They pet me only once or twice a year, but I know they love me. At least Honeydad does. Every year he is the one who pulls out the ladder, climbs up, and “dusts” me. After a week of nagging, Mommydear succeeds in getting him to do this ‘chore.’
“Well, ole Buck, how’s it hangin?” Honeydad asks, for the umpteenth time, as he ascends the ladder.
“Nice day. What do you think about all this snow? I hope the kids can make it at the weekend.” His eyes mist over and I could tell that he misses them. I do too. It will be good to see them again. This place has been so quite since Todd went to college. We’re all so proud of him. Jean too, she and her Jim have such beautiful children. Honeydad and Mommydear love their grandkids very much. Their noise will be welcomed.
“Can you believe the way she carries on?” he grumbles as he strokes my coarse coat.
Between sneezes he brags “Still my best trophy, next to the marlin, that is. I don’t know why she calls you a monstrosity. Just look at these antlers. You should be proud, old boy.”
“Honey,” his wife calls from the kitchen, “Can you set up the Christmas tree when you are done fondling your prize buck?”
“Sure, no problem. I’m about done here. I’ll decorate Bob Marlin later.”
He pulls a small red mitten from his pocket and covers my nose as he apologizes, “I’m sorry, Buck, I really hate to do this but the kids expect it, you know. I can’t tell them my story about the Christmas Eve when I shot Rudolph if you aren’t wearing this.” It is warm but it doesn’t bother me too much. Bob the Marlin was happy for his reprieve, it means less time he has to wear his elf ears.
Snoodles, the annoying, yippy, yappy embarrassment to the animal kingdom, covers his snout and sniggers at my predicament. If I could jump off this wall, I’d make him pay.
In spite of the sound effects,I don't really mind. It means that the people will pay attention to me while he tells the “hunting” story to the little ones as they gather around the fireplace. When the other big people come in and sing songs, they point and laugh at me. Honeydad tells them a different story about how he shot me-not quite true, but close enough.
My friend, Bob the Marlin, and I have watched our family grow. The early years were scary as we watched helplessly as little Todd, the toddler, careened into the glass coffee table. Oh, the tears we saw. We had to close our eyes a time or two when Jean, the teen, had boys over to watch movies; at least that is what they called it. There wasn’t much ‘watching’ going on.
In the spring, when Mommydear opens the windows at night, the breeze reminds me of the days in the woods when I roamed with the other creatures. On those nights, while the family sleeps, Bob and I talk about our past. He misses the ocean and swimming with his family.
Now the only wood I see is the paneling that lines the family room. The lush grass of my home is a memory as well. It has been replaced with what the people call “carpet.” Mommydear likes to run a noisy machine over it. She calls it a ‘vacuum.’ It is brown like dirt, I miss the green forest floors. I miss all the other animals of my forest.
The family’s other pet is an embarrassment to the animal world. What self respecting creature would allow their people to call them “Snoodles?” He is a disgrace to dogs everywhere. He snuggles up on Mommydear’s lap like a baby. It’s disgusting and I just can’t stand it, sometimes I wish that I had blinders like a horse. He’s not supposed to get on the couch, but everyday after the family leaves, he jumps up and lays his curly head on the pillow and smiles at me. I would rat him out if I could talk. Then I’d be the one sniggering. Mommydear would be so mad. Hah.
Honeydad keeps talking about another hunting trip, one for more trophies, and Mommydear says, “Over my dead body.”
He just laughs; I wonder if he would have her stuffed and hang her up here with us.
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