Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Animals and their Great Heated Bus Idea


I was minding my own business, putzing by the firewood pile, when a familiar voice asked,

“Mrs. Dunn, can we have the old oven?”

It was Pickles, of course. If you follow along, and heaven help you if you do, you will know the animals have been trying to get me to allow a baking oven in the barn. Of course, we all know as charming as it would be to have a bunch of short bodied goats, a pig and some fowl baking cookies, it would most certainly end in a disaster.

“No,” I said firmly.

“What if we kept it outside and used matches and firewood to get it warm?” asked Ollie the goat.

My mind envisioned the forest on fire and animals and firemen running everywhere.

“NO, “ I said, more firmly.

They both walked off, heads down, grumbling.

Later that day, I entered the barn to start nightly chores. The gang wasn’t as animated as usual, except little Hannah who is young enough that every second of the day is worthy of joy.

“You all look down and out,” I said.

“We don’t have a way to share our love with the elder peoples,” said Pickles.

We found out recently that due to the pandemic, we were restricted again from bringing animals into Cove’s Edge, and it was too cold for the residents to visit outside, which is still allowed.

“If we had an oven we could bake them cookies, and giant heart shaped cakes,” said Ollie.

Earnest arrived. He sat next to me, he seemed deep in thought.

“We need a bus, a heated bus, with a ramp,” Earnest said as he handed me an ad for one of those old hippie buses, the kind I saw as a young girl out west. There was a price tag of $50,000 on it.

“That’s a lot of money, Earnest,” I said.

“Mrs. Dunn, a bus! We can roll them in and have music on the radio,” said Pickles.

And they all started chanting, “Heated bus! Heated bus!”

“We could drive our friends to the village and look in the pretty shop windows,” said old Poetry the goat.

“Perhaps, Mrs. Dunn, we could stop at Oysterhead Pizza too,” said Earnest the pig.

“I’m surprised you wouldn’t want to stop at Eider’s for your beloved grilled cheese sandwich with cucumbers,” I said.

“I’m currently hankering for the crust of pizza, wood fired just right,” Earnest said.

“Mrs. Dunn, how much is $50,000?” Hannah asked.

“It’s many, many, many ones,” I said. “And it would take all of you years to raise it.”
Keep your hearts open, gather some things and I will drop them off for our elder friends,” I said.

The next day, Earnest the pig brought me a bucket with three goose feathers, one brown egg and     
some hay twine. A note said, “For our friends, until we get a bus. Love, Pickles and friends”.

“Here’s a $100 bill, Mrs. Dunn, for the bus,” the pig said. “I’ll bring more when I can.”