I like Disney—doesn’t everybody? But up close and personal, well now, that’s another thing.
We moved into a 30-year-old house on a horse ranch, which hadn’t been lived in for three years. During that time, every critter who thought it could be even somewhat compatible with other critters moved in and made themselves “to home.”
Now, to be honest, I was a city chick. I had looked forward to living in the country; the valley was absolutely beautiful and surrounded with majestic and dramatic mountains. Pastures dotted the valley, and horses cohabited with cows, goats, llamas, and even reindeer. It seemed at first to be heaven on earth—to get out of traffic, smog, noise and soot.
What I hadn’t anticipated was the fauna below the flora: the wildlife living below the brush, trees and rocks. Oh sure, I’d heard about cute little field mice, squirrels with their lush bushy tails playfully chasing one another up and down old oak trees, and even the dramatic rattlers that would bring that little edge of excitement should country life begin to bore me.
I even thought it was funny when I heard, from our end of the house, the stomping which indicated my sister-in-law had begun her nightly “Cricket Dance” down at her end of the house.
We had prayed over our property and our house, and I felt we were protected—but wisdom indicated, of course, that we be watchful.
A few rattlesnakes who had assumed squatters’ rights under our porch were surprised when we shot a couple of them, and drove the rest away with boxfuls of moth balls (a tip I learned from other country folk).
But it was the morning I found myself showering in a transplanted corner of Disneyland that I figured I was finally no longer a city chick, but a country gal. At least until after my shower was over….
It was my habit to bring my dog into the bathroom with me first thing in the morning, as he had a habit of roaming the rest of the house, making sure everyone else was up whether they wanted to be or not. So he and I began my shower preparations (his job was to sniff the corners and make sure we had no uninvited little livestock), when I heard his paws scrabbling on the floor accompanied by his “Hey, Ma, look what I found!” yips.
Ah, gee, I thought—it’s a mouse. Well, I didn’t want to take the time right then to take it outside, so I thought I’d just leave it with Dreamer while I finished my shower. I knew he’d watch over it for me.
So I climbed in the shower and turned on the water, not realizing that a cricket about the size of a Chihuahua was in the tub with me.
Trying not to scream, I introduced myself to Jiminy and tried to talk him into taking his shower later, you know: “Now Jiminy, friend, there’s just not enough room in here for the both of us…” but he wasn’t buying it. So I tried my own version of the “Cricket Dance” and at least scared him into the corner of the tub so I could get my shower taken.
Meanwhile, Dreamer (now re-named Pluto) had cornered Mickey and for the next ten minutes I heard scrabbling, whining, squeaking, yipping—none of which languages I understood, except my own “Eek!”
By the time I finished my shower and shampoo (at least I think I finished; I sort of lost it there for a while), all was quiet. I squeezed the conditioner out of my eyes and looked for Jiminy—he was heading down the drain. Oops.
I opened the shower curtain to look for Pluto; little globs of throw-up covered the floor. Oh no, I thought, Pluto’s eaten Mickey!
But no, evidently my brave dog had just been scared half to death, because Mickey was giving his George Foreman impression in the corner, daring Pluto to take him out.
Too much Disney in Technicolor for me, I called a halt to story-time. I finished washing Jiminy down the drain, grabbed Mickey by his tail (I’d throw the washcloth away later) and tossed him out, cleaned up the messes on the floor, and comforted poor Dreamer (his Pluto act had bombed).
And reconsidered whether I could, in fact, be called a country gal.
Anybody wanna watch a movie? We’ve got a couple Disney DVDs….
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