The great corn cob mystery


Weíve all heard the stories.

Monuments constructed with materials that arenít where theyíre supposed to be. Towering slabs and boulders and such, miles away from their source. Stones so heavy that today mechanical assistance would be considered essential in order to move them, and yet they were placed thousands of years ago without a whiff of understanding for the methods used to get them into place.

Stonehenge may be the most famously debated example of this. Even today, after hundreds of years of research and arguments and testing and questions, crediting the exact origin of the stones is at times considered settled but not absolute. The current consensus has larger sarsen stones Ė averaging more than twenty-five tons each Ė being moved about twenty miles.

But itís not just Stonehenge. And, itís not just stone.

Iíve been walking the yard this year. Seasons changing, evaluating some of the outdoor work that may need to be done. And on multiple days, in multiple places, Iíve come across a mystery.

Corn cobs.

How the heck did I end up with corn cobs in my yard?

Corn isnít an unusual crop around here. But the nearest fields where corn is grown are more than a half-mile away. I didnít carry them over. And I have not once looked out to see two or three people eating corn on the cob in my yard.

Two ideas come to mind.

The first Ė and least likely Ė involves geese. Canadian geese arenít numerous around here. There are far too many of them to limit the count by using a description so small as numerous. They are all over the place. Gathering near bodies of water, and frequently settling in for a meal in local fields. Typically, fields that had been growing corn. And geese seem to love corn.

Perhaps a few of them were munching away, took flight with a corn cob and dropped it into my yard.

Doubt it. But letís remember: consider everything before eliminating the improbable. (Still, not exactly a lot of search engine hits for various ďgeese in flight drop corn cobĒ word combinations.)

So, if not geese bombing my home, that brings us toÖ

The second Ė and more likely Ė involves animals carrying them around on the ground. Iíd say deer. Maybe something like a raccoon. Our yard is known to be an animal highway. And while I wouldnít select the rabbits and turkeys for blame in this area, would likely go back to the deer to start, the reality is there are plenty of options to consider. (And rabbits are sneaky. Never trust a rabbit.)

Over my life, I canít begin to imagine the number of how-did-this-get-here mysteries Iíve encountered. Many of them involve absent minded idiocy, such as not remembering how the car keys ended up the refrigerator. (Honestly, most of them involve such idiocy. (And the keys were only in the fridge one time.))

But once in a while, a corn cob appears in the middle of an otherwise empty area of grass. A corn cob I did not bring there. A corn cob I feel comfortable saying the neighbors didnít leave behind.

It may not be the mysteries of massive stone movement level stuff. It may not even be worthy of more than five hundred words of consideration. But I would like to know before the next wave of geese fly overhead.


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