Haiku Friday: Stranger

zen gardenHere’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Stranger:

faded rags hang loose

shuffling down a dusty road

you are the stranger

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below.  The only rules are:  1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

Serial Fiction: Grandma’s Masks Installment #20

moleHere’s another installment of my book-in-progress, Grandmas Masks. If you missed the previous installment on June 19th, click here to read it. Or click the Serial Fiction tab to read all the previous posts of Grandma’s Masks. Today we start on Chapter 5, The Mole.

 

Chapter 5

The Mole

Emma:

Lucy has wandered over to the wall of masks. I wonder if she really listens to Grandma’s stories, or shrugs them off as silly fantasies. It’s hard to tell with Lucy, and getting harder the older she gets. By the time she’s 25 her mind will be frozen in place, and all we’ll have in common is our memories of Grandma. Hopefully that will be enough.

Lucy reaches out to touch a mask, and I see that’s she patting the soft furry back of the Mole. Mole is a rather plain mask, just a simple face painted a rich dark brown, with golden streaks running from the forehead, down the cheeks and nose, and pooling in a droplet on the chin. Once you hear the story, you know the streaks are actually tunnels. Nestled in the round drop is a small painted mole with pink feet, a pointy snout, and the furry back that Lucy is stroking.

I don’t know what I want to do next, try to get Lucy to recognize herself in the Beaver story – I mean, she really does need to lighten up – or tell another mask story. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

Lucy hands me the Mole. 

##

If you want to know the Mole’s story, check back next Wednesday July 3rd for the next installment of Grandma’s Masks.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Squeakies

wrist braceAlex Terrgi here. My human sometimes wears these things on her wrists for something called “carpal tunnel.” Usually she keeps them by her computer when she’s not wearing them, but last week one of them fell on the floor, where I found it. It smelled just like her, and it was soft and spongy and reminded me of a squeaky toy. The human says I have a “problem” with squeaky toys. Just because I like to play with them and rip their squeaky little heads off – so much fun! But although it’s not a “problem” for me, she says she won’t waste her money buying me any more squeakies because it makes me “throw a squeaky fit.”

Anyway, last week I played with the carpal tunnel squeaky (that was on the floor after all) and it got a little bit ripped up, which was even more fun, so I chewed on it some more, and I guess I must have eaten some of its guts, because pretty soon I started to feel kind of yucky, so I threw up. “Problem” solved!

Except the human found the squeaky gut vomit and threw a fit of her own.

I don’t understand why she gets to have squeaky carpal tunnel toys and throw fits, and I don’t. I know I’m just a dog, but does this seem fair?

Haiku Friday: Garbage

haiku pic 1Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Garbage:

like a proud dark crow

eat garbage with dignity

show up for your share

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below.  The only rules are:  1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

Serial Fiction: Grandma’s Masks Installment #19

ruby slippersHere’s another installment of my book-in-progress, Grandma’s Masks. If you missed the previous installment on June 12th, click here to read it.  Or click the Serial Fiction tab to read all the previous posts of Grandma’s Masks.

 

The woman wanted to say, “Oh come on, a beaver named Dorothy?” but she didn’t. She was afraid she might offend the beaver. She started to say “Good morning, Dorothy,” but she felt a smile start to break out – this was so ridiculous! So forcing her face into its normal serious lines, although feeling as though she had landed in Oz, she answered lamely, “How do you do.”

The beaver snorted. “Do you find my name funny?” she asked. For such a dumpy beaver, she really had a formidable air about her.

“Oh no, Dorothy is a fine name,” said the woman seriously. She opened her mouth to ask Dorothy the Beaver what she had to teach her, but before she could say anything, the beaver asked, “How do you like my ruby slippers?”

“Oh no,” thought the woman. “This is just not happening.” She looked at the beaver’s feet. Yes, there were sparkly red shoes on the beaver’s back paws. They shone brightly in the morning mist.

