The Case for Eastern Old-Growth06/01/1989
View full essay in PDF format
“Life in the Fencerows, and Death Lurking Nearby” was published in Washington Post Magazine, June 8, 1986.
“‘ONE OF THE MOST time-consuming things is have an enemy,’ E.B. White wrote, and he was right. The chicken-stealing fox was White’s enemy; the fox-shooting boy was mine. I’d see the boy prowling the fencerows at dusk, his rifle silhouetted against elm branches, and right away I’d drop whatever I was doing to go out and spoil his game.
He was looking for rabbits to fill the family pot and groundhogs to shoot for fun. Early on, his father, my neighbor up the hill, had asked permission to hunt my side of the fencerows that divided our small farms. (Rabbits are no respecters of property lines.) Already I knew enough of country living to grant it, and to accept later with thanks the soft, limp bundle they gave me in an age-old gesture of quitrent.”