Split acorns and puppies

It’s not easy trying to write with a puppy underfoot, but as long as she gnaws at her toy, cube shaped and covered in tendrils and bumps and protuberances of all types designed to assist her teeth to grow strong and clean, all will be well. Before I need to engage in more active play.

The pup’s been here a week and again I feel like the mother of a newborn, preoccupied, alert to her every cry when it’s my turn to take responsibility for her. Fortunately, I get to share this load as I’m not the only dog watcher in this household. 

With my babies I was not alone, too, but babies are a much bigger deal than puppies and filled me with a deep sense of awe at the mysteries of life and a deep fear of death.

As happens most often in the middle of the night, I decided the puppy had a cough, a cough that in my imagination had me scooting off to the emergency vet in the dark, coughing puppy beside me and ready to die. 

I could not find the contract papers and details from the pet shelter from where we collected the puppy. They disappeared almost as soon as we brought her home. I did not take care of them because I assumed our life with this puppy would proceed without hitch.

This does not always happen I know, but the optimist in me insisted on imagining our puppy beyond puppydom where like the other dogs in my life, I need not be so preoccupied.

My two older grandsons stayed overnight too which adds to my sense of responsibility for the young ones who need support. My grandsons in the form of pancakes for breakfast and by mid-morning an injunction to get off their screens and come out into the world with me for a walk with the dogs, or a series of card games that we play in a stretch to shift into non technological mode. 

The younger grandson brought his pack of Exploding Kittens. I can’t get into this card game. I read through the rules with him yesterday and as much as I can now understand the moves more fully, this game still lacks something for me. I prefer the patterning of Uno, the repetitious nature of a card game that relies both on luck and some modicum of skill. A game I can play as well as the next person.

The corellas are back this morning. I expected them a week back ever since I saw the first lone scout circling overhead. Casing the joint. Ready to holler to its mates, come over here. There’s an oak tree resplendent with budding acorns. Plenty to eat here. 

I mentioned them to my grandson, the younger one said, 

‘They need to eat, too,’ he said. Live and let live is his motto but he doesn’t need to clean up the back garden once all those acorns fall, split open for their inner goodness. Along with the acorns there are endless twigs and even small branches snapped off in the bird’s eagerness to get at their food. 

When I take the dogs out for walks over the next few weeks whole streets lined with elms, oaks or plane trees will see their foliage scattered in debris across the footpath and road. The corellas are merciless, but my grandson is right, they too need to eat.

The puppy sleeps now after my grandsons exhausted her in her first of the morning play. And soon I will hover over them urging them out into the world. Another day beckons and the puppy is one week older. 

Corellas or not we must brave the day. 

4 thoughts on “Split acorns and puppies”

  1. I was going to start this by saying, “Send the corellas our way, we’d love to have them,” but then I found a picture of one and he looked too much like Birdie and that made me sad. Sadder. Sad is my constant state at the moment. It’s been over a week now and we’re plodding on, doing the necessary and, in my case, writing poems like they’re going out of fashion. In today’s I noted how moreish grief is. People think it eats you up but it’s the other way round. I dismantled his last “castle” (the assemblage of boxes on top of his cage) and Carrie emptied the cage and gave it a thorough clean. Hopefully it can go to a good home because it’s in decent nick. The food’s another thing. None of the wild birds have touched his millet. I guess we’ll end up tossing it and the buggies can scoff it. Everyone, as you say, has to eat.

    A puppy would be an awful burden right now. Dogs are exhausting at the best of times. Birdie was never especially needy although I know some birds can be. He liked his flock around him and would call out if we disappeared for too long but that was about it. If he flew over to one of us that was special and we liked that. In the past we had talked about what we’d do when Birdie died and we both agreed we’d like a house cat. We still feel that way but not for a while, maybe a year once all thus coronavirus nonsense is over and we feel safe going out. Carrie’s had her first jab and my first appointment is on the 26th. Carrie says she’d like a kitten but I have mixed feelings. All Mum’s cats were strays so we never had to deal with kittens. I feel too old for that.

    1. A cat is lovely idea, Jim. We have two of them. Old girls, both nearing fifteen years. One is traumatised at the arrival of the puppy and only ventures upstairs. We’re turning them into indoor cats, with kitty litter on hand. The decision is once they go, once we get beyond our grief on losing one or the other or both, we’ll take on another two but keep them indoors. Life must seem very different for you and Carrie without Birdy. I hope the grieving is not too painful.

  2. The Corellas in Echuca during our recent stay were amazing in their sheer numbers and noise, and they followed us back home to feast on Plane Tree seed pods.

    Over the internet some years ago I bought Exploding Kittens for your niece, only to find out it was an R rated version. Take two and the right ones were delivered. I didn’t have a clue what they were about.

  3. The corollas can be splendid, at least in appearance, Andrew, and I do not begrudge them their existence as birds. Only the mess they make.

    There must be many versions of those damned Exploding Kittens. Predictable there’d be an R-rated version. Thanks Andew.

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