Mini-but-Mighty Lion

The lion, tail twitching, silently stalked across the plush savanna. He’s spied a nut-brown orb hidden behind one of the dining room table legs and was approaching it with utmost stealth. His mind had turned it into a young warthog at a water hole and he was the ravenous beast of prey – though really he wasn’t all that hungry. Nevertheless, he was determined to capture and torture this hapless creature that dared to lie around so nonchalantly.

As he crept closer, the orb – actually a hazelnut dropped during the nut-cracking party two evenings ago – seemed to lie there helplessly awaiting its fate. The lion, tabby rather than tawny, reached out a paw and gave the creature a tentative tap with its paw. Did it have sharp fangs? Would it rear up and do battle? No. Not even a squeal. Rather, the hard-shelled thing lumbered under the table and hid in the shadows. Cowardly creature! Tearing it to shred was going to be piece of cake.

His strategy now was simple. With a flying leap his front paws landed on the creature. The blow would have crushed the spine of a true warthog, but this pee-wee brown thing was made of sterner stuff. It skittered away again, and the lion – mini but mighty – gave chase.

With a whack from his huge paw the creature rolled between two shoes. All the better! Here was a challenge. However, while he was wrestling the pee-wee mouse – for it was a baby mouse now – from between the running shoes, gnawing at the laces in his hunger and frustration – or just for fun – along came the Person of the house and ruined his adventure. As he rose into the air he saw his prey escape under the toe of one shoe.

The Person had scooped him up and was cuddling him. “You can’t tear my running shoes to shreds with your sharp little claws. Let’s see what else we can find for you.”

The lion, though he was ever so fierce, knew better than to wrestle with this tall tree of a Person, so he submitted to the indignity of being carried away to a chair and petted. As soon as he was released from captivity he leaped onto the savanna below, remembering his pee-wee mouse and those wiggling shoe laces. A moment later, however, a silvery ball began to move through the plush pile savanna.

Just as a gazelle grazing on the plains of Africa would catch the attention of his lion and tiger cousins, even so the glittering ball caught the mini lion’s attention. Back and forth his eyes flicked. Back and forth his fluffy tail lashed. His back rose in an arch as he slowly stalked the plump creature. When it suddenly made a dash to safety under a footstool, he gave pursuit. And when it darted out again, he was on it!

He’d come back and cuddle later. Right now he was the fierce hunter and there was tantalizing prey about.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: NUT-BROWN
Fandango’s FOWC: STRATEGY

Midnight Tales

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WREST

One definition, according to M-W, is “to gain with difficulty by or as if by force, violence, or determined labor.” Our newest cat, Tuffy, though he’s only half-grown, doesn’t seem to have such great difficulty wresting small creatures from their hiding places, but I’ll use this word in my response. Since the writing prompt is to be a quick, fun thing I’ll offer my little rhyme.

The temperature has turned quite mild recently, to the delight of our cats. They’re ready to rush off to adventures whenever the door’s open. Yesterday Tuffy raced across the driveway, over the big snowbank on the other side left by the plow, and up into the crotch of a nearby tree. Heaven help the birds come spring! Last night when I let Tuffy out the back door he started nosing along the side of the trailer. Before long he stopped to investigate one spot intently.

 Outside in a flash
 nosing in the tall grass
 surrounding our dwelling,
 Tuff found a small swelling.

 Oh, joy! 'Twas a hole
 smelling strongly of mole – 
 or maybe a mouse
 entry into our house.

 A wee mole was stirring,
 his cat nature spurring
 his talon to wrest
 pipsqueak from its nest.

 That sad little creature
 became the prime feature
 in a game of delight
 for Tuffy last night.

The Small Joys in Our Lives

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is JOY, which is a very fitting word for the season. We’ve been hearing all about joy this past week, as we’ve been listening to Christmas programs put on by various of our parochial schools across North America. Two nights ago we heard the one from Buhl, Idaho; last night we listened to the school program from Lime Springs, Iowa – and after that, Christmas songs by our own school children here.

Though we can’t visit these schools in person to hear the carols and stories told, thanks to the technology of streaming we can get in on the joyful celebration surrounding the birth of Jesus, the hope and light of all the world. We still get a thrill as we hear the children singing the old familiar carols and also enjoy the new ones being introduced each year.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for , behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

The angel’s message still circles the globe and floods this old world with hope. God has reached down to man in the form of Jesus Christ; we can be reconciled to our Creator. Also, we now have Jesus’ teachings and example of living in peace with our fellow humans.

Naturally speaking, joy may not be the first word that comes to mind. Because the incidence of COVID -19 has been on the rise in our province, restrictions are tightening up more and more. Families won’t be gathering if private homes are limited to five people at a time.

With more restrictions starting Dec 26th, or traditional Boxing Day sales will likely be rather a fizzle this year. According to space-per-person guidelines, only so many people will be allowed into stores at a time – and if it’s cold enough, folks aren’t apt to stand around outside waiting to get in. Most of us, if we’re honest, will admit that we have enough stuff now, but I hope our merchants can weather this storm. All this gives us a special joy to look forward to next year: the time when Covid-19 is a thing of the past.