“I don’t usually wear them in the water,” explained Dorothy. “I keep them here on the bank. If I don’t the children get them and you know what children are. They’ll ruin them faster than tree bark in the spring.”

The woman’s jaws ached from trying not to sputter with exasperation. “How is this supposed to teach me anything?” she thought. “This is ridiculous.” She looked up to the cliff top where her serious vegetables waited.

“You don’t have much of a sense of humor, do you?” said the beaver.

“You said you had something to tell me,” said the woman, ignoring the crack about her sense of humor, or lack of it. What did humor have to do with anything?

“Laugh,” said the beaver flatly, emphasizing the word with a slap of her broad tail. “This is funny,” she added. “I am a beaver named Dorothy, wearing ruby slippers. And now I will do something even funnier.”

 The beaver removed the ruby slippers and hid them in the weeds. She took a blue-checked apron off a nearby bush and tied it around her chubby waist. Out of the pocket of the apron she took a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and balanced them on her snout.

“Now I’m Auntie Em,” she announced. Dead pan, she looked into the woman’s eyes and paused. She leaned forward and in a stage whisper she said, “Lighten up.”

“What?” said the woman. The beaver sighed. “Subtlety is not your strong suit, is it?” she said. “Okay, listen. You can be anyone you want – a gardener, a student, a beaver named Dorothy. But to be good at whatever you are, you must learn to lighten up. Not everything is serious. And fun may be the most useful thing of all.”

“Now you may go home.” She shooed the woman up the steep and slippery path toward the top of the cliff. “It’ll be easier to climb if you laugh,” she advised.

By the time the woman got to the top, the muscles in her legs ached, and so did the muscles in her cheeks from the laughter pouring from her mouth in a foamy golden stream. A beaver named Dorothy! Ruby slippers! An aproned Auntie Em! Really, too ridiculous for words.   

“Yes, but funny,” she said aloud. She looked at her vegetable patch. “Next year I’m planting some herbs,” she said.

And so it ends, or maybe it is just beginning.

 

be silly sometimes

you may come close to Truth

besides, it’s more fun 

##

Who do you think Grandma wrote this story for? If you check back next Wednesday maybe you will find out.

Compost: The Wonderful Words of Spam

Spam chopped pork and ham tinJust like everyone else, my blog often gets spammy comments, which are usually caught by my spam filter so I don’t have to read them. But sometimes the spam filter has a brain fart or something, and spam gets through anyway. Most of the time this is simply annoying, because it means I have to spend my time telling the spam filter about the spam and deleting it – which sort of defeats the whole purpose of a spam filter, right?

But sometimes I get a kick out of the spam because it is so asinine, so off-topic, so just-plain-stupid that it makes me laugh. Here’s a recent spam comment to one of my Haiku Friday posts from 2010 (why do spambots comment on old posts?) Tell me if this makes you laugh too – I swear I have not changed it at all.

“Definitely believe that that you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest factor to take into account of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as folks think about issues that they just don’t understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you”

Laughter is good for your health. Thanks, Spambot!

Haiku Friday: Shadows

haiku pic 2Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Shadows:

twinkling from the shadows

mystery welcomes you home

you’re falling through time

 It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below.  The only rules are:  1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

 

Serial Fiction: Grandma’s Masks, Installment #18

beaverHere’s another installment of my book-in-progress, Grandma’s Masks. If you missed the previous installment on June 5th, click here to read it.  Or click the Serial Fiction tab to read all the previous posts of Grandma’s Masks.

 

Beaver:

How to Lighten Up

Once long ago, or maybe only yesterday, there was a woman who was very serious. She worked hard and had accumulated many useful things. She studied hard so she knew many useful things. She had few friends, because friends often wanted to have fun, and fun was not useful or serious. She rarely laughed and the only time she smiled was when she itched somewhere.

One morning she visited her vegetable patch to gather vegetables to make soup, a serious food, for that night’s dinner. On her way to the vegetable patch she passed other people picking flowers, but she ignored them. Flowers were not serious.

