Why Dogs Eat Poop

image“But Mooo-oom…” whined the young pup. “It smells terrible-like it needs to be buried.”

“Don’t you speak like a cat to me,” his mother scolded. “You eat your poop like a good boy.”

The young pup groaned and gave a whiff at the steaming nuggets on the lawn. He tried to scratch some grass over it when he thought his mom was looking at the other pups, but she had seen him. He collapsed on the ground and tried to play dead.

“Do you know why we eat our poop?” His mother asked gently. He closed his eyes pretending to be asleep. She lay down next to him and gave a roll. Her pup giggled and rolled with her until both of them were panting and had bits of leaf stuck in their fur.

“Okay,” he sighed when they had caught their breath. “Why do we eat poop?” His mother smiled.

“How do our humans bring food home for the pack?” His mom asked. The pup shrugged. “In noisy white sacks,” he answered.

“Exactly,” she said. “And when we go on walks and make poop in another pack’s yard, what does our human do?” The pup’s eyes widened. “They pick it up with the same sacks!”

“Yes, pup. Now you can see why we must eat our poop.” His mother sat up and looked wise. “Those sacks are made for holding all good things. Chicken bones and meat packages go in those sacks and also kept from us. Those sacks are for the choice foods that humans would keep for themselves.”

“But I’ve never seen the humans eat it.” The pup was still hoping for a crack in the logic that would save him.

“That’s because they don’t want to share,” his mother answered. “That’s why they carry on so when they see us eating it ourselves. They are greedy.” The pup looked down at his duty and sighed.

“It makes sense,” he said. “But I still don’t like it.” His mother gave him licks behind his ear. “There’s my good boy,” she smiled. “And once you’ve finished it make sure to give our human a lick on the nose to show him you got some. Maybe one day he will get the message and share.”

The pup nodded and finished his meal, secretly wishing he were a cat.

Note: Please forgive me. This story came to roost in my head while I was walking my dog and it would only leave me alone if I locked it on a page. I argued against it but as usual, the story won. This is a rough draft, still steaming, and I welcome suggestions.

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The Tree Between Fire and Ice

Art by Robin Wiesneth of TailsofImagination.com

Art by Robin Wiesneth of TailsofImagination.com

Note: This is another rough draft. This story popped into my head one day when I saw a collage created by a talented artist and friend, Robin Wiesneth.

The story was very clear to me – it was a tree that had sprouted between a place of fire and ice. What a lucky tree that would be, I thought, even though it may not realize it.

The very things that are shaping his life into something better are the very things he fears most. It’s the worst times in my life that have helped me the most. Because the tree found his perfect place, he was able to help someone else find theirs as well.

Please excuse my typos and be liberal with your suggestions as I share my rough draft for today.

The Tree Between Fire and Ice

The once was a glacier made from green ice and a volcano that spat fire and liquid glass. The two lived within a few feet from each other which caused issues between the two. The glacier constantly complained that the volcano was trying to melt him down and the volcano was certain the glacier was trying to dampen his heat. The glacier and volcano were constantly at odds with each other, but in between them there was a small pile of dirt neither could quite reach.

It was on that small pile of dirt that a beechnut was once dropped by a passing bird. The bird watched the little nut plunge down through the steam and smoke. “There goes breakfast,” the bird sighed. “No use looking for it in there. If it’s not burnt to ash it will be locked in ice. Either way, it’s a goner.” He flew away in search of another meal.

Many nuts had fallen on that land and suffered the same fate the hungry bird foretold, but this was a very lucky nut and he fell right into a small pile of earth between the glacier and the volcano that was just perfect for him to grow into a tree.

Where all the other land for miles around was either scorched or frozen, this patch was in the perfect spot for a small tree. The volcano melted the ice so the small pile of dirt was kept moist and the ice kept the volcano from overheating it. It was the perfect pile of dirt for a small tree and the only place a small tree could grow for 100 miles around.

The little nut sprouted and grew into a small sapling, warmed by the volcano and watered by the glacier. One day he noticed how close the lava and flame was to his tender trunk and he grew afraid. He tried to grow the other way, but then he noticed the freezing glacier that ground rocks into sand and would surely pulverize him if he were in its path. Caught between the fire and the ice, the little tree did the only thing he could and he grew up straight between the two of them.

