Sagaponack Community Notes, October 31


The first one, you’re looking for something. The last one, you’re trying to keep what you found somewhere midseason, forever. I had my last one Monday night—my last really good one, that is. The kind that leaves such a pool of juices on the plate that licking it is a second course.When the tender things finish up in the flora, man, before supermarkets, would have naturally turned to the fauna. Locally, the farmers would finish harvesting their crops and join a crew to haul seine. This activity, and not the Biblical story, is the namesake of Loaves and Fishes, which once served as a weigh station for the catch.

Some men still get the opportunity to exercise their hunting hearts. They go, before fitting pipes all day or banging nails. A man can cast into the limitless flat blue, black, green. He’s seen the water every color: pink, red, gold. The fishing was reported as “very good” to “very hot,” hard to keep a fish off your lure … if you had the right lure. Those who did not have the right lure were almost content to have simply witnessed such a beautiful early morning.

We’ve had a long string of them, beautiful mornings, and months, it seems, with no rain.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t bring up my vandalized tractor again, but I actually learned who the vandal was, and so I thought it pressing that I should set the record straight. It was a mouse.

When I was removing the dashboard to get to the fuse panel, I found the rodent’s nest, a sweet little ball of grass and leaves. My tenant had vacated, probably jumped ship the moment it started the engine. I could see how the mouse had gnawed every wire that led away from the key switch and eventually made the right contact to thus “hot-wire” my tractor. Its blind handiwork circumvented several safety switches.

As my brother inspected the wires, he gave a play-by-play of the mouse’s impact, and what first seemed impossible was soon completely plausible. In fact, it was true—just the fauna talking back.

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