Wendie Malick


I’m staying in an old Victorian B&B in the Berkshires, and there’s a little machine next to the bed that plays sounds to distract us from the sounds of each other. The options are rainforest, ocean, summer night, and waterfall. I was afraid waterfall would just make me want to pee, so I went with summer night, and sure enough, I got the crickets who have been lulling me to sleep for as many summers as I can remember. I set the timer for thirty minutes, and just as I was drifting off, the crickets abruptly stopped. Silence. It was haunting.

I live on the edge of wild things. I am fonder of some than others. While no love is lost on black flies and yellow jackets, I am fascinated by honeybees, and I thrill to owl serenades and that rowdy coyote cacophony that whips all the dogs into a frenzy.
Rattlesnakes have earned my respect, even after one killed a favorite dog.
The ants invade. The ants retreat.
I had two experiences with a mountain lion where we stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Gophers decimated numerous of my husband’s gardens, and left only holes in their wake, but we keep on planting.
A mockingbird loves to perform his repertoire in a kind of demented loop every morning at the crack of dawn.
The ants invade. The ants retreat.
I recognize the dogs and cats and horses and donkeys are the links between.
If in fact we are all connected, and the vibrancy of this planet earth is made up of all of us, woven inextricably together, then each time one of us is extinguished, no matter how great or small, the planet is a little duller.
I do not wish to live in a world without crickets.
Or mustangs
Or elephants
Or even ants.

Download the entire book A Wild Success here.