The little tree often wished he had landed in a safer place where he didn’t worry about burn and freeze. He would stare up at the sky peeking through the steam and smoke and wish he could be up and away to somewhere that was all cool moist earth and no worries.

One of these days as he was staring skyward, a small speck started spiraling downwards to him. The tree watched with interest as the speck grew larger and then became a small owl. The owl was struggling to fly in the steam and smoke and was worn out completely. Finally, exhausted, it tumbled down where the little beech tree caught it in his branches.

“I didn’t expect a beech tree,” exclaimed the owl. “You must be the luckiest tree in the world to live here.”

“Lucky!” Said the tree with a protesting tone. “How do you think I’m lucky? I live my life in fear of becoming charcoal or wood chips every day.”

“But everyday you keep living,” pointed out the small owl. “Everyday you live and become neither. Looks to me like you are very lucky indeed!”

The young beech looked around and thought about what the owl had said. His patch of earth was rich and always the perfect temperature and moistness. Without the fire to melt the ice, he would be parched. Without the ice to cool the fire, he would be scorched. The tree realized, for the first time in his life, that he was in the perfect place for him the whole time.

He said as much to the owl who pointed out he must be a very lucky bird indeed to land in the branches of such a lucky tree, and the two became best friends. They lived together on their small patch of earth between a glacier and a volcano that turned out to be the perfect place for them both for 100 miles around, and that was good enough for them.

If only we could be so lucky… but, then again, we probably already are.

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The Too Tired Tale

image“I’m too tired to write,” she said, and her fingers stuttered across the keyboard. The ghost of an idea slid through her mind, barely visible through the exhausted fog. She noticed the muted shape, seamlessly blending with the shadows, and for a brief second it was illuminated. She saw the tale.

Her fingers sped up and moved across the keys in a staccato dance. Black type crept up the screen like mold in a time lapse video. Then, the illumination faded back into shadow and vanished. Her fingers stuttered once again and became still.

“I’m too tired to write,” she said, and her fingers grew silent.

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Libraries Need Help asap

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Congress’ process for funding programs is in full swing and millions in federal funding for libraries hang in the balance. There’s never enough money to go around, and Members are always looking for programs to “zero out” so they can reallocate those budgets to their pet projects. Right now, the real keys to saving library funding from the chopping block – particularly the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs — are the members of the powerful House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Your Representative in the House and two Senators have influence with those Committee members, so it’s important that your Members let the Appropriations Committee know of their support for continued library funding.

The best way for them to do that is to sign what we call “Dear Appropriator” letters that three Members of Congress who are huge library champions have drafted to the members of the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate. The more Members of Congress that we can get to sign these “Dear Appropriator” letters, the better the chance of preserving and securing real money for libraries.

But there’s a catch – Members of Congress generally only add their names to “Dear Appropriator” letters if they hear from their own constituents. Right now, it’s your Representative in the House who needs to sign LSTA and IAL “Dear Appropriator” letters.

With the March 20 deadline for signatures fast approaching, it’s urgent that you email or phone your own Representative today by calling (202) 225-3121, asking the Operator to connect you to your Representative’s office (you can find out who that is easily here) and ask the person who answers to ask their boss to add their name to “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and IAL currently being circulated by our champions in Congress. To see whether your Members of Congress signed the letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!

We’ll be back to you in a few days to ask that you do the same with your two Senators, but right now it’s all hands on deck for the House push. Background material can be found on District Dispatch. Click the links below to call or email your Representative. Call Your Representative! Send an Email!

Note: these letters are due before the end of the month so you will need to call or email this week.

For more information follow here!

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Celebrating Life, Love and Enough

imageLife is a complicated, messy affair that rarely takes us where we planned to go. The best discoveries are on the accidental journey. This week I’ve been focussing on seeing where the breeze takes me while still making deadlines. I’m celebrating the small things that make up the bulk of life.

1. I’m celebrating two years today at the Bay Beacon newspapers. This has been the hardest job I have ever done, and it’s easily been the best. When I walked through those doors I thought I was pretty smart. Now, two years later, I’m smart enough to realize what I don’t know. Yet.

