Backyard Potterer's journal

Witten and illustrated by: Tiit Kändler
Translation: Liis
November 6
Sometimes autumn turns out to be surprisingly summery. Ten degrees in November is about the same as fifteen in May. The Backyard Potterer would not mind if the climate were to become ever warmer. It is quite pleasant to heat the house less and do more outside. But the sad thing about this is that the warmer it gets, the less heating is needed and so less greenhouse gases that make the climate warmer are produced too.
Indeed, with climate science it might be as in the Chinese funny story from two thousand years ago. The cat walked in the yard, rosary beads round the neck, monk-like. The mouse was happy, look, the cat has become a vegetarian, and brought its children to the cat, to express its felicitations. The cat of course swallowed the little mouse children, one after another. Somehow the adult mouse miraculously escaped and fled. And complained, panting, that see here, the cat has become so mean from eating all those roots!
Truly, it isn’t easy to see what is cause, what is effect in this earthly backyard. Are the leaves falling from the chestnut tree the cause of winter? Is the cause of the Earth’s climate change avaricious man, or is man avaricious because the climate changes? Or neither – the cause should maybe be searched in solar activity?
We can pull together a giant panel of the cleverest experts, but until they can answer the simple question – has a human walking in the yard a free will – they cannot answer the previous questions either. Maybe it is instead the yard that has the freedom of will and man is caught in its claws like the mouse in the cat’s claws?

It is simple to ask, difficult to answer. Let’s do it the other way about then. Let us give the answers and try to find the questions that lead to them. So let us begin. The answer: 24. Provide the one correct question to this answer. Was that easier?




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