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Grumpy Old Ganz

The Woodshed

For us slightly older people, “the woodshed” in the backyard had several uses in years past. While it did house wood we burned in our woodstoves to keep us warm, it was sometimes referred to and used when a form of disciplinary action was needed or a couple of kids needed to settle a dispute. Some of the references included “don’t make me take you out behind the woodshed” or “ you boys go deal with it out behind the woodshed”.

I’m going to tell you a story that pertains to a woodshed at our house used strictly for wood...

On occasion, early in the morning or late at night, I had gone out to the woodshed to bring in wood. On several of those trips, I encountered coyotes leaving the woodshed.

I thought this was very interesting and shared what I saw with my kids who liked to watch the wildlife in the backyard. However, I did not realize the impact this would have on them.

A few days later the kids were home and the supply of wood in the house needed to be restocked. After supper, I mentioned the wood supply was getting low and they knew what was coming next. It was part of their nightly chores to haul in wood. I began to see a few teary eyes and heard comments like, “I’m not going out there” and “I’m not gonna get eaten”. You would think we were in a scene right out of Little Red Riding Hood!

I quickly found myself in negotiations and could not enforce sanctions on this unruly mob which had formed at the kitchen table. Concessions were not an option!

So, since I brought this on myself, the next several days I was on my own to bring in wood from the woodshed.

Eventually, all parties reconvened at the “bargaining table” where a settlement was reached. First off, wood could only be brought in during daylight hours only after I had checked out the woodshed myself. In addition, two or more people would have to be present to do the said chore. And finally, any future sightings would nullify said “contract”.

Thankfully, for the remainder of that winter season, wood hauling chores went without incident or further coyote sightings.

What the kids never knew was that there was an active den on the backside of the woodshed, which I never told them about. And to this day they never knew...until now!

Some things are best left unsaid.



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