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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This place will swallow you up. You only need one-syllable words to describe it: plain, dull, gray, and dry. To these, add harsh in winter. One of the ice ages wore everything here down to a nub. If the emptiness doesn't hollow you out, the lonesomeness will. As far as you can see in every direction, the only thing taller than a man is a grain elevator. All the rest is flat, like something bit down on the earth, sucked all the juice out and left the bones.

I killed a man the other day. He tried to steal my thresher. I put a hole in his chest and let him bleed out right next to the John Deere. I'm wearing his jacket inside out, right now, and his gloves. By March, his corpse will be bleached; by August it'll be reduced to its components. Calcium and phosphorous are good for my wheat.

Under the laws of the prairie, he had it coming. Prairie law spells it out clearly. The worse your surroundings, the meaner you are allowed to get.

The meaner you get, the greater the likelihood you'll overreact in fatal and elemental ways.

Scorpions sting each other over nothing. Sparrow hawks that've gone a week without rabbit flesh will try to fly away with a farm cat twice their size.
A man tries to steal your thresher and ends up deader'n a hammer.
You can come out to Saskatchewan and see our laws in action for yourself, but I wouldn't recommend it.


toomuchpractice said...

I love the idea that the ice age was the last time anything happened around those parts...
and the scorpions ;)

Harry said...

I believe I'll steer clear of Saskatchewan, but if I do find myself there I will definitely stay the hell away from your thresher!

More good stuff Gita!