2. I’m celebrating that I am alive, healthy, my family is healthy and that we have jobs. We aren’t wealthy, but we have enough. I’m grateful for enough.

3. I am celebrating making new friends and reconnecting with old friends.

What are you celebrating?

Celebrate blog hopToday’s post is part of the Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop hosted by Lexa Cain, L.G. Keltner at Writing Off The Edge and Katie at TheCyborgMom.

Celebrate the Small Things: To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is put your name on the linky list and then post every Friday about something you’re grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  (Originated by VikLit)

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If Shakespeare Wrote My Evening

imageAfter an evening of “Hamlet” I can’t help but toss some flowery prose around and have fun with it. I was imagining how Shakespeare might record my evening and came up with this. All comments are welcome, and of course, should be written in the same style.

If Shakespeare Wrote my Eve

Oh fie! How the day has eaten away at me making weary where once I was merry. My feet drag and my poor brain is taxed to the point that not even government and bureaucracy could squeeze from it an ounce of worth. My bleary eyes do see my homestead door and welcome thought of hearth to ease their strain.

What forth with do I find awaiting me in the box of cooling where hence we keep our chilling vittles? A pitcher of tea, brewed from leaves dark with promise that do, like a young man whispering into the instruments of my hearing, give me promise so sweet I abandon reason and drink deeply from this caffeinated draught.

A power and alertness I had foremost not had, having it be drawn from me by the tax-some day, fills me with life anew. Awake! My soul flutters in my breast like the robin stirring from a night of sleep, perchance to dream, but now to greet the blazing orb of morning. And morning it is for me, though the clock disagree, as the tea so sweet doth fill me with new purpose.

Alive with new intent, shining and bold like a new minted coin, I set about my evening with eye bright and step light. But alas, and here’s the rub: my morning, having now come at night whence I should be slumbering in recovery, chases the angels of recuperating repose far from me so I lay awake, haunted by my earlier indiscretion and vowing not to fall prey again to the allure of a nightly draught of sweet tea.

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No Tales Today

imageNo tales, stories or poems from me today… not even a haiku or limerick to write. I am off to see Hamlet performed all the way and I’m sure to be watching all night.

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A Day for Limericks

Happy St. Patty’s Day – suddenly everyone is Irish :) I wrote a limerick for a review group I belong to. As my post for today I’ll share it.

There’s all kinds of ways to make arts

and paintings and song are just parts.

Writers make magic

both happy and tragic -

but please never call us art farts.

 image

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The Heaven Grift (rough draft)

imageThe woman walked to the curb before the Pearly Gates and sat down.

“Mind if I sit here?” She asked. The angel attendant looked up, confused, at the woman sitting in front of the check-in kiosk. He decided she was addled, sighed, and then went back to his checklist.

“You can’t stay here. Please give me your Passcard. You got here the same as most everybody else,” he answered flatly. “By tears and hearse.” The woman blinked, genuinely put off by his gruff demeanor.

She craned her head to see the angel, energetically avoiding her gaze. After a full minute of silence he glanced up to see her watching him intently. “I thought angels were supposed to be wonderful,” she said when they made eye contact. “You’re rude.” He sighed again.

“There’s no easy was to break it to you,” he monotoned. “You’re dead. You can’t go back. The world will move on without you as much as it hurts your feelings. Please find your Passcard so I can let you through the gates.”

“There’s no easy way to break it to you,” she answered. “But I don’t have a Passcard.” She smiled up at him, challenging and aware. The angel decided she must be in denial. He got about 20 of these airheads a day. They always thought there was a mistake, he was wrong, this couldn’t be happening. As if.

“Ma’am, with all due respect,” his tone clearly expressing that he thought very little respect was, indeed, due. “Everyone that’s not evil gets a Passcard automatically at death. Contrary to what you’ve been told while you were alive, we don’t care what religion, race or sexual orientation you have been practicing. Please rifle your pockets and give me your passcard so I can let you go through to your paradise.” He leaned over the counter and held out his hand.

“I’m not going to give it to you because I’m telling you I don’t have one.” The woman smiled calmly and looked smug. The angel was confused.

“Ma’am, do you know you’re dead?” Better start with the basics, he thought.

