Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Boss's Birthday and a new pet

It's not yet 6 a.m.  The Boss is out milking the girls, and a cold slushy rain is dumping onto the snow and ice already in residence.  We call out, "Good Morning!  It's a beautiful day!"  Because it is.  There are not any days that are not stunningly beautiful, no matter what nature dumps on us.

Buster, the border collie, trots through the snow, with drops of water like rhinestones on his rust and white coat, wanting a doggie cookie.  It gets plugged into his mouth, and off he goes to eat it, in the snow, not on the carpeted porch.  Dogs are strange critters sometimes. 

The Boss Lady is hacking a path through ice and snow which blocks the path The Boss needs to travel with full buckets of warm Jersey milk.  Their quart count is down a little, but mine would be too, under the circumstances.  I take my sharp trenching shovel out to help chip the ice away for shoveling. 

A few minutes ago, I sneaked a present in to the dining table where the Boss will eat breakfast in a while.  It's a painted portrait of Buster, The Boss's best friend in the whole world.  The artist is a friend, and her talent is awesome.  It's painted on flagstone, and the dog's eyes look up at you with the same intense interest and love as he does in reality.  I still owe her a lot of hours of heavy labor for this great favor.  She's a busy artist, and this was a great kindness to me.

What woke me this morning at 5 a.m. was something walking across my foot.  Creepy.  Turns out it was a tiny, taupe mousie, in it's winter fuzzy coat.  It's about the size for a standard doll house, like the ones in Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.  If you haven't read that book to your kids, shame on you.

Anyway, it disappeared to show up in a few minutes walking right toward my foot.  As KitKat did last summer when a mousie got in, I stood there like a dummie and watched it.  The reflex to stop on it was absent from the genes.  Felt like a damned fool as it ran under a 100 year old trunk.

So I put out some mousie poison pellets.  It stuck his nose in the air and walked on by.  Then I broke a Ritz cracker into tiny doll house size canapes, put on a drop of peanut butter, then a little pellet of poison on top like an olive on a nibble at a party.  Maybe this mouse is used to the better things in life and will die happy after ingesting my very best cocktail party nibble. 

After shoveling snow, sneaking over to leave the birthday present, I came back in to inspect the trail of tempting little mousie morsels.  Nothing.  You can tell if something has been moved.  Nothing.  My feelings are hurt.  Didn't I put out the best I had?  What does the little brat want, anyway?

Disgusted, I logged on to the internet to grumble to you about ungrateful rodents.  Most of the time it takes me half an hour to find my own blog.  No wonder no one else can find it.  As I sit here typing, out of the living room, along the hallway runner trots the cute little taupe mouse.  I opened the front door, letting a fair amount of heat out and sub freezing air in.  Maybe the fresh air will attract him.  I prop the door open.  He scoots hither and yon, too dumb to see the gigantic wide-open door.  I'm getting cold and annoyance add to the hurt feelings that this furry upstart has shunned my food.  I stand up to try to herd it out the door.

Nope, it suddenly decides it does not want to go out there.  No way.  It likes it in here.  It turns around and runs in circles; so do I trying to persuade it.  Finally the impossibly stupid thing runs toward my foot again, perhaps thinking I am a tree to escape up.  No way is this critter running up my pants leg.  I may be chicken, but I'm not as stupid as this mouse.  I raise my foot and bring it down fast and hard.  It had no clue it was dying.  It was sudden death, then off to mouse heaven to discuss with former friends the vicissitudes of life as a rodent, and the possible causes of instant death.  Mouse philosophy abounds up there, you know.

I have no doubt that KitKat will find the furry remains and enjoy a cat canape.  She may not be into killing them herself, but she never passes up a free meal.

Haven't heard a word from The Boss's house about the birthday present, which is fine with me.  I don't want to hear, "Thank you."  I just want to know it made him smile, which I'm sure it did.  He's one of the very best men around.

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