A Bit of Ruckus

Ragtag Daily Prompt word: EXCITEMENT

Cat & Mouse quote.pexels.jpg

When I saw the above image at Pixabay it took me back to a time when we lived in an old two-storey farm house and had several cats in residence. Having pets in the house does give some excitement now and then, like the morning our black sort-of-Siamese Angus came in from outside, walked into the office, and set a dead gopher right beside my chair. “See what I’ve brought you for breakfast!”

Anyway, back to the farmhouse. My husband was working so I was alone and still asleep. Somewhere about the first light of dawn a strange noise made itself heard through my dream. Half-asleep, I got the impression of someone running down the hall, or maybe heavy footsteps on the stairs. Or was it someone knocking on the bedroom door? But who? Why?

There’d be this thump, thump, thump, followed by a pause, then another thump thump thump thump. I opened an eye, expecting to see someone come running into the room. I held my breath, listening. Thump thump thump…pause…thump thump. I summoned all my courage, sat up and flicked on the light.

Glowing eyes peered up at me from the floor. Our cat, with a mouse tail under its paw. Mouse made a mad dash for freedom and…thump thump thump. The carpet was a type of indoor-outdoor, not firmly attached, so each time the cat pounced its claws went into the fiber… and when he pulled them out again, there’d be this “thump.” So he’d thump thump thump around on the floor, then pause to verify where the mouse was.

Wide awake now, I envisioned the mouse making it to the covers and climbing into bed with me. So I headed for the bedroom door on tiptoes, careful to avoid both parties in this conflict, and left them to it.

Nothing like starting the day off with a mysterious noise and a mouse running around the room.

When Night Comes Down

The Word of the Day challenge for today is TWILIGHT.
I’m going to respond with this thought provoking verse by Edgar Guest:

NIGHT

When night comes down
to the busy town
and the toilers stir no more,
then who knows which
is the poor or rich
of the day which went before?

When dreams sweep in
through the traffic’s din
for the weary minds of men,
though we all can say
who is rich by day,
who can name us the rich man then?

It is only awake
the proud may take
much joy from the stuff they own,
for the night may keep
her gifts of sleep
for the humblest mortal known.

By day held fast
to creed and caste,
men are sinner and saint and clown.
But who can tell
where the glad hearts dwell
when the dreams come drifting down?

.
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Constable About

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was MICROCOSM

This is a word I’ve never really understood and never used—I find it hard enough to spell — but I dutifully checked it and came up with “a miniature representation” of a greater thing, “a little world” unto itself that typifies a greater society, or  “a community or other unity that is an epitome of a larger one.” (The last being from Merriam-Webster.)

I suppose you could say that “Amazon authors are a microcosm of writers the world over.” And I hope I’m using it rightly in the following example.

I’ve started reading another of Nicholas Rhea’s “Constable” books. I read this delightful series twenty years ago, when Bob’s mom lived with us. I borrowed them for her, along with the Miss Read books, from the local library. Simple fiction stories divided into cases or incidents, replete with amusing, mild and friendly characters, though some are a trial to the poor constable and his colleagues.

The Yorkshire village where Constable Nick Rhea lived and worked was a microcosm of village life in counties all across England in the 40s and 50s. There are a number of books in this series, which, I understand, was made into a British TV series in the 60s:
Constable Goes to Market
Constable on the Prowl
Constable Over the Style
Constable Versus Greengrass (An amiable “opportunist”, poacher & general layabout)
Constable at the Dam
Constable Under the Gooseberry Bush
And more

Prize-winning gooseberry bushes that must be protected feature first in the Constable in the Dale book I’m reading now. This is followed by the vicar’s successful, if sometimes embarrassing, porker-producing enterprise starring the lovely “White Lily.”

If you like a touch of rural England that’s both nostalgic and a great picture of human nature, do check out these books. I’m delighted to discover that the e-book versions are all free on Kindle Unlimited.

The Travels of Two Fleas

Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is PONDER
Word of the Day challenge is ZERO
Daily Addictions prompt word: TROPICAL

And here’s my response, a just-for-fun tale…

THE TRAVELS OF TWO FLEAS

Two fleas went hopping on a mat,
having disembarked the cat
to have a moment out-of-fur
and once escape that thunderous purr.

Their tropical resort gets hot,
with itchy dandruff and whatnot;
sometimes they hunger for fresh air,
to see the world outside that hair,
so they opt for a walkabout.
The mat gives them a good workout.

Some minutes pass; their wandering zeal
is quenched by urge to have a meal
and so they seek their host again —
but puss has moved along by then
which leaves them with an unfilled yen.

And worse! The housekeeper now sees,
has zero tolerance for fleas,
so scoops the mat up from the floor
and shakes it harshly out the door.
They tumble off into the grass
and land together in a mass.

They sort themselves and find some shade
behind the thickest grassy blade
to soothe their bruised elbows and knees
and ponder life’s uncertainties.
So now two fleas hide in the grass
in hopes that some new host will pass.

Sunday Scene

Good morning everyone! It’s 7am in my part of the world. Early, but very dark. And very white with all our snow.

I woke up just after 5 am and decided to get up and check to see if the writing prompt I’d scheduled over at Ragtag Daily Prompt had come through at the correct hour — and it had.

Then I fed my cats and let them out, but it’s quite frigid. Saskatoon registered -9 C a few minutes ago, with a wind at 20 klicks (km/hour) making it seriously chilly outdoors for indoor cats. Having my coffee now while visiting a few blogs, and decided to do a quick hello to you all.

Joe over at The Write Practice is offering a special deal for writers who want to join their group. More details here, if you’re interested. It really is a good deal, a writers-help-each-other plan; you can post one short story or chapter every week and get feedback from other writers. You must, in turn, critique at least three other writers’ pieces. I’ve been turning over in my mind whether I want to—or should—spend the bucks to join this group. (One-year member-ship paid up front.)

Trouble is, I’m so wishy-washy, inclined to get all enthused but not stay on the train. And I still have my ATCUSS sewing projects to finish. On the other hand, making this commitment to submit a chapter or story every week might actually get my book(s) edited. Quite a juicy carrot. (Or is that an archaic cliche already?)

The Critique Circle that I joined last year is the same sort of deal, only free — which means that the membership is constantly growing, almost 3000 active members now, lots of stories from new writers wanting a critique. If I recall rightly, you can only submit once every two weeks, each submission costs X number of points, which you earn by doing critiques.

Life is full of opportunities, decisions, dithers. 😉

And now it’s time to get ready for church. I will have a LONG nap this afternoon. 🙂