“What? I’m dead? You mean we didn’t walk away from the melted scrap that was once our car?” She shot back sarcastically. “Of course I know I’m dead, and I’m telling you I don’t have a Passcard so I’m just going to sit here.”

“If your dead then you were given a Passcard,” snapped the angel. “Please look for your Passcard and give it to me so I can be rid of you.”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t given a Passcard,” she said standing up. “I said I don’t have one.” She looked over the counter to see what she was taking the angel away from. “Sudoku?” She rolled her eyes. “You’re getting bent because I interrupted your Sudoku? I thought angels were patient and wise.”

“I am patient and wise,” he growled sounding far from either. “You are vexing my last nerve. Are you sure you weren’t issued a NoPasscard and are supposed to be on the train going down, down?” That was harsh, and he regretted it, but he was too angry to apologize. She simply smiled and sat back down.

“Ok, we have established that you are dead,” he said, trying to regain control. “That means you were automatically given one unless it’s been established that you were evil when alive. Were you evil?” She shook her head no.

“Ok, good. We’re going somewhere. Do you remember getting an iridescent card the size and shape of a credit card?” She nodded yes.

“There we go, I knew we could get through this. Now, can you give me your Passcard?” He held out his hand, leaning over the counter to reach her. “She shook her head no. The angel gaped at her in disbelief.

“Why in Heaven not?” His lovely, pale skin was flushing with annoyance. She shrugged and turned away. “I gave it away,” she answered nonchalantly. Behind her, the angel blew up in a rant.

“What… wha…? There’s no way!” He stomped and yelled, coming out from the kiosk to wave his arms and stamp at her. “There is no way you could give your Passcard away,” he finally huffed. “Everyone at the station would have had one. Why would they need two?” She looked up at him and smiled confidently. A terrible idea dawned in his head.

“Unless…” He gasped. “Did you… give your Passcard… someone who had a  NoPasscard?” His voice trembled.

“You got it finally!” She sta up straight. “That’s what I did. My husband and I died together in the crash. He was issued a NoPasscard and I was given the go ahead. I love him, so I gave him mine.”

“Why… would you… if he was evil…?” The angel sat down heavily on the curb next to her. “Is he through the Pearly Gates?” He asked numbly. She nodded yes. The angels shoulders slumped and he let out a breath despondently. He would have been the one to let the evil doer through. This fiasco happened on his watch. He failed.

“Why would you do that?” He finally asked. They had sat silently for an age. She looked at the angel in the eyes, smiling kindly now. “Because I loved him, and he wasn’t evil to me.”

Behind them, a buzzer went off in the kiosk and the angel jumped in his skin. “I have to answer that he said thinly. He was sure he knew what it was. He hit the button to speak.

“Yessir?” He asked, trying to sound bored. The voice came over the intercom, static and power shorting the system but the words came through regardless.

“Angel, love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Let her through.” The Pearly Gates swung open.

Through the gates walked the woman, calm and smiling. She embraced the angel as she passed him. He stood mute, not understanding love, not understanding sacrifice. The gates swung closed when she had passed, and suddenly, for the first time, he realized he was on the outside of them.

Inside, her husband was waiting. “I knew you’d make it through,” he said. He held her, kissing her, willing the unmanly tears that threatened to stay put. “You’re good enough for both of us.”

“Heaven isn’t heaven without you,” she said. “What did you do with your NoPasscard anyways?” He smiled.

“I left it for the kiosk guy. I think he earned it.” Off in the distance they heard the long, mournful whistle of the train that goes down, down, leaving the station.

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Pocket Office: 6,000 Words Plus

My pocket office- full size keyboard, word processing, music and color-change ambiance.

My pocket office- full size keyboard, word processing, music and color-change ambiance.

It’s official: Lord Mac is officially deceased, but results of the autopsy have yet to come in.

Since Lord Mac took his untimely turn for the worse I’ve turned to my micro pocket office for writing. I haven’t touched  computer for personal writing since March 6. I’ve clocked in over 6,000 words on the fold out keyboard/phone combination.

I find I prefer this set up for writing because it’s so mobile. I can sneak in a few hundred words in a waiting room or vanish into a corner somewhere when inspiration hits.

What’s your writing set up like?

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