Nov 14, 2002

Amidst my busy days and nights (1:15 a.m. isn’t that late for me anymore) I had a flashback yesterday, to a summer day in my childhood in Idaho. Some buddy of mine and I were wandering through the fields beyond our neighborhood – this was Caldwell, Idaho – and we found ourselves looking through a barb wire fence down a hill at a couple of sheep. But between us and the sheep was this large corrugated metal tube, a sewer pipe laid down the hillside like a playground slide. As boys will do on a summer day, we stepped through the barb wire and made a bee line for the tube-slide. As we climbed in, the sheep started up the hill, and before I could worry about any spiders in this confined space (even earlier in my childhood, I found a black widow in a cardboard refrigerator box I was using as a fort in the front yard), the sheep were headbutting the tube. The fearsome sheep (think Monty Python: ”It’s only a rabbit. Retreat, retreat!”) had us trapped for what seemed an eternity. Eventually, we dashed out of the tube and got the heck out of that pasture. We never did go back to meet those sheep.

When Erin and I were in New Zealand in 1999, we purchased a downy sheepskin, intending it for our babies. Anna has loved it, and she’ll often drag it from her room and lay it on the living room floor and then bury her face in the soft fur.

Anton Zuiker

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