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.