Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot Hot Hot!

Everything I know about swimming would not come from experience. Being the type of creature that I am, water and I do not see eye to eye. The same can be said for Martha, Jane and Henry, who are showing me the time of my life in Arkansas. However, when the mercury inside the thermometer measured the outside temperature to be over 90 degrees (!!!), Martha and Jane were getting sluggish. That is the perfect word for them too, because they honestly moved like slugs. It took Martha 10 minutes to eat her cereal this morning, and it took Jane a full 20 minutes to roll out of bed. Usually these girls rise before Mr. Sun shows his blinky eye in the sky, dangling their feet on the window sill where they sit, waiting for Mr. Sun. I must admit, I've had a hard time of it too. It just seems easier to slug around when one feels too hot to want to breathe, much less move. April must have seen what we were going through, not acting up to our usual vivaciousness. Even she seemed a little sluggy, but managed to take care of us and all her other chores.
When April had seen enough of our droning faces she started collecting supplies from around the house again.....bathing suits, goggles, sunglasses, sunscreen and the like, and stuffing them into a canvas bag. I was certain she'd be taking us to the creek again to go fishing, but this time she took us by the hands and led us out into the back yard.
She gently dropped us onto the grass and then dumped the bag of supplies all around us like confetti. April told us to "butter up" which we decided meant we had to put our sun lotion on. April proceeded to pull a giant, blue saucer from her garage. She set it on the grass and told us to get inside. She gave us a blow up tube in which to sit. I was feeling a little confused, but was too embarrassed to ask. Was this swimming? Is it possible to swim without water? April must have heard me (she's getting quite attuned to my thought produced inquiries) because she said, "What would happen if I put you in REAL water, Caruthers? I may have had to return you to your maker full of mold and mildew! No water for any of you, just pretend." I was somewhat relieved about there not being water because I didn't want mold, mildew, or any fungus, for that matter. As Martha and Jane sunned themselves, Henry took to snorkeling. He wore a long tube from his mouth and pretended to see coral and stripey fish, and even a shark or two. April photographed us and then sat with her book close to the pool, watching us so we wouldn't get hurt. I sat back and closed my eyes for a minute, until Jane started splashing me. She got water in my ears and my mouth! I wasn't angry, but decided I'd stop being such a pacifist for a while and grabbed the hose and squirted her on the toes. She squealed with delight, yelling, "Again, Caruthers! Squirt me again!" So I did. Then Jane demanded to be squirted, and before we knew it we were out of the pool and running all over the lawn....I was chasing and they were running, emitting some of the most high-pitched noises I've ever heard. Henry remained in the pool, oblivious, as he oftentimes is.
April laughed along with us and called out to us to be careful. Then she sneaked into the house for a minute. I chased Martha and Jane back into the pool and then out again. They breathlessly collapsed onto the blanket and giggled. Henry had gotten out of the pool and sat quietly on the blanket, contemplating all he saw, I guessed. He was deep in thought. Then April returned with a bowl of fresh strawberries. Yum! They looked so delicious, that I hung my head over the poolside to have a better look. Henry yelped and Martha and Jane started wiggling again. We were all excited to eat a berry. Before we dug into them April reminded us that strawberries can stain clothing so we should be very careful when eating them. We each had one and then lay down on the blanket for a nap. It was hot, but our imaginations took us away from that for a while. Even without the water we were feeling pretty refreshed.
Later that day I approached April with a little fear in my eyes. "What is it Caruthers?" she asked. I showed her the spot on my belly from where the juicy strawberry had dribbled from my mouth. "Uh, oh," she said. "What shall we do?" I supposed we should scrub it off, like Henry got his pants scrubbed when he slid in the mud. "I've got a better idea," April cheerfully said. Then she led me to the bathroom, gave me a shower cap, closed the curtain and let me take a shower....waterless of course....but it worked like magic. When I came out of the shower, the strawberry spot was gone!
And, OH, what a surprise I had when I emerged, to see a witch-like creature staring at me! As soon as she saw me, and she knew I saw her, she skedaddled right out of there! I was hurt for a second. Why would she run away from me? My guess had to be that it was because I looked pretty scary in my shower cap.
Until next time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gone Fishin'

