Monday, October 11, 2010

Hiders Can't Seek

October, I am told, usually doesn't see such pleasant weather. And I can't say I know this to be true, for this is my first October since I've been made. It has been a lovely month thus far with fair temperatures and barely any rain. The hardest part has been being cooped up like a chicken in the house while my maker remains busy with her work. Occasionally I will hear her grunt or groan and I know her frustration is getting the better of her. One day I tugged at her skirt. She looked at me with tired eyes, but she knew what I wanted, and what she needed. "OK, Caruthers," she said. "You and Abbot get ready to go outside. We'll take the dog for a run out back." I nudged Abbot, who had been napping, and told him we were going outside. First he ran down the stairs to the door, then back upstairs to me, then downstairs again to the door. If he was a dog his behavior would not surprise me. But he IS a monster, albeit a perky little monster.
The air was dry and quite warm, not what I was expecting, but I was so glad to be outside that I ran way ahead of my maker. Abbot followed, and the dog, still leery of us, kept some distance. My maker, a swift walker herself, struggled to keep up with the balls of energy that were Abbot and I. "Why don't you both hide and I'll look for you?" she called out. Our giant ears heard those words almost as fast as she spoke them and we were well on our way to a hiding place. We climbed the trellis of the old windmill in the yard, concealed by the prairie plants, but she found us quickly.

We ran into the corn field, certain she would never find us amidst the dry corn stalks. But she did.

And again, down the field we ran. We hid and waited. This time she didn't come right away. We wondered why, and even began to worry about her. "Abbot," I said, "Why don't you go have a look down the field and see where our maker is." Abbot gave me a quizzical look, indicating he didn't want to be the one to get "caught". I immediately knew he wanted ME to look instead. So I pulled and wound my way through the corn plants to poke my head out and look down the field. And she wasn't there. I panicked and maybe even shivered a little. I may have even shrieked. Abbot heard and came running through the corn to see what had me so scared. He got stuck on a weed for a moment, but pulled himself free. I looked back at him and couldn't help but laugh when I saw all the little seeds that had attached themselves to his body. Unfortunately, my giggle gave us away, and just as Abbot too poked his head out to look down the field, our maker came along with the dog, who raced past us like a lunatic.

From then on it was just a crazy game of hide and seek. We ran back to the road and climbed into the mail and newspaper boxes. But my maker found us. We climbed grain bins and tractors, but she always found us. We ran back into the field, except this time we were in a soybean field, and we were more taken with the activities of the grasshoppers than the need to hide. Abbot and I scoured the ground looking for them and they would pop up all around us like tiny bouncing monsters. They did not seem to be afraid of us at all, and a few even landed on our bodies. It sure tickled when they landed on our ears! It was then that I discovered Abbot had a rather large hole in his fabric on his backside. He must have torn himself on that weed stem when he was scrambling to get out of the corn. "Abbot," I whispered, "You have torn yourself!" Abbot, try as he might, struggled to look over his shoulder, but his head, like mine, doesn't really turn. As he was trying to catch a glimpse of the tear he spun a little to the left, and the more he tried to see the tear, the more he spun. Soon he was spinning like a top trying to get a look at his backside. It reminded me of when the dog chases his tail. I almost laughed, but I knew he was upset. I tried to calm him. "It's OK Abbot. Our maker will fix it." Abbot's smile wavered. He was scared when I mentioned our maker. Abbot, timid as he is, softly said, "But she will be angry. She gets upset when my pants get dirty. Now I've TORN myself!" I again tried to calm him, "It was an accident, Abbot. And she doesn't get upset, just annoyed, and that's only because she can't throw you in the washing machine. She'll understand." "But I'm RUINED now!" he whimpered, and before I knew it he was dashing down the field. "Where is he going?" my maker called out to me. I looked at her and she could see on my face something was wrong. Abbot disappeared into the corn and I knew he'd be frightened without me. My maker, the dog, and I hurried after, but that Abbot is a fast one. By the time we had reached the edge of the corn field we could no longer see his colorful body. I began to sniffle because I was afraid he'd be lost in there forever. "It's OK Caruthers," my maker tried to calm me. "We'll find him." We looked for about an hour, traipsing through the itchy, scratchy corn plants calling Abbot's name. The dog tore through like a lawn mower but came back to us empty-mouthed. I was on the verge of sobbing when I noticed the dog was sniffing a lead out in the bean field. He had his head deep in the ground. I doubted Abbot had dug himself a hole to hide in, especially since his pants would be both dirty AND torn, but nevertheless, dogs have a good sense of smell. I hurried over to the dog who gave me a look like I better not steal his bone, or else. I communicated with him, because I can do that sometimes, and he nodded his head over to his right. He seemed to tell me he was digging for a mouse and that my goon of a friend got himself trapped on the piece of equipment over yonder. Yes. He said, "Yonder".

I ran over to the very large farm implement and there was Abbot atop the highest rung. The whole thing reminded me of a Ferris wheel, a ride I've only seen on television, thank goodness. "Abbot!" I yelled. "Come down from there! We've been looking all over for you!" Just then my maker caught up and asked Abbot to come down. "Abbot, Caruthers told me about your tear, and it's OK. I can fix it. You will be fine and it will not hurt, I promise. I am not angry or upset, but I am a little annoyed, I must admit, but that's only because you're such a cute little scalawag. So please come down. You should never hide from me, no matter how naughty you think you've been. I will always forgive you." Abbot slowly maneuvered down the rungs until he reached a level where he could jump into our maker's arms. She caught him and flipped him over to access the damage. "Not too bad," she said. "I'll make you a sweet little patch and you'll be good as new."
Hiding sometimes has it's benefits. Like when one is sad, a good hiding place can offer a chance to think. Or when one does something naughty and they don't want anyone to know, hiding DOES seem like a good solution, at least for a while. But hiding never changes anything. It's like stagnant water, or a plant that doesn't grow. Hiding prevents solutions from happening. Like my maker told me, hiding should never be a permanent solution, because no matter for how long one hides, eventually one has to peep out their head to see if anyone is coming to find them. And if they're lucky, somebody will be.

What a nice day for a swing.
Until next time.