Second Harvest (Chapter Five, page 1 of 35)


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In the eleven years since any precipitation, Roy has watched his creek slowly dry up, leaving mere rocks and dust. The branches of the cottonwood tree continually wither leaving a smaller crop of leaves with each passing year. As Roy's eyes scanned the small plot of dirt beneath the enormous twisted cottonwood tree, he clearly observed several grave markers. One headstone indicated the site for his grandfather William and another for Rebecca, his grandmother, and her still-born child. Additionally, Roy's father, who perished in a skirmish with Apache Indians involving hunting privileges, rested in this small plot of land. Rebecca, Roy's mother, was also buried in the same enclosed area. Roy, having no desire to continue his family's curse, chose to live in isolation in the same log home his grandfather built.

Other than the occasional trace amounts of silver and nickel, the mine shaft that Roy's grandfather and father worked with such tenacity, yielded nothing of tremendous significance. Looking around the homestead, Roy was keenly aware that the farm appeared as tired as Roy felt. Up until four years previous, Roy had a large garden rich with fresh vegetables, but with the extended drought, these were now distant memories. Forced to give up on his large garden, Roy needed to grow something to eat-so he made alternative plans.

In addition to hunting wild game, Roy existed on the food from a smaller garden he created on the leeward side of his cabin. Indirect sunlight kept the tiny patch thriving while, at the same time, the shade of the log home protected his vegetables from the direct rays of the hot sun. By hand-carrying buckets of spring water, to this small plot, Roy preserved the tender plants. When the large garden had been functioning, Roy was able to preserve the extra produce by canning and then storing it inside the tunnel walls. With reverence, Roy reluctantly pulled from the larder inventory, but only because he hated riding into town for supplies.

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