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Dan Needles

Author and playwright Dan Needles is a recipient of the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Order of Canada. He lives on a small farm in Nottawa.

The View from the Top

Sep 18, 2018

People seldom bother you when you are up 20 feet painting an eavestrough, just as they don’t come near you when you are beekeeping or forking steamy piles of manure.

Varmints at the Gate. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Varmints at the Gate

Jun 19, 2018

Coyotes are like hotel burglars. They won’t force a lock, but if a door is left open, they will slip in and strip the place to the walls.

Retreating from the Retreat

Mar 26, 2018

For most of the century before I arrived, this old house hosted a parade of smoker-drinker-carnivores who poured Paris green arsenic on their potato plants and thought cleansing of any kind was weakening.

The Case for Civility

Nov 22, 2017

That made me think – grumpy old middle-class white guys who live in the country?

Signs the Bubble May Burst

Sep 16, 2017

“Painted barns are a symptom of an overheated economy, just like the whiz kids driving around downtown Toronto in a BMW with two payments made on it.”

A frog is an amphibian. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Science Projects

Jun 21, 2017

If you’ve ever wondered why they have height, width and weight restrictions on science projects at your school, it’s because of cousin Eddie’s corn dryer.

Real change happens when a group of like-minded people get together on a Saturday morning to pull old tires and bedsprings out of a river. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Grounding Exercises

Mar 20, 2017

I discovered at an early age that people who work outside with their hands tend to be more grounded than the rest of the population.

Admit there’s a problem. You bought the horse years ago for a ten-year-old daughter who swore she would brush it every day and lavish it with affection. That was before she discovered boys, clothes, makeup and Facebook. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Dr. Purvis’s 12 Steps to Getting Horse-Free

Nov 22, 2016

“Nothing lives longer than a horse with a health problem!” says the vet as he purrs out the lane in his limited edition Land Rover.

“You’re at 40 feet now. What’s your plan if you don’t hit water today?” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Hard Work for Hard Water

Sep 16, 2016

Will it last through the family reunion this weekend? Should I have it tested? How do I explain delicately to the guests that long showers are not an option?

I fought down the surge of adrenalin and said firmly, “You are not going to catch this fish. Just enjoy the moment and don’t do anything stupid.” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Fish Story

Jun 20, 2016

Then the sun emerged and I saw a glint of gold rim on the gravel bottom.

A Puff of Straw

Mar 21, 2016

“I’ve had a little mishap here.”

Snow Before Morning: A Short Story by Dan Needles, Illustration By Bill Slavin.

Snow Before Morning

Nov 25, 2015

All Lorne had to do was sit in a rocking chair with a Bible on his lap as scenes from his life unfolded around him.

A Writer’s Retreat

Nov 25, 2015

There was a lot of crumpled paper on the floor, the theme music would falter, and you could see this was all pretty difficult for him.

The Postman

Sep 11, 2015

I shared a party line with Kenny for 20 years. It was a forerunner to the Internet chat room and I found it essential for staying abreast of current affairs.

Ferdinand followed Duke around all day, trying to chase cats with him and bark when visitors arrived. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Favourite Duck

Jun 16, 2015

Ferdinand followed Duke around all day, trying to chase cats with him and bark when visitors arrived.

“Really?” I said. “Nobody ever told me anything about blowing it up.” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Blast from the Past

Mar 23, 2015

It’s so long ago, it’s probably safe to tell the story now.

A Hymn to the Small Hall

Nov 17, 2014

The community hall is one of the very last places where we are allowed to get together and make something out of nothing, just for the fun of it.

When Birds Go Bad

Sep 11, 2014

“Don’t worry. You didn’t kill him. It takes at least a two-by four to kill a rooster.”

In The Hills is an independent, locally owned print and online magazine that has earned its reputation as the best-read, best-loved magazine in Headwaters.

The magazine is delivered to more than 40,000 homes and farms throughout Caledon, Erin, Dufferin, Orangeville and Creemore – up to double the circulation of any other local publication. And it is available to visitors at local inns, restaurants, specialty retail stores and other tourist locations.