the dog that kept score We have a low table where we put dirty dishes. It's outside. The dog discovered the table. From time to time he attempts to clean our dirty dishes. Yesterday morning I heard him trying to reach the plates. I opened the door and threw one of my white sandals at him...for correction purposes. He ran away from the table. I went back to work.
Later I wanted to put on my white sandals to go somewhere. I found only one. The second sandal was found days later. I believe the dog was trying to even the score.
frog on chest I was in my roofless shower which is naturally a moist environment. Frogs like that kind of place. We’ll find them hiding behind a wet towel or bunched up in a corner. These are slimy, wet, pale white frogs, not the pretty multi-colored ones they put in a kid’s book. On this occasion, the frog was at the bottom of my shower wall. As I moved into the shower, he started crawling up the wall. I was comfortable with that, so I stayed there and got myself ready for one more bath out of the five-gallon bucket I always carry into the shower. The frog crawled straight up that wall until he was at chest level. And then, at that moment, for some reason, he decided to jump. The back legs of these frogs are longer than the actual frog, so when they jump it is a flailing, uncontrolled flight. This frog on this day flew right onto my chest. Splat. He could have gone left. He could have gone right, up, or down. He chose to come straight at me. Or maybe he was just hopping. That’s what frogs do, after all.
frog on forehead I was sleeping on my bed…that puts me only 12 inches off of the ground. In the middle of the night I heard the characteristic splat of a wet frog landing somewhere in the house. But I wasn’t sure. I was in a twilight kind of sleep stage. So I waited. I thought about the frog and where he might be. Maybe he was close to me in the dark. Maybe he was moving toward me. I drifted back into a sleep only to feel something wet crawl onto my forehead. I swung at the wetness and connected only with my forehead. Either the wetness had moved on, or he wasn’t ever really there. I still don’t know. I turned on the lights and never saw a frog that night. The frog may not have been real, but the smack to the forehead certainly was.
tarantella in sneaker Cowboys, they say, in the desert always check their boots before pulling them on. I should probably do that too. Things have been in there on occasion. By God’s grace I almost always wear socks. As I stuck my socked foot into my sneaker, there wasn’t enough space for my toes. It took me about two pushes to realize that the thing keeping my toes from reaching the front of my sneaker was moving. Out came my foot. A glance into the sneaker revealed black legs…many of them. I slammed the heel of the shoe onto the floor, and down came Mr. Tarantella. Tarantellas are scary to look at, but it’s like they’re made of paper...so fragile. Any little swat kills them. I gave this one a little swat.
tarantella on leg It was the middle of the night. I was on my mat directly on the floor. Legs on my leg awakened me. Something was crawling on me. I gave a quick kick into the air with my leg…like a soccer player falling backwards and extending his foot up onto an airborne ball. The spider was off of my leg, but landed on my chest. On this night, I was covered with a sheet…Oh! I’m so glad I was. I flicked the sheet and the wave of energy sent the spider into the air again. I turned on the light, and there he was in the corner of the room. Huge and hairy, but he didn’t make it out alive.
scorpion under computer When you’re working on a computer, it kind of sounds like scratching and tapping. I was in my house alone…working on my computer. Several times I noticed the tapping continued after I finished. I’d type and stop, and there was more tapping and scratching going on. Was someone mocking me? But the sound was from right inside my house…right under my fingers, actually. I sat and listened. More scratching, this time without any of my own. I decided to have a look under my laptop. There here was. A yellowish nickel-sized scorpion trying (apparently) to get somewhere. I took his picture and put him in a jar.
rat on leg Long ago it was my job to turn on a generator for evening church services. That involved going to a little shed and cranking the diesel motor until it started rolling. Then you threw a switch and hoped it took off. It was just like the black and white images of people starting a jalopy. Well, generators with their heat and little nooks and crannies are attractive for animals interested in nesting. That is until you crank it up. As I cranked away one evening the rat that had moved in panicked and decided to flee her new home. She ran without much care as to where. She reached my foot, and kept running…up my leg. Thankful that she was ON the pants leg and not IN the pants leg (which may have made the situation seriously more complicated), I shook her off. Now we were in a foot race for the shed door. I can’t tell you who won that race. I was busy making sure my head didn’t hit the doorway. I can tell you I broke my own personal record for the five yard dash.
cat with diarrhea My cat was ill. She had eaten something that made her sick, and she had diarrhea. Maybe this has happened to you. I saw her crouching in the corner of my porch. She had been trained to crawl down from my 2nd story house and do her business outside, but as happens with diarrhea, sometimes you don’t get there in time. SO, there she was in the corner of the porch. I didn’t want to clean that up, so I ran toward her making noise. Mine was an instinctual decision. I didn’t really plan it out. If I had, I may have foreseen that when I scared her she would not decide to run out of the house, but rather into the kitchen and bedroom where she made her home. That cat ran right under me and turned into the kitchen leaving a trail behind her. There was nothing I could do now. The trail continued through the kitchen and into the bedroom and, yes, onto the bed. I decided to leave things as they were for a while rather than create a second path.
lizard on forehead Lizards live in my house. They’re friendly. (They have never mentioned car insurance…not even once.) They eat bugs. There’s one up on the wall looking at me now as I type these words. I have a light under a shelf up high on my wall and like to sit under that light to read. The lizards like that light too because it attracts flying insects…supper! As I read one evening under the light, I simultaneously heard a tiny splat and felt the slightest little twitch on my forehead. A little lizard maybe one inch in length had landed on the clean flat area of my head (an ever growing target, you may say). He was suctioned there having landed right-side up. Maybe he was dizzy from the fall, or maybe being so tiny he was just weak, but he slid off when I tilted my head forward. He landed on the book I was reading. He was black with a bulging head and eyes. Cutest little thing. I’m guessing he’s still in the house. Probably up there on the shelf somewhere waiting for a bug.
worm in raisins Years ago I got some raisins. They were in one of those little cardboard boxes. I like raisins. They were a treat. I enjoyed the box as I spoke to someone about something. I ate the loose ones at the top. I shook out some from the middle. Then I dug down to the ones at the bottom. As I finished, I decided to go after the final raisin or two at the very bottom. That required a look into the box. As a peered down to the bottom panel, I noticed…movement. Something was moving down there. I got that box under a light in order to see better. It was a worm. A green, wriggling worm. Just one. It was down there with the final two raisins. I didn’t eat those final two raisins. But I couldn’t help but think of all the other raisins that were descending into my belly. There was nothing to be done at that point. I still think about the worm-to-raisin ratio in that box. Was it one worm per two raisins for the whole box? There must be a hundred raisins in one of those boxes. That’s about thirty worms. Mmm.
cow in the face After church services, the generator needed to be turned off for the night. That was my job for a while. As the time to turn it off rolled around one evening, we heard the beginnings of a rain shower. Moving around in the mud is no fun, and the only way to the generator and back is on foot, so I took off running hoping to get the job done and make it back to my house before the real rain set in. I made it there in easy fashion, down the road, into the generator yard, and past the cow that was tied there. With my dim little AAA keychain flashlight I opened the padlock and entered the dark noisy shed to kill the generator. It sometimes took a while to find the right switch and get things settled down. I waited and made sure everything stopped. I could hear the rain now gaining momentum on the tin roof. Head bowed to keep my face dry, I locked the padlock and turned to run home. As I lifted my trusty little flashlight and broke into a sprint, I saw a nose and two eyes inches from my face. There was a horn to the left of my head and another horn to the right. The cow! I was so close to him that his horns were on either side of my head. I hit the brakes immediately. That dim little flashlight may have saved his life.