I've been having so much fun at April's house, playing with Jane, Martha and Henry Doppleganger (who has really started coming out of his shell....however, he still sleeps a lot). We have been playing Wizard of Oz, hide and seek, sardines, tag (April put a kibosh on tag since it frenzied the dogs so much). We've been eating cereal out of the box, making forts under the chairs with blankets, staying up late and sleeping til 7:00am! Sometimes when everyone is asleep I think about Abbot. I've had to call him a couple times, and I've e-mailed him 4 times, but his replies are pretty much gibberish. I know what he's trying to say, that he misses me too, but he said he's been busy sneaking out the door, chasing squirrels, and having in depth conversations with the family dog, who has turned out to be quite an intellectual fellow. Who would have thunk? Abbot said he has a big surprise for me too, and he will e-mail it to me so that I can share it on my blog.
April took all 4 of us fishing one afternoon. Oh, it was very pretty by the creek. The weather has been very warm, much warmer than I'm used to, but near the creek it was cooler. The 4 of us ran to the edge when April pointed it out. April carried a bucket that was full of poles and string. We didn't know what she would do to us if we misbehaved. It was enough terror to keep me in line. She said not to get too close to the water and I listened. Poor Henry, though, was running so fast, caught one of his feet in a mud puddle, and slid just barely into the water. He dirtied his pants, and April gave him a discerning look. Then she sat down and started to tie some string to the end of a pole, and I wondered what poor Henry's punishment would be. I sat next to April and told her to please go easy on Henry, because when one is new to this world sometimes one gets a little overzealous. April smiled at me and told me that Henry would not be in trouble. She'd scrub his pants when we got home. The she continued to put more strings on more poles. She must have seen my confused look because she said the poles were for us. We were going to be fishing. This sounded interesting to me. I had only READ about fishing and, I must say, it sounded dreadful. I wasn't sure I liked the thought of using bait and hooks and hurting an innocent fish when it bit down on the hook. I realize that humans eat fish, and they eat the fish they catch, but I wasn't sure I wanted to be a part of that. But April added that we were only going to pretend and all we would catch would be a fine afternoon spent at the creek.

After April finished stringing the poles, she asked us to carefully hop into the bucket. The bucket would be our boat. I was scared we might float away in that bucket, tip over and drown, but Martha and Jane had no fear at all and flopped themselves into the bucket head first. They turned themselves upright, and then Henry leaped inside, which left me as the last to join in. My apprehension was getting the best of me, but I decided that I needed to try new things. I gingerly lifted one leg into the bucket, then the other. It felt wobbly, and I felt wobbly, but I sat myself in the corner. Martha gave me an all-knowing look, making me feel at ease. She held my hand, until April gave us our fishing poles, then she dropped it like a wet fish. We all held our poles and dangled the strings over the water. Then April lifted the bucket that contained us, and gently placed us on some rocks in the creek. She assured me I would not float away. Our strings followed along with us and got a little tangled in the process.

We sat there for quite some time, listening to the water tinkle beneath our boat. The rush of the water as it caressed the stones was so peaceful, I almost fell asleep holding my pole. Martha and Jane started poking each other after a while, and Henry accidentally let his pole drop out of his hands. He reached over the boat to grab it but it had floated on out of his reach. April had been reading a book under an oak tree and decided we had had enough at that point. She told us to pull our poles from the water to see if our "hooks" caught anything. She retrieved Henry's pole from the rock where it had been trapped and placed it back in his hands. We were all shocked and excited to see what we had caught!
April pulled us to the bank of the creek and we all skittered out of the boat. We dashed to the soft quilt that lay under the oak tree and spread out for a minute. Henry took up most of the space, acting all silly. He was going to be happy in his new home, I just knew it. Oh, if only Abbot were here right beside me. I think he would have liked fishing, as long as he could have filled his pockets with rocks, and maybe a toad or two.
April gathered the poles and string and we all walked back to her house, hand in hand.
Until next time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Journey by Mail Truck, and a Happy Welcoming

