My feet take hold of the top of the fence. I grab onto the Wisteria Vine to hold my balance. A waft of sweetness captures my attention and it is all that matters in this world. Until Missus shows up. She matters more.
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Missus watches me through her window. But now something else watches me too. It has ears like me – only bigger. It is loud and has big teeth and a tongue that hangs from its mouth. But somehow they let it live inside. Missus calls it Blue Belle. Mister calls it Bad Dog.
Our hillside is special. Missus named everyone that lives here. Our mothers forgot to, I guess. I like Missus. She is really quiet around us. Which makes me wonder if her children are really hers.
She named me Rocky. They say I used to have a friend named Bullwinkle but I don’t remember him. Above my tree hole is a straw bed where Eyebrows lives. Eyebrows is a bird who has white feathers above his eyes. He’s very brave. He goes right up to her children and food pops from their fingers. Like magic.
Then there’s Frank. He’s a raccoon. Missus thinks there is only one of him but there are really two. So they are both named Frank. They surprise Bad Dog at night and it startles me. I don’t think Frank has ears because he doesn’t move when it happens. He just sits on top of the fence and stares down at Bad Dog like she’s crazy. Cause she is.
A bird family just moved in. Alfalfa and Mary. They each have a curl on their head that wobbles when they walk. I think they walk because their children can’t fly yet, which I can understand. Evidently they were famous at one time in a show called The Rascals and the other one was in something about her name.
Lastly, is Thumper. He bops along the drainage pipe. Up and down. Up and down. His hind legs bounce and plop. He has bigger ears than any of us but seems to like the noise he hears, until he sees what is causing it. There are more like him, too.
Missus has had water falling from her eyes lately. There are sticks under her arms and sometimes wheels underneath her legs. She used to be gone a lot. Working. With a camera and big black bag. I stopped watching after a while when she would say goodbye to Mister and her children. Because it made me sad and I knew she’d be back. Now she’s always back. Her camera sits on her desk in the window. She visits us about once a day and watches us. She talks about the weather when it’s nice and I agree with her. Eyebrows flies down when she has food. She seems to like us. And that makes me happy.
Our hillside is different now that she’s home all the time. As though her watching us gives us a reason to live. When I gather food in my cheeks it makes her happy. So I do it a lot. Maybe that’s what it is about. This life thing. Making others happy. I know it will end though because I have seen others like me, still, in the street. But I don’t think about that as much as I used to.
The sun tires. I make my way through the sweetness and up into my tree. I curl into the silence. Until Frank shows up. And the barking starts all over again. But I know that tomorrow will be more of the same. It is a same that is beautiful. So why would I want it to change? Missus opens her window so she can smell the sweetness too, while she sleeps. We are more alike than she will ever know. Now that she is home. And sees how beautiful living can actually be.
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Source: Santa Clarita News