burnside tape. It sounded good.
About five minutes later, I was startled out of my reverie by something banging out from underneath the porch. I went over to the rail and looked down: it was the porcupine. As I watched, he waddled across the yard and began climbing the elm tree, which was killed by Dutch elm disease two years ago. “Hey, you moron!” I called. “That tree’s DEAD!”
The porcupine ignored me and continued climbing. His purpose became clear when he reached the first big crotch and promptly stretched out and went to sleep. I was chagrined. You might think I have it made, living out here in the woods — that I never have to worry about bothering anybody. But it’s not really any different than living in town. I can’t even play my music loud after supper without disturbing the neighbors in the crawl space under the house, most of whom probably work the night shift.