I had never traveled by mail truck (or by any other way than a car, able to look out the window), but there I was with my old suitcase full of my "necessary stuff" stuffed inside, then was placed onto a larger semi-tractor trailer, then ANOTHER semi. After a day or two (it was hard to days all ran together) I sat around, feeling lonely as could be in a post office somewhere north of Little Rock. That was just a hopeful guess. I honestly didn't know where I was. There was so much mail surrounding me and so many packages. I called out a few times to see if any other beings like me could hear me. I cleared my scratchy throat, that felt all big and puffy with despair, and summoned my words, "I am Caruthers P. Davenport! Is anyone out there who wants to talk to me?" I hear a couple muffled cries and I searched for them amid the piles of stuff. One being named Wanda answered. Wanda was in a box and I'm sad to say I never saw her face, but we spoke through some holes in her box. She said she was a teddy bear and was going to California to be with a girl named Lizzie. She was very excited, but I could tell by the tremble in her voice that she was as scared and lonesome as I was. I wondered why my maker would do this to me, force me to travel and leave me to sit in this place for a couple days. Yes, I had Henry Doppleganger with me, but he was so timid from still being so brand new that he just stayed locked in the suitcase where it was safe and warm. I told Wanda to be brave, because I was being brave, and sometimes that is required of us in this world. She promised she would be. I also talked with Blister, who was a stuffed elephant, Terri, who was a stuffed turtle, and Paisley, who was a stuffed dinosaur. I didn't know what they meant when they said "stuffed", except that maybe they were stuffed from eating too much chocolate. MY tummy, however, was grumbling. I sat down next to a box and thought of Abbot, and what he might be doing. I took out his picture and a few little droplets of water smeared the image. I had ruined it, which made me cry harder. It had gotten dark then, and I tried to stay cheerful talking to my new friends. We told each other stories about our homes and out families. Which kind of made me feel more sad, but happy at the same time. I told them I was going to visit April and she was excited to see me too.
In the morning a tall man asked me to board a smaller mail truck. His name was Ralph and he smiled at me. I was glad not to be traveling in another bumpy semi. This one was bumpy too, but Ralph let me sit in the front seat, atop piles of mail, so I could see out of the window. I looked at the scenery passing slowly by. Ralph made a lot of stops at mail boxes, and sometimes got out of his truck to deliver mail from house to house. I wasn't sure if Ralph, like my maker, could hear me, but I tried to ask him where we were and how much longer until I got to April's house. I guess he heard me because he said, "Caruthers? That's your name...Caruthers? We will be at April's house in a few minutes. You are in Little Rock and I know for sure April is waiting for you. Every day she asks if there is a special delivery for her, and today I'll get to say yes!" I was so excited! A few minutes until I see April! It seemed like months since I had seen a human who loved me.
I arrived at April's and was bombarded by love! There were 2 other beings my maker had made waiting for me too! I met Martha, a bunny, and Jane, a cat, and a bunch of other friends they had made at April's house. April saw me, picked me up, and marveled at my size. She was so glad to see me having waited so long. That made me happy. There is nothing better in this world than to be wanted. Martha and Jane immediately made me put on silly shoes, eat some chocolates and pulled me into their fantasy world, where they were pretending I had been lost in a tornado. We ran off together as Henry Doppleganger creeped out of the suitcase. I had forgotten about him! I ran back to the suitcase, introduced Henry to everyone, especially April, because my maker made Henry just for her. Off we all ran to start new adventures!

The end of the day came too suddenly, but we were all tired. April said we could all sleep in the same bed as long as there was no monkey business. I was not sure what she meant since there wasn't a monkey among us. But the dim moonlight thrown in from the window cast shadows around the room where we all lay, snuggled in a happy quilt. Jane and Martha giggled for quite a while until they fell asleep. Henry zonked right out. I have heard that dogs sleep a lot. And me, I was elated to be there, but still lonesome for Abbot. I rolled to my side, tucked my arm under my pillow, and just as I was about to cry I felt something under my pillow. I pulled out a piece of paper, which was a picture of Abbot. April must have placed it under my pillow. This one I refused to stain with tears and ruin. I looked at his silly smile, and tucked the picture back under my pillow. I fell asleep thinking of him. Tomorrow was ahead of me. Tomorrow is always ahead.
Until next time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adventures in Arkansas: The Beginning

