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Deal 1046: Interlude haiku

tempted by wisdom
hated costume worn once more
pray envy’s demise

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Deal 1005: Stewed Birds and Open Fire

You always want to begin with a clean workspace and a stable source of heat. If burning wood, you will need a heavy cast iron pot to spread the heat from the fire to all sides, and hold it hot as the fire burns down. You won’t need to put the pot directly in the fire, balanced at one edge is often preferred because it can be turned occasionally, or moved closer and further as wood is added and consumed.

If potatoes are handy, tuck a few at the edge of the fire, in the ashes so they don’t burn. Turn occasionally and let them roast for a while before adding them to the pot near the end.

Butter and herbs will form the base. Other fats may be used, of course. Use what is at hand as long as it isn’t rancid. Rub the bird in salt and pepper too, and brown it in the hot fat before adding anything else. If the goal is a stew and time is not on your side, you can always break the bird down into pieces that will cook quicker and render more flavor into the broth.

Of course you can even spatchcock it if you’re feeling fancy. No one really enjoys picking around the backbone anyway.

Chop a few roots, rinse ashes off your potatoes and break them into chunks, and add to the pot along with more salt and pepper and some water. If some beer is at hand that won’t be missed immediately, add it in place of half the water or so. It will cook down and make a richer broth.

If you have time to simmer them until cooked, you can always drop chunks of biscuit dough into the top of the pot. Little fluffy bombs of bread will steam in the broth in no time at all.

To serve, all you need is enough large bowls and an appetite.

More of that beer you raided for the broth would probably go well too.

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Deal 989: No town town

He was not a humble man, that much was obvious as he strode into town from the deep woods.

He stood six feet or more tall, slender, with long blond hair. The bow he carried was nearly as tall as he was. His quiver was empty, however. He walked steadily, as if accustomed to walking long distances.

This was a man who demanded attention. He drew the eye and held it.

His partner, however, was opposite in every way possible.

She was short. Short temper. Short hair. Short of breath. And clearly past the end of her patience for long walks. She carried a great battle axe strapped across her back, and clearly had the strength to use it. She also had no desire to be seen or noticed.

This couple was trouble incarnate. And my peaceful town was about to become the center of some chain of events that had followed them across the lands. Unless I took action to deflect it.

I acted alone, the need was too immediate to call for the others.

I cast the first stone in the pond, and muddled the reflection and by extension of my will, muddled what they saw.

If my will prevailed, they would not see the town spread out before them, and would walk on through, seeking shelter further along their trail.

This was the prudent thing to do.

It was not necessarily the right thing to do.

It was what I did.

As the town watched silently, they made their way through.

His confident strides missed every pothole, every small animal, every picket fence.

Her furtive pace nearly caught us out, but she was too intent on keeping up.

He held the attention of everyone as his tall bow and blond hair disappeared over the ridge and back into the deep woods.

I would pay for my actions tomorrow.

But for today, we remained safe and hidden.

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Deal 983: Something may be falling

It really was the best of times. Peace had been the order of the day for as long as anyone could remember. And there was nothing that could change that.

Except.

People see things. But they don’t always see the whole of things. And that can lead to trouble.

As it appears we are heading now.

There are many stories of what was seen. Stories that contain some grains of truth, to be sure.

But what do I know really?

I’m just like you, caught up in the rising tide of events, watching the world get stranger.

And that chicken just won’t shut up.

Everywhere she goes, she just has to stick her neck in and peck out another story. Sometimes she even agrees with what she’s said before. Always, she is spreading fear.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of the sky.

Fear of the fox.

Fear of the wolf.

Even fear of Old Mac.

And because people are afraid, they call for prudent responses just in case she is right.

Or maybe it is just a rain storm.

And like a rain storm, perhaps it will blow over and our peace will return.

I’m not as afraid as most.

What I fear, is the fear itself.

And I fear it won’t end well.