She pulled carrots and dug potatoes and picked pea pods from the carefully staked vines in their straight rows. She did not gather herbs because she grew none – herbs were for seasoning, and seasoning, like fun, was not necessary.

Her vegetable patch was near a cliff overlooking a river, and on the river were some beaver building a dam. The woman approved of beaver, serious animals who always seemed to be working. She paused for a minute to watch them, hoping to learn something useful.

She noticed a sloping path leading from the precipice to the river. The path was made of flattened grass and weeds, as if creatures had been sliding down it. Surely not, she thought. Beavers would never do anything like sliding; it would be too much like fun. The path must have been made by otters or another such frivolous animal.

“Hey you!” she heard a loud crackly voice coming from the river bank.

She peered over the precipice and saw a large beaver standing on the bank, waving its right front paw in the air, as if beckoning something.

“Hey you!” cried the beaver again. “Come on down!”

The woman looked around but saw no one else. There was no mistake – the beaver was talking to her.

“Got something to tell you,” yelled the beaver. “Go ahead, slide down the slope.”

The woman didn’t really want to slide, but there seemed to be no other way down to the river bank, and if a talking beaver wanted to teach her something, it must be useful and quite serious. Leaving her basket of vegetables by the cliff edge, she sat down on the path and pushed off. The grass was very slick and she shot down the slope at an alarming pace. She had to bite her lip hard so no “whee” would escape.

She came to an abrupt stop at the bottom, right in front of the beaver who was obviously waiting for her. The beaver’s paws were now folded across her plump stomach. It looked a lot like the woman’s second grade teacher Mrs. Duncastle, who had been warm and plump and cozy looking, but the strictest teacher she had ever had.

“How do you do,” said the beaver solemnly. “My name is Dorothy.”

#

 If you want to know what the beaver named Dorothy has to say, tune in next Wednesday June 19th for another installment of Grandma’s Masks.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Rodar

mouse editedAlex Terrgi here. Today I proved my worth. I caught a mouse – or I would have caught a mouse if my human had let me. But I am the one who discovered the mouse, there is no argument there.

I knew the mouse was in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, where the garbage is. I stood in front of the cupboard and I shook and whined, then I ran and told my human, and then I ran back to the cupboard. I had to do this a couple of times before she caught on, but she finally did. She opened the cupboard door and peered inside but she didn’t see the mouse, although I knew he was there, because I could smell him. I could hear him too, scrabble scratch skitter – I know the human’s nose is worthless, but she has ears, for goodness sake!

Finally she heard the mouse noise too. She took out the garbage can and looked in the cupboard again, while I pointed and sniffed at the can itself – because it was clear to me that she didn’t seem to know that the mouse was IN the can, eating the garbage. I don’t know how humans get along without a decent nose – they should have died out long ago.

But after the human finally caught on to where the mouse was, she took the can outside – and let the mouse go free! Can you believe it? Where does she think the mouse is going to go? Does she think he’s learned his lesson? Doesn’t she realize that if she does not kill the mouse, he will come right back in the way he came – which is probably through a hole he ate in the wall – I mean, I’m all for being kind to dogs, but mice are not dogs.

Mice are rodents. Rodents are bad. I am a terrier (or at least part of me is) and my kind have been catching and killing rodents for so many generations that I can’t count. I’m not good at counting, but so what? I AM good at rodent catching. We terriers have rodent radar – or rodar for short.

Oh well. Since the human didn’t kill the mouse, he will be back, and when he is – watch out. Alex the Mighty Rodar Terrgi is watching, and listening, and smelling.

When I bring the human the dead mouse, I know she will say, “Good boy, Alex!” This is what I live for.

Haiku Friday: Tired

haiku pic 3Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Tired:

oh how tired you are

perhaps just sit and listen

soft green breaths of spring

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below.  The only rules are:  1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.