Dewey Decker, that accident-prone neighbor of ours, is the undisputed Pharoah of Fertilizer, the Monarch of Manure. He has turned a shovel-ready business into a going concern, with the help of the woman of his dreams, Emily. But in the quiet times, when it’s only Dewey thinking to himself, he really wants to raise things.
From the time he was a kid, he wanted to raise cattle, but Dewey’s proclivities toward disaster left that particular item off the agenda. In helping out other cattlemen, you see, he accidentally let 17 steers escape from the feedlot onto the interstate, and of course there was the now-legendary time he herded a cow off a bluff into the top of a tree.
So he went into cow manure big time, supplying fertilizer for our yards and gardens, and then branching off into compost, worm castings and the worms themselves.
That’s what he was busy with today, actually. Worms. Not just any worms, but red wigglers, approved by bass and trout from sea to shining sea. And today he was tucking them in for winter, spreading straw thickly over the top of their bins to wait out the cold until they came back to warm-weather wiggling next spring.
Dewey picked up a flake of straw and looked around. There wasn’t anyone in sight.
“Here you go, little fellas,” he whispered. “You stay warm and have a good winter.”
He looked around. Good. Still no one.
The next bin… “You guys stay warm in there this winter, okay?”
It’s hard to take the husbandry out of the man, you see. A guy has to feed something and watch it grow. With worms, if he makes a mistake … well?
Maybe someday his father tank will get topped off when he and Emily have children.
Let’s hope, however, that it’s Emily who teaches them to swim.
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