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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Then and Now

It's April in the Ozarks. Spring is upon us and everything is in bloom. This is the time when Bow and I chafe the most at our confinement. In April of 2007, when Bow was five years old, we shut ourselves away in the pens, never to come out again. Before then, we got to go everywhere. We even got to travel.

Here is a video of Sword and Bow in New Hampshire where we vacationed when she had just turned six and he was three and a half.

They used to do everything together, even slept in the same bed. Here is a video from the same visit to New Hampshire, at bedtime:

Sword and Bow's relationship has been altered by these circumstances. Now she breakfasts on one side of a pane of zoo glass, while he enjoys his meals on the other side. Only I can navigate between the two worlds.

When Sword goes to feed the chickens, Bow and I watch from the outer pen.

Sword is free to come and go, but we have our limited sphere of activity. I can leave after Bow goes to bed, or when there is a qualified sitter for Bow, but in practical terms, I spend most of my days in the pens.

Three years ago, when we started living this way, friendly observers thought this arrangement could not possibly last. "You're both going to go crazy in such a small space." But Bow blossomed under this confinement. He didn't show us that he had acquired literacy until we moved to the pens. And I am also finding that I have a new focus here, with the internet as my window on the world. Imprisonment isn't always a bad thing, if you've got good company.

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