It was well into April and most of the snow was gone from the farm. Luna and Viv and Chuck and Patsy and Birch were out in the fields, plotting and foraging and planting. Strange Brew was taking care of the chickens and goats and their one cow, making sure that they were well fed and enjoying the spring.
And, in the very back field, up against the brook, the construction crew was laying the foundation for the new residence under the able direction of Sal and Dan.
“No,” said Dan. “Over there.”
“What?” said Sal. “That’s way too far over.” She grabbed a fallen branch and used it as a pointer. “Put it here.”
“Look,” said Sowbug. “We can put it here or we can put it there, but we can’t put it both places. When the two of you can agree to something, we’ll do it.”
While Sal, Dan, and Sowbug were arguing, Dandelion, Sorrel, Earthworm, Mo, and Lois were carting in concrete blocks, from one side of the farm to the other.
“Over hill, over dale, I can barely see the trail,” sang Sorrel. She was the only one who seemed to have the energy to say anything.
Dandelion and Earthworm were pushing the cart she was pulling and Lois and Mo were struggling with the second cart. Both carts had as many blocks as they could fit in them.
“At least this should help us work up an appetite,” Sorrel said.
Dandelion grunted at her.
“Only one more hill to go,” Sorrel said.
Mo stopped so suddenly that Lois almost fell over. “Tell me why we’re doing this again,” she asked.
“You wanted to live on a commune,” Lois said. “You said we’d be able to get some great experiences.”
“This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind,” Mo said.
“C’mon,” Lois said. “We’ve only got three more cartloads left.”
Within a week the foundation of the new residence was finished.
Dan and Sal stood in the middle of where the residence would be built and were heatedly discussing the future direction of the building.
“I mean, really,” said Sal. “This foundation can hold a couple of stories.”
“I don’t know,” Dan said. “That may be pushing it. Why don’t we stay with a single floor for now? We could always try adding another story later.”
“Would you two stop it?” Earthworm asked. “It’s going to be hard to build something if the two of you can’t agree on anything.”
“Tell me about it,” Sowbug said. “I’ve been listening to them argue for the past six days. I’m amazed we even completed the foundation.”
“Okay, okay,” Sal said. “Let’s just build one story for now. I can live with that.”
“Thank you,” Dan said.
“Now can we start with the actual building?” Mo asked.
“Sure,” said Sal. “Let’s start with the framing.”
“Good,” said Dandelion. “We’ve got the timber over there. We’re ready.”
Lois and Sorrel dragged a few boards over to the foundation.
“Okay,” Earthworm said. “Now, where do we start?”
“Right in this corner over here,” Dan said.
“Wait a minute,” said Sal. “That’s the northeast corner. It’s so much better to start with the southwest corner.”
“You’re kidding,” Dan said. “Since when?”
“Since I’ve done construction,” Sal said. “Where did you learn to build?”
Sowbug sighed. “I think this is going to be a long project.”