In a hunker, two props are necessary: a stick and a blade of grass. Oh, sometimes straw is substituted, but it’s kinda like trading your French fries for cottage cheese on the lunch special; you can do it, but it isn’t the same.
Dud found a good stick, finger thick, fairly straight, about a foot long. Cottonwood, maybe. Then he found a tall blade of orchard grass, broke it until it was hunker length, and stuck it in his mouth. Doc and I, having witnessed these events, began looking for our own grass blades, albeit reluctantly. Our knees aren’t as young as Dud’s.
That’s when Dud went headlong into Phase Three. Grass … check. Stick … ten-four. Phase Three, the right location.
Dud began turning slowly, checking the ground beneath his feet, lining up with the azimuth in just the right way so as to maximize his powers, keeping the sun in the proper location to light his face while not causing his own eyes to squint. Slowly he turned, like a mare choosing her foaling bed. Then a silent string was pulled in Dud’s mind, releasing the knees, and he dropped down into a proper country hunker.
Doc and I stuck our grass between our teeth and – with occasional moans – followed suit.
Dud silently brushed a clean slate of dirt in front of him and doodled on it.
“Been thinking,” he said.
Doc and I nodded and checked the doodle to see if we could recognize anything about the design. Nope.
“I think,” Dud said, “if we could just irrigate more, we’d get more rain.”
Brought to you by Slim Randles’s outdoor memoirs, “Sweetgrass Mornings,” available at www.slimrandles.com.