this is a guest post by student farmer grace glasson
Pedal and Clutch arrived at Maggie’s Farm together and it seems that they’ve decided to leave just the same. After fifteen years of presiding as Queen of the Barn, Duchess of the Parlor, Lady of the Garden, or any other titles that were bestowed upon her during her reign, Pedal (or Petal depending on who you ask) has passed on.
Like Elin, I write realizing the reverberations of Pedal’s existence here. So many different lives have come in and out of Maggie’s Farmhouse – student farmers, staff members, kids, Chicken Coop School students, visitors – all folks who probably found themselves crossing paths with her in one way or another. To attempt to capture all the ways people loved her, shared space with her, or welcomed her simultaneously-small-and-large presence in their lives is a task. Instead I offer a small glimpse of how she first charmed me, only after startling me (which feels fitting honestly).
When we first arrived in October, Clutch had been more in and out of the house, quite visible to us as the Hunter, leaving gifts of guts where we might find them. Pedal, however, was elusive, just a whisper of presence at the edges, hardly coming in the house unless necessary. This all changed once winter came and she cozied up to us quite nicely, but before all that she kept her distance.
The first time I saw Pedal I almost didn’t see her at all actually. I was going to the barn to visit the sheep or to grab a hay bale or to look for chicken feed or…whatever it was and was startled when I jostled a hay bale and was greeted with a small meow and a sleepy, almost angry furry face. Realizing I was eye to eye with the Pedal I had heard about I reached out a tentative hand and was surprisingly greeted with a loud, sweet purring that I came to know well, that many have known well before me I’m sure.
This first, small interaction says a lot about the way I knew Pedal – unassuming when left alone to her chair or couch or bale of hay, but always ready to give and receive a soft sweetness underneath her grumpy-seeming exterior. She was a force all her own and, like Clutch, a basic fact of life at Maggie’s as if she had always been here and always would be. As I write this, sitting in the parlor where she would often curl up surrounded by so many of us in the evening, it’s as if a floorboard or a ceiling beam are just gone. And even so, Maggie’s was here before Pedal and will be here still, though it’s certainly made better by the marks she made.
We say goodbye to Pedal and let her rest side by side with Clutch, the forsythia above and around them to offer spring blooms, summer shade, and plenty of hiding places for spirits to roam within and without.