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It was the second day of the twelfth month in the sixth year that Sylvia stepped out of her cabin, with her warm cup of espresso to take in the morning sunrise.  This was her favorite part of the day when darkness was fading into the light of morning, and its sweet quiet was still thick like fog.


Knowing where her glider was situated on the porch, Sylvia walked over to it and sat softly, so as not to wake the creatures of the day before their time.  The scent of her coffee, mixed with the clean sweet pine scented air that caressed her skin with the soft breeze, promised her its rich reward. Taking her second sip of java of the morning she leaned her head back and closed her eyes as she swallowed the elixir, imagining it flowing down her throat and extending through all of her blood vessels.  Energy like a slow morning light filled her soul.


Ben began his morning crow that brought a smile to Sylvia’s lips. She opened her eyes to witness the peak of dawn changing the sky from a black star-filled one to a dusty grayish blue.  Even the breeze stopped moving to watch the sun start to wake the day. The silence was broken as a flock of brown birds started their morning chirp notifying each other that it was time to get the worms that still crawled at the top of the dew filled ground. They also signaled that it was time for Sylvia to start her morning chores.  Charlie, her black and white Mastiff, sauntered over to her from wherever he was patrolling and laid his head on her lap for his good morning ear scratch greeting.


Already dressed for this morning’s duties, she set her travel mug on the table by the glider, strolled down the steps of her tiny house cabin and walked in the direction of the chicken tractors.  There were five to move, with thirty chickens each inside of them. Once they were moved, she went about filling their feed trough and water trays.


The goats were next.  She moved their electric fence to the next spot they would be in for two days as they grazed it down.  Going to the goat barn that she had built under the cover of a small clearing of evergreen pine trees, she released the latch to it and shook a pail of feed as she called to the creatures to follow her.  Like the greedy beast that they were, they eagerly trotted behind her light jog to the new spot she had ready for them. Once they were inside, she secured the fence and turned on the electric charge that would hold them in.  She checked that it was working at the proper level so that her goats did not escape.


So far the morning was going smoothly.  When the goats behaved, Sylvia knew the rest of the day would flow well.  Her last chore with the animals were the ducks and laying hens. She went to the hen house and was happy to collect fourteen eggs that morning from the chickens and four beautiful duck eggs.  She now had six dozen duck eggs to sell at the market, which would cover the price of this months feed for her chickens.


Her last chore would be starting work on the garden.  Using the “Back to Eden” method of gardening. Her land looked like a garden paradise of fruit trees and bushes and vegetables growing in between them.  Her way of life was purposeful. She lived alone happily. Her land prospered hidden under its own foliage. No one would ever find her here and she only had one more month before she could legally claim this land as her own.  For the past seven years, she lived and thrived on this land as a squatter.

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