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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Retold

One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and POP! - out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.

He started to look for some food.  On Monday he ate through one apple,
But he was still hungry.

On Tuesday, he ate through two pears,
But he was still hungry.

On Wednesday, he ate through three plums,
But he was still hungry.

On Thursday, he ate through 4 strawberries,
But he was still hungry.

On Friday, he ate through five oranges,
But he was still hungry.

On Saturday, he was caught and thrust down the gullet of a baby bluebird,
And she was still hungry...

Thank you Eric Carle - the original author of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poison Hemlock Masquerade

Note:  Poison Hemlock is often mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace. One way to tell the difference is to crush the leaves and smell them. Hemlock smells very bad but Queen Anne's Lace smells like carrots.
Needless to say, one is highly poisonous, the other is not...

Funny how those dried twigs and brittle flowers lured me in.
I brushed my thumb against their soft spikiness and tilted my face toward the breeze that blew in from the bay.  Heaven lay beyond, in the blue sky and grey clouds.  I felt like I could melt my spirit into the wind.

A sneeze from my dog brought me back to reality.  "Poor dog,"  I laughed.  "Maybe you shouldn't sniff so hard."   I envied him his sense of smell.  For some reason mine had always been weak.

I looked back at the plant again.  Queen Anne's Lace - I'd heard the roots were good to eat.  "I'll come back in the Spring and dig some up," I thought.  "Maybe make a Wild Carrot Cake - that would be a nice surprise for my friends."

My dog barked impatiently and tugged at his leash.  "Alright boy, I'm coming!"
Before leaving, I gazed back at the sky one more time and relished the wind on my face.
Heaven seemed closer than ever.


He stared out at his victim.  The female was crying and yelping in disbelief, clutching her bleeding ankle while hopping around on one foot.
He was sick of them, sick of them all.  Every morning they came running by, pounding and panting, disturbing his morning meal.  It seemed they came earlier each day - even the dawn was no longer his own!  And the smell!  The sweaty, sickly sweet smell as they ran by, perspiration flinging off their brow and dripping down their legs!

The ones in groups enraged him the most, talking and laughing in that deafening way of theirs.  He couldn't stand it.  He'd tried attacking the groups with a quick streak in front, hoping to trip them up, but all that got him was high pitched chirps and endearments, pointing fingers and giggles.  Disgusting.

He finally determined the best attack was to assault the lone runners. They never saw it coming.  A sudden blur of grey, leap and attach, teeth piercing the yielding flesh, all four paws wrapped around the ankle like a burr.  He'd hang on and bite while they hopped and screamed and tried to shake him off.  And when they invariably did, he'd retreat to the tall grass and watch while they stared at the blood in disbelief.  Then he'd attack again!  Side assault, back assault, full frontal assault!  He came at them from every direction until they ran screaming from his territory.

The taste of blood was beginning to grow on him.  He had a talent for this.

They would come and they would disturb his peace, and though one small rabbit might not be enough to stop them, he knew one thing for sure.  As long as they were running, he'd be there - waiting for them.