I live on a small horse farm. We have a hundred year old Amish built barn, which is put together with wooden pegs instead of nails. The house has walls that are more than a foot thick. There is a general sense of the quaint and rustic, which will come in handy if I ever choose to write a swords-and-horses fantasy.
This winter it’s become a little too realistic.
With the polar vortex in January, all our barn and field pipes froze, and we commenced carting water to our animals by hand twice a day. We made jokes about Medieval Peasant Industries, Inc. These were funny for the first week. Last week, we got more than two feet of snow…and the house pipes went out, too. We have extended our peasantry to carting water to our house, and boiling it on the stove when I want to wash my hair or do the dishes.
The other thing I learned this winter is that while our chickens are cute and friendly and I love their eggs, they are slightly less intelligent than a bag of blunted hammers. They free-range on the farm, but when it snows, they can’t find their way back to the coop. Looks different, I guess.
On the day of our first snow, the chickens got lost. I went to the coop at dusk and it was empty. A long search turned them up at the very top of the hill, roosting on a fence. Here commenced another form of rural exercise, which I call ChickenFit: catch a chicken, carry it down an icy snow-covered mountain to the coop, stuff it in, climb back to the top of the mountain. Perform sixteen repetitions, or stop when you collapse of exhaustion. I wonder if I could charge people to participate in our organic all-natural exercise regime. We could make a fortune!
I have now decided any swords-and-horses fantasy novels I write will have to include magical never-fail plumbing. And chickens with homing navigation.