Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"An Unlikely Thanksgiving"

Blogging Friends.... There is a line in Toy Story 2 by Geri the Cleaner that goes something like this. "You can't rush art." That line has become a constant reminder to me as I write fictional books. "You can't rush art." I remind myself of these words every single month when I create fictional books, as art, well, it takes time!! I just need to be patient.... And write!! In the case of this month's Thanksgiving-themed fictional book? It took precisely one week. Seven freakin' days!! But then again. There was tons of living in between writing!! I baked Rose some dog cookies for Halloween. We watched my nieces "Amethyst" and "Opal" three days a week. I spent quality time with Rose. And every chance I had? I wrote!! Blam!! Now that is a lot of living.... Love you later.

"Creating beautiful mosaic artwork" with the broken, shattered pieces of my lifelong dream to be an author....

For my dear Blogging Friends who have children. You may print this story off and read it to them!! I am alright with that!! Enjoy!!

"An Unlikely Thanksgiving"

Thanksgiving. It is a day when many people set aside time to count every single blessing that God has given them!! One clear-sky, cold, sunny November morning, Emily, a long-furred white-colored Dalmatian/Siberian Husky mix with countless black spots who has floppy ebony-colored ears and blue eyes was happily exploring her fenced backyard. Several bushy-tailed squirrels often travel through there to climb tree branches, eat peanuts or hang upside down on birdfeeders like gold medal-winning Olympic gymnasts while licking seeds. {Especially during Autumn as they gather food for long Winters!!} And while most dogs chase squirrels until they run away scared, Emily is different. She wants to become friends with the visiting squirrels!! However. None of the squirrels know this about Emily. As soon as their round brown eyes see her, they always run.... Fast!! For none of the squirrels ever give Emily a chance. Rufus was no different.

This always hurts Emily's feelings and confuses her.

Why do the squirrels keep running away from me? she asks herself, I don't understand!! I am a nice dog!! I just don't understand!!

When Emily's eyes saw Rufus from across the backyard, her floppy ears perked. However. Just as she was thinking about walking toward him to bark a friendly "hello", he noticed the dog.

Oh no!! Rufus panicked, That dog is out again!! She will chase me up a tree!! I know it!! Oh, what if that dog catches me?! Run!! Run for your Life, Rufus!!

And that is exactly what he tried to do. Run. But Emily stopped him.

"Wait!!" she called, "Don't be scared!! I am not going to hurt you!! I promise!! Come back!! Please!! I will not even chase you away!! I just want to be your friend!! Please, come back!!"

Rufus stopped running. But he did not move a muscle. Instead? Rufus just stood there--as far away from Emily as he could possibly be--confused.

"Wait.... What?!" exclaimed Rufus in a high-pitched voice like Alvin, Simon and Theodore's from Alvin and the Chipmunks, "'Don't be scared'?! What are you talking about?! You're a dog!! And you want to be my friend?! This must be a trick, or something!! Why aren't you chasing me away?! Like all dogs do?"

Rufus was still not moving.

"No, this is not a trick!!" replied Emily, "I really do want to be your friend!! And not 'all' dogs chase squirrels away.... I, for one, never have!! So please give me a chance!! You'll quickly learn that I am outgoing, friendly, intelligent, sensitive, alert, active, gentle, and energetic!! {Now, how is that for positive character qualities?!} Please!! Do not be scared!!"

Slowly, nervously and cautiously, Rufus stepped closer to Emily.

"Come on!!" she encouraged.

Then, while walking a little faster--yet still very cautious!!--Rufus crept closer to Emily. Step by step by step.

Emily waited patiently, her floppy ears perked.

And, eventually? Rufus bravely walked across the backyard until he was face-to-face with Emily!! At last!! And, to his surprise, Emily kept her promise!! She did not chase him away!!

"Well, hi there!!" Emily began, "You finally made it over to me!! My name is Emily!! I'm a Dalmatian/Siberian Husky mix and I live here!! {Well. Actually, I live inside that house with Mama!! She is my owner!!} Mama takes good care of me!! What is your name?"

"Rufus," he answered shyly, "I am--as you already know--a squirrel. {An Eastern Gray squirrel, actually!!} I live from nest to nest--wherever I want, really!!--that I've built all by myself. See. I like to keep my nest clean, free of insects, and safe from predators!! Sometimes, I live up on a tree branch like birds do. But right now with the weather being cold? I live inside a tree hole!!"

"Wow!!" exclaimed Emily, "A tree hole?! Birds live in those, too!! Did you know that? Because one of our trees has a hole, and, last Spring, a mother Chickadee hatched her eggs in it!!"