I had never been anywhere before since I came into being. I mean, except for the town....and the park. And Wisconsin. I had never been anywhere alone, at least not since Abbot came into being. When my maker told me she wanted me to go on a trip somewhere, I was so excited! I couldn't wait! I started jumping up and down and spinning in circles like I had seen the family dog do when he was chasing his tail. Since I don't have a tail it must have looked terrifically silly when I started spinning. My maker must have known what I was wondering.....where were we going this time? There is nothing I like more than going places and seeing what is out there in the world. There is so much I don't know, so much I haven't seen. My excitement was in full force. I could taste it in my mouth. It tasted a little like chocolates. It was then that my maker sat me down, looked me in the eye and said to me, "Caruthers, I am sending you on an adventure all by yourself. We will pack you a suitcase and you will travel by mail truck to Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas is another state, just like Wisconsin is." She must have seen the confusion on my face. My whole demeanor dropped onto the floor like a glass of milk. SLOSH. Then my maker said, "It's OK Caruthers. There is someone in Little Rock who is very excited to meet you. She's been reading your blog and she wants you to visit and have some adventures with her. You don't have to be scared because she is my friend and I know she will take good care of you. Her name is April and she has dogs and a whole life that I think you will enjoy immensely." I did not know what to think. I was excited to go to Little Rock and meet April, but I knew I would miss my home and my maker. Would I ever get home again? I have seen my maker's children go away and come back, so I figured I'd be OK. But I also remembered my maker's face when her children left. She cried sometimes when her children left and I was there to hold her hand. Who would hold her hand when I left? I looked to my maker's face to ask her about Abbot. "No, Caruthers," she said. "Abbot will stay here." Then she picked me up in her arms and said, "And I'll be fine. Don't worry. April will take your photos and you can write about your adventures at her house. You can also e-mail me any time you want."
I felt better about it after a few days and started to pack my suitcase. I gathered only the essentials, the necessary items I would need: my light sabre, my pirate hat and patch, my tall menacing hat, and stuff like that. I was a little worried about April's dogs. What if I needed my pirate hat in case they thought I was too much of a softie? I wanted to be prepared for all situations. Abbot sniffled as he watched me pack. He and his tall ears peaked over the top of the suitcase and he whimpered a bit. I told him not to worry. I told him I'd e-mail him and keep his picture with me at all times. I also told him I'd bring him a souvenir from Little Rock. My maker told me that April would take me shopping.
When I had finished packing, I ran and got my maker so she could make sure I brought the right stuff. She laughed when she saw what I deemed as "necessary" for travel. She then placed into my suitcase a woolie dog she had made for April. She said, "See, Caruthers? You will not be all alone. This sweet little Henry Doppleganger will accompany you on your trip. But he will stay in Little Rock with April when you return home."
Then I couldn't find Abbot. He had jumped down off the chair he was standing on behind the suitcase when I went to get my maker. I looked all over for him. It wasn't a fine time to play hide and seek, but there was was, doing just that. My maker looked too. We called his name and looked under beds, behind doors, and inside all the cereal boxes. He and his ears (which always give him away) were no where to be found. I went back to my suitcase and pouted a little. I had only a few hours left with Abbot and he was hiding from me. I started to re-arrange my suitcase only to feel a strange lump in my throat....and another one under a blanket that wasn't there before. I pressed on it a bit and it started gargling. It was ABBOT! He was hiding in my suitcase all this time! I pressed down on the lump some more and he gargled even louder. Then I pulled the edge of the blanket away to reveal his smiling face. I smiled back. I knew he wanted to come with me but I assured him that I would be home soon and we'd have so many adventures of our own this summer. I wasn't sure this was true, however. I wasn't sure I'd EVER get home again. But that's what I had to tell Abbot so he wouldn't worry. I know my maker had told me things like that in the past so I wouldn't worry about her. It was time for ME to be brave. I had to go out into the world alone.
We all posed as my maker took this photo in front of my suitcase. We were now all feeling very excited for my journey. I hoped April wouldn't mind all the stuff I was bringing. My maker said again that April had everything I needed to stay with her, including my own toothbrush and bed, and I wouldn't really need any of my toys, but my maker also knew my toys made me feel a little more secure.
My case was packed and I was ready for my journey. I am not sure what it is like to travel in a mail truck, but I knew I would soon be finding out. I hoped I would get to April soon, and I hoped she would like me. I felt scared too, not really knowing where I was going or who I'd meet. The world can be scary that way. But what an adventure I planned on having!

