This story was originally written May 31 1998.
Republished on June 13 2007
Today was one of *those* days. I went downstairs to check on the 2 little mallards that hatched a few days ago only to find that our new kitten had managed to pull one of them through the bars of the cage and kill it. They were the only 2 eggs rescued from a nest attacked by a fox.
Good Morning, kitten.
Nice to see you had a fun night. Kipa, the kitten decided it would be fun to climb up my bare legs. I peeled him off my legs and he bit my hand.
He’s so cute.
Sad and in pain, I checked the answering machine – my long awaited fruit tree seedlings were shipped by bus on Thursday and they still haven’t arrived. No messages. Rats.
Oh yes, I also remember to open the sliding doors in the hopes that the gopher that got into the house and is having a grand time chewing up the kid’s toys would leave again (he spent the night hiding behind the un-used stove squeaking for help).
Good Morning, gopher. He squeaked.
Gophers are so cute.
I needed to get some netting to cover the baby duck cage so the last little mallard would be safe so I went outside thinking I would collect eggs, say ‘Good Morning” to Scanner (the Great Pyrenees) and find the netting. I got my eggs but Scanner didn’t greet me. That was odd – she always comes to greet me in the morning. I looked in all the usual places… no Scanner. I couldn’t imagine how she got out -I spent a small fortune putting up electric fence. Then I saw one of the gates ajar (thanks to my 3-year-old, no doubt). It leads into the campbell yard (ducks) – the fence there is so badly in need of replacing that I haven’t let Scanner in there fearing she might find a way out – even with the hot wire. I started to fear the worst.
Just to be sure, I walked the entire fence-line, checking for holes, bits of fur, *any* sign of where Scanner might have escaped. Other than my fears about the flimsy campbell yard there was no other sign of escape, and still no Scanner. I’d have to go looking for her. Rats.
I came back in the house to get my car keys, and saw the gopher race IN through the sliding door, and back under the stove. More rats.
We have quite a good view to the west and the south of us so before I got my keys I looked through all the windows with my binoculars. 1/2 a mile away, in the neighbour’s horse pasture I saw an off-white (and red!!) shape lying in the grass near one of the horses. My friend lost her Pyr just after Christmas because he had been kicked by a horse, so I feared the worst. It was too far away to be sure so I got in my car and drove over for a closer look. All I could find when I got there was a few piles of rocks and lots of crocuses in seed (they’re dark pink and look kind of blood-coloured from a distance). I drove around for a while looking for Scanner with no luck and then back home.
I got home to find that Danka (the Rottie) had torn out one section of insulation from the wall and knocked over my tomato plants in an effort to get at the gopher – still under the stove.
I went back upstairs and checked the suspicious white shape with my binoculars again and decided I’d been looking in the wrong place. I went back downstairs just in time to watch the gopher scurry back IN the door AGAIN to his safe little ‘hole’ under the stove.
Gophers are so cute.
Back in my car, back over to the neighbour’s, back into the field – the horses were getting suspicious – but this time I marked the location and managed to find the spot where the suspicious white shape should have been. I was sure I had the right spot this time – a pile of rocks surrounded by crocuses in seed. Relieved, but still no wiser as to Scanner’s wherabouts I drove around some more and then finally home for breakfast.
Over my morning coffee (it’s now 11 am) I decided to wait out the afternoon before I started phoning all the neighbours to tell them Scanner was loose (again). The gopher’s still under the stove, there’s a great mess on the floor nearby, the bus depot tells me the bus hasn’t come to town for 2 days and I have to explain about the dead duck to Max (my 3-year-old) 4 times and he still insists on seeing it (well, the half that the kitten didn’t eat anyways).
3-year-olds are so cute.
I feel drained and tired. I went out to plant some seeds in the flower bed and the wind came up and blew them all away.
Country life is just great, isn’t it?
I had other work to do so I spent time working on my exam (it’s mid-term exam time at work) and then I went out with Max to check on my trees and bushes (the one’s I planted last year aren’t doing so well). The saskatoons have some sort of fungus and are struggling to regenerate from the ground. Everything above ground is dead. My crabapples didn’t make it either. By this time it was 4 pm and I go to check the chokecherries planted along the fence by one of the duck yards….. they’re coming back from the ground up too. At this rate I’ll be too old to harvest them by the time they finally produce fruit. At least they won’t look out of place next to my ‘bonsai’ spruce (20 year old, 1′ high spruce – I think the deer prune them down every winter).
I look up from weeding and see a familiar white face emerge from one of the great holes Scanner has made. Scanner!!!! She just yawns and stretches like it’s the start of any other day and ambles over to the fence to greet me.
Pyrs are so cute.
Scanner was never lost at all! I guess she’s made her hole bigger than I thought (!). I gave her a big hug and went to admire her handi-work. It’s now a full-fledged den. I’m impressed. Forget all those nasty things I thought about my 3-year-old. Maybe the day isn’t a complete loss.
Scanner has finally started to blow coat, so I tell her about my day while I brush her (for 1 1/2 hours). Well, it’s a start. The geese get the great wads of fur for their nests. They show their appreciation by hissing at me.
Oh, yea. Geese are cute too they tell me.
At least Scanner is home, safe. The mallard duckling is safe. The kitten is outside playing in the grass, safe.
My husband gets dinner ready (he does almost all of the cooking), and just before sitting down, he gets up in a great huff, races downstairs, swearing. After lots of banging and cursing, he comes back upstairs to announce the gopher is back outside. Life is almost back to normal.
Dinner was great.
Husbands are so cute.
Maybe my fruit trees will arrive tomorrow.