Eureka Springs Independent Newspaper Column for July 2, 2014 by Steve Weems

A few days ago, we had a nice visit with Paul and Joyce Hull at their large farm outside Eureka Springs. Even though Joyce has recently been ill and in the hospital, some things do not wait. She was in the process of canning 63 quarts of green beans and 33 pints of beets from their bountiful garden. Last year’s beans had burned up in the heat and drought.

If you aren’t familiar with the Hull farm, the county road enters it at the end of a long ridge, one of the highest points in the Western District of Carroll County. Just before the road drops into the valley there is a spectacular view which often makes me think of the farms of Yorkshire, England, (which stems, I think, from reading the stories of James Herriot in my impressionable youth).

What had brought us down to the picturesque Hull farm was the neighborhood story of the damage coyotes had done there. Paul Hull had recently lost a number of lambs and kid goats. Coyotes even killed a grown goat that had put its head through a fence and got stuck.

One morning Paul turned out a nanny goat and kid into a small pasture behind their house. Later, Joyce glanced out the window and saw the big white nanny chasing a coyote that had grabbed her newborn. Coyotes are getting brave indeed when they are grabbing kids in broad daylight within view of the house.

Coyotes weren’t the only thing we talked about that day, though I had meant to ask about their use of Great Pyrenees dogs and donkeys for guarding their livestock, too. As we left, Paul invited us back and said, “People don’t visit like they used to years ago.”

On a different note, I am saddened to hear that the classic toy store Happy Things is quitting business. It has been open downtown since 1970. Located at 55 Spring Street, it is having a big going out of business sale. It isn’t the place to go, though, if you are looking for cheaply made plastic toys that break the first time you play with them.