"Yes, I did know that!!" said Rufus, "I sometimes use their leftover feathers for insulation to keep my tree holes warm!!"

"Cool!!" said Emily, "You are very clever, Rufus!!"

Then suddenly, every single fear, worry and doubt left Rufus' mind about Emily!! For he decided that she was safe, after all!!

Then--completely out of nowhere--Emily had an idea!!

"Next Thursday, November 26th, is Thanksgiving!!" she announced.

"What's that?" asked Rufus.

"You do not know about Thanksgiving?!" said Emily, a shocked tone in her voice.

"No," Rufus answered, "Should I?"

"Thanksgiving is when Mama invites all of her family, close friends and relatives over for a huge delicious-smelling feast!! Sadly? I am not allowed to eat any of it. Although.... Mama does always sneak me a little bit of boneless white turkey!! Which I love, by the way!!"

"White turkey?" asked Rufus, "What does that taste like? I've never eaten any white turkey before."

"You haven't?!" said Emily, a shocked tone in her voice, "Well, first off. Turkeys are big birds. Most people cook, eat, and serve them on Thanksgiving!! White turkey is the big bird's breast!! Some people say that dogs should not eat it. Why, you ask? Because turkey meat has too much fat in it, or something crazy like that. But Mama is a rebel!!"

"Oh," said Rufus, "We Eastern Gray squirrels eat birds, too!! It happens in the Springtime!! Eastern Gray squirrels eat downy-feathered nestling birds!! It is one of my very favorite seasonal treats!!"

"You eat helpless baby birds?!" said Emily, a shocked tone in her voice.

"Yes!!" replied Rufus, "Downy-feathered nestling birds are delicious!! Besides. Downy-feathered nestling birds are also one of the only ways we Eastern Gray squirrels eat meat!!"

"Really....?" said Emily, "I would hate it if I did not eat meat all year around!!"

"Now," said Emily, "About Thanksgiving!! This is how it works. Either you or I are supposed to invite each other over for this huge delicious feast!! But.... Since I'm a large-sized dog, I definitely will not fit inside your tree hole!! So you'll need to invite every single Eastern Gray squirrel you know--family, friends, relatives--here. I have an old abandoned red and blue-painted doghouse in my backyard that I'll clean up for our Thanksgiving Day meal!! Okay?"

"It will take some time, of course, to convince every single Eastern Gray squirrel that you--a dog!!--is outgoing, friendly, intelligent, sensitive, alert, active, gentle, and energetic," said Rufus, "Because.... I did not believe it at first!! I was sure that you were lying about wanting to be my friend!! They will, as well, I'm afraid."

"But you can do it!!" encouraged Emily, "Go on. Just tell them that I don't chase squirrels away, like most dogs do!!"

"I will try...." said Rufus, "I will try...."

Then--while feeling doubtful that he would successfully be able to convince all of his Eastern Gray squirrel family, friends and relatives about enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with a dog--Rufus ran off. Because try, Rufus did!! And several days later on Thanksgiving? Emily's backyard was filled with literally countless Eastern Gray squirrels!! And--each carrying food--they were bravely walking toward her doghouse!!

"Welcome!!" said Emily, "I am so very glad that you all could make it to my doghouse!! Happy Thanksgiving!!"

As everybody ate, Emily quickly learned that Rufus and the Eastern Gray squirrels brought a lot of unfamiliar foods. Like acorns. Sedges. Hickory nuts. Maple tree bark. Twigs. Samaras from maple trees. American Hornbeam seeds. Beechnuts. Cedar, hemlock, pine, and spruce seeds. American Holly. Hazelnuts. Forbidden birdseed that they stole from nature lover's hanging feeders. And chestnuts. But then they also brought some foods that were familiar to Emily. Such as grass. Pecans. Apples. Walnuts. Mushrooms. And unsalted peanuts.

Emily? She served some unfamiliar foods to Rufus and the Eastern Gray squirrels, as well. Like dry dog food. Potato peels that her Mama dropped on the kitchen floor. Fishy-smelling crunchy store-bought salmon dog biscuits. Baby carrots. Sliced cheddar cheese. Boiled broccoli. And, of course, juicy white turkey meat!!

Then, the unthinkable happened. Two completely different animal species {A Dalmatian/Siberian Husky mix and countless Eastern Gray squirrels!!} from two completely different worlds peacefully joined together!! Emily happily tried new foods. {Being a dog, she will eat almost anything!!} Rufus and the other Eastern Gray squirrels happily tried new foods, as well. {They especially loved that juicy white turkey meat!!} Everybody got to know each other. And since it was also Thanksgiving Day? With Emily's encouragement, everybody took turns listing things that they are grateful for!!