As told by Maureen
Zachary Alexander first let me see him on the 2nd day of June in 1993. I was enjoying my morning coffee out by the tiny goldfish pond which we had just built into a spot under the lilac. It was about 7;30 in the morning, too early for the phones to be ringing yet, when I saw this strange looking turtle coming towards me over the lawn. It seemed to have two heads! I set very still and watched as it climbed over the rock border and slid into the water. Then I saw that the "second head" was really a Pip with a very dirty face and an exceptionally wide grin.
This Pip wasn't afraid of me at all, and promptly shinnied up the leg of the park bench and perched himself beside me. He settled himself, then reached into his back pocket, pulled out a tiny coffee mug and held it out to me. His eyes twinkled with mischief as he watched me pour some of my favorite African Peaberry coffee. He took a sip, smiled contentedly, then settled back against the armrest to look at me ‑ me with my mouth open in amazement.
He addressed me by name as he explained that he was tired of depending on the compost heap for "clean" coffee grounds. Since none of the other Pips liked coffee it was not part of their regular supplies. He had been watching my morning ritual of coffee and solitude for some weeks now, and had decided that the anticipated pleasure was worth the risk.
I later found out that Zachary Alexander lived his whole life this way. Observe. Decide what you want. Calculate the risks. Then go for it. He has a few scars to show for his adventures, but his eyes are bright and clear, with life blazing through.
His Home is tucked in behind the compost heap under a pile of blackberry and Juniper trimmings. The aroma and aesthetics of the place seem to appeal to him, and who am I to argue with someone who shares my love of good coffee.
1994, 2006 by Maureen Carlson