Which sentence reminds me of an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem that I love . . . I'll put it at the end of the post.
I gathered up the current reading material, the box of granola that I'd taken upstairs to eat mid-read, pre-sleep, and Max in my left hand and arm and stepped carefully down the eighteen stairs to the first floor, calling encouragement to Angus, who stood at the top of the stairs. Yesterday morning he tumbled three quarters of the way down the stairs and he's a little leery of them now for a while.
Eventually we all made it to the first floor and I set Max down on his slippery spindly little legs next to the water dish, his usual first stop for the day. From there on, I did everything out of order, as if I were still asleep. The usual is as follows:
- Start the coffeemaker
- Put the dogs' kibble and water in the nuker and press "30"
- Go around the half wall to the woodstove and load wood to get the fire rolling again
- Turn on the computer
I don't recall now what I did in what order but it was all wrong and turned the morning's first fifteen minutes into a lot of Conscious Thought, something I prefer to avoid for at least a half hour. Everything got finished though, the dogs have eaten (even their pills-in-liverwurst, shhhh!) and I'm about to have my second cup of coffee.
Well, who cares about all that! The reason I provide all that is to show you that all my senses were operational by the time I checked the fire to see if it was ready for the door to be closed yet. I just caught a glimpse of one of those jumpy little black spiders dashing the wrong way on one of the burning pieces of wood. I had a fleeting thought of trying to save him from death by asphyxiation but was sidetracked by wondering whether or not spiders can asphyxiate, have nostrils, how they breathe. They must breathe, mustn't they? In fact, they do, according to Spider Facts. Another in a long line of Fun Facts To Know And Tell. Color me smiley.
Now that I revisit the scene, I wonder if the spider had grasped the situation that surrounded him/her, and was embracing the inevitable. Brave, no? Now I know some one of you will point out that spiders aren't capable of that kind of mental behavior.
How do you know?
Did you know how they breathed before you read Spider Facts?
Back to Angus and the stairs and the up and down of it all.
The Tiny Master
Last evening I was sitting at the dining table doing this or that, pretty much waiting for time to go to bed. Max was on the rug next to the wood stove. MiMau was pestering Max. Angus paced back and forth . . . from the front door to the room where Husband reclined watching a dvd. Without much fanfare, Angus turned and went upstairs. A few minutes later I heard him running around up there, his little black feet pounding solidly in a happy-go-lucky rhythm. I checked: the cat was still here next to the stove, so Angus was playing tag by himself. Not unheard of, but very cute-sounding from where I sat. I smiled: What a funny old boy.
Three minutes later, an imperious bark from the top of the stairs. Not a yap, not a come-help-me-I'm-a-little-old-poodle-who's-afraid-to-come-downstairs whiny squeak; a Come Up Here. Now. bark.
Well, all right. I was only waiting for an excuse, after all.
I turned off lights, kissed Husband good night, gathered up book, granola, and Max and obeyed my tiny master.
Angus delightedly danced around me as I deposited Max on the bed, went to the dryer and folded, hung, put away freshly dried clothing. Chores finished, I picked him up and put him on the bed, a few feet from his brother. I went around the bed and by the time I sat and turned to look at him, he was sound asleep. It must be awful to be so small that you can't get into bed for a snooze without help from a dawdling DogMom.
I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"
Alas for pious planning —
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My Little Sorrow would not weep,
My Little Sin would go to sleep —
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!
So up I got in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad.
And, "One thing there's no getting by —
I've been a wicked girl," said I;
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"