For us right now, the kitten we found on our doorstep a month ago – such a lively little puffball – has brought many smiles and small joys into our lives. We’re so thankful we discovered him there before Angus could chase him away and/or something awful happened to him.

Tuffy looks quite much like this.
Image by Ben Scherjon at Pixabay

The Dark Creatures

Dark, Fluffy, and Very Playful

We seem to be dealing with our share of unique black creatures these days. Two weeks ago we found this black-and-white fluffy stray kitten on our doorstep. Bob had him to the vet on Saturday and he got his first shots. Lori, the vet, said Tuffy’s the most uniquely colored kitten she’s ever seen – and all the girls at the clinic thought he was adorable. 🙂 Lori’s never seen a cat with two-toned fur like his before. Tuffy’s back and leg fur is made up of black and white strands intermixxed, which gives him that hoar-frosted look. And his mostly-white ruff is so long it’s almost a cape around his neck.

The Odd Bird in the Flock

I have mentioned different times that we’re putting out bird seed and feeding a flock of sparrows that hang around – mostly in our Caraganas or in the woods on the east side of our trailer. A few different times I’ve noticed a rather large sparrow in the flock and one day I realized it wasn’t a sparrow at all. Not with a long tail like that. A closer look revealed that it was a red-wing blackbird. I don’t know why this bird decided to pass the winter hanging out with a flock of sparrows here on the chilly prairie. Was he injured or too weak to fly south with his own kin?

I’ve been keeping an eye out for him this week and today, using my binoculars, I was able to get a good look at this misfit. I have never in my life seen a blackbird quite like this one. He’s black for the most part, a black beak, too. But his upper back is kind of mottled or streaked with grey – which blackbirds never are. He has the curved wing markings of a red-wing, but they are white, or light grey. Perhaps this is the red-wing’s winter coloring, but we never see them in winter, so how can we know?

He hangs out with the stubby little English sparrows most of the time but appears to consider himself above them because he shoos them off if they get too much in his way. And he never comes to the feeder pole – at least I’ve never seen him at the feeder or on the ground below. Maybe when the weather gets colder he will? My first thought was that he won’t last; surely a blackbird can’t survive our winters. However, if the sparrows can survive, why shouldn’t he, too? Time will tell.

My Gobbling Google

I’ve had some issues with my cell phone lately – the G-mail has been gobbling up my plan’s bytes like teen boys at an eat-all-you-can buffet — and we can’t figure out why. One thing I have tried: I changed my settings and cancelled notifications so I’m not getting so many incoming e-mails with photos from other bloggers. I can rather check my Reader for new posts. I’ll see if this will make any difference this month. So if you’re inclined to post a lot of photos and you aren’t hearing as much from me, it’s because I’m not getting all your notifications right now.

One last thought — but quite important: I’d like to give a warm welcome to all my new followers. I’m not sure where everyone is finding my blog, but I see the numbers going up. 🙂 You’re all welcome to browse in the archives, read and comment on posts.

Wishing everyone a “Happy Hump Day” – as another blogger calls Wednesday, since it’s the middle of the week.

Pearl

Oyster with pearl

bit by bit the oyster
nurses its grievance
to perfection

Ragtag Daily Prompt: PEARL

I’m reblogging this from a couple of years ago. Alas, I’m feeling poorly just now, so will take the easy way.

On Being A Battleground

Being sinus-congested and shivery yesterday evening, I spent the night in the living room recliner medicated and wrapped up in blankets. Being in this position made me fair game a cosy cushion for our cats. I was only dimly aware of the coming and going. I woke up once and Angus was curled up on my lap — then the little guy, Tuffy, came and before long they scrapped and Angus stomped off. Next thing I knew Pookie sprawled out on my chest. Then the little guy came and curled up in the crook of my arm — but before long he and Pookie were scrapping and Pookie stomped off. Tuffy came and went a couple of times by himself.

Today will be a better day, I hope. I started a jigsaw puzzle Sunday afternoon and it must be a bit musty, triggering my allergies. I either have to quit doing puzzles — one of my favorite pastimes — or wear a really good filtering face mask when I do one. This happens too often.

Dog’s Delight

Image by Dave Francis — Pixabay
Oh wow! Is that a cat?
That clump of fur over there -- 
that long tail I see twitching?
Can I chase it? Huh, Master?
Just for a minute? Oh, heaven!
Please say I can, Master.

Cats are so much fun to chase –
better yet if they go up a tree.
I keep them up there ever so long
glaring and squabbling,
but terrified to come down.
Oh joy! Do I ever love that!
Bark, bark, bark – nya nya nya.
Disgusting, hissy things!

Say yes, Master, let me go!
I'll chase that cat clear into
the next valley. Or if it leaps
on the fence I'll hurl myself at it
with my most ferocious growls.
Oh, wow! Will that ever be fun!
Can I, huh? Can I?
Master, please let me chase it!

Awww… It disappeared.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: WOW!
Word of the Day: SQUABBLE
Your Daily Word Prompt: FEROCIOUS