Trout Whisperer - Keeping warm…

His muck boots are earning their keep. He leads as we slop, stroll to the edge of his yard. My jacket collar, with the colder air, feels good, and odd. Been many months since I’ve had this many layers on, and I’m seriously thinking I may be one layer short.
But the beehives, all top bar, are getting another new layer of straw, because when he phoned the other day, he said he wanted some help and he wasn’t taking any chances. So, this morning in the cold gray overcast, I’m a hay Sherpa.
His lawn is dotted with snowy patches, some green grass lays flat, seriously soaked from everything above white, or droplet deciding it needed to fall, and I’m about as ready as the bees for what’s really coming.
We move the side straw bales, to get closer to the hives. Not a single bee stirred or seemed to care. I start stacking in the new layer, and then he piles back the older straw to bank against the impending.
We switch sides, and as I start to remove the lower-most bale, I find a mouse nest, plump with baby, deer-footed mice and either ma or pa mouse peers up at me.
I get the beekeeper, show him my find. He says “Oh, that’s bad, you never want mice around your hives.”
I said. “So you gonna get rid of them?”
He says “No, wrap them back up to keep them warm/ They have enough trouble without me, trying to make it through.

~ The trout whisperer