Until next time. Bon Voyage!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bathing Beauties

It was a fine afternoon. My maker took Abbot and I out into the yard. The birds were all a-twitter and the breeze blew so hard it almost carried me away in its arms. I held my maker's hand in one of my hands, and Abbot's in the other. My maker had a blanket tucked under the arm with which she held my hand. She was wearing a crazy outfit that looked similar to underwear. She had a big hat on her head and a tote bag hooked around her other arm. I practically had to drag Abbot along. Abbot was always looking behind himself as we walked. He had to see everything. He gargled at the grass between his toes, and marveled at the tiny bugs he happened upon as we walked. I looked up and noticed that I had never seen the sun so high in the sky and so warm on my body as today. My maker stopped on a hill in the yard, surveyed the angle of the sun, I guessed, let go of my hand, and tossed the blanket onto the grass. She then grabbed two corners of the blanket and opened it in the breeze until it floated and fell like a feather onto the grass. She laid Abbot and I onto our backs, gave us some sunglasses and an ipod and told us to enjoy the warmth of the sun. She sat down beside us then and began smoothing some cream on her body. Then she laid down too, and enjoyed the sun. "The sun is not good for me, Caruthers,", my maker said. "It just feels so warm today that I couldn't resist taking you and Abbot out into it too." My maker assured me this would not harm Abbot or I too badly, maybe just fade our colors a little. I asked her what it would do to her as she lazed beside us in her bathing suit. "Unfortunately, Caruthers," she said, "the sunshine is not always a good thing for humans to enjoy. We really should stay out of the sun. The sun changes our skin color, and that's not a good thing." I turned my head to look at her as she laid on her back. She had her sunglasses on and the white cream all over her skin. She must have noticed that I was staring at her because she added, "It's OK Caruthers. I know I said your colors may fade in the sun, but humans get darker. This white lotion is to prevent my skin from burning." I became alarmed. Burning! Would my maker burst into flames before my eyes? I've seen it on TV (I know I'm not supposed to watch those shows....but I sneak them in sometimes....), a man with flames rising from his back as he runs away. But the flames keep following him. Does he think he can outrun them? What would I do if my maker started on fire? I sat up and jumped onto her belly. I jumped up and down I was so scared. What if I burst into flames too? Then what would Abbot do? I was sure he would whimper until he ran out of tears. This couldn't happen! "Caruthers!" my maker gasped. "What is it? Why are you jumping on me?" Of course she can read my thoughts and she realized what she had said and how I had interpreted it. "NO, Caruthers, I will NOT burst into flames! What I mean about my skin burning is that it would turn red. Red skin, burned skin, even skin changing to a brown color is not healthy." I was so relived she would not burst into flames that I collapsed onto the blanket again. I managed to kick Abbot in the face on accident, and he pulled my ear. I gave him a sour look. Then I wondered why my maker would lay in the sun in her underwear if it was not healthy. She must have heard me because she said, "Caruthers, sometimes people do things that aren't good for them because these things make us feel good. It's not something we are proud of, but without these tiny vices, as we call them, life would be pretty dull and tedious. Sometimes we need these little vices to help us get through the day. It gives us something to look forward to, just like you look forward to your chocolates and going outside." Then she added something that scared me, "Some people have more vices than others, and some have vices that could kill them. When people have a hard time dealing with their vices, and their vices begin to control them, then they have a big problem." I started to think about my vices......chocolates, running around, pulling the dog's tail, tickling Abbot until he drools, hiding in the corn flakes box, sleeping upside down....there were a million of them! Could any of them kill me? I was scared. My maker heard me again though and said, "Caruthers, anything in moderation won't kill you. You just have to be sensible, be careful about the choices you make and you'll be fine."
Abbot was trembling a bit as he listened to my maker's and my conversation. I patted his belly and said, "It's OK, Abbot. We will be fine as long as we listen to our maker." That made him smile a huge toothy grin. We both laid back down on our backs and threw our hands to the sky. It was a fine day to lay in the sun. Just for a bit.
Until next time.