Socks Our Hero!

It’s Thursday and high time for my response the Six Sentence Story prompt, hosted by GirlieOnTheEdge. This week’s word is TERM. If you go to her blog you’ll see the InLinkz button to click on so you can read the other responses to this prompt.

Here’s a story I’ve been wanting to write for awhile. Someday I’ll planned to flesh it out more but for now I’ll squeeze it into six (okay, some very long) sentences to meet the writing challenge. Hope you enjoy it.


Sheriff Wilson, trying hard to look stern, explained to Farmer Rushton, “I’m here to investigate a complaint made by some fellow who came here last night that you have a – his term was ‘vicious wild boar’ – running around your farmyard.”

“There’s nothing vicious about Socks,” Rushton exclaimed, “and furthermore, she’s a sow, not a boar. But our Socks is as friendly and playful as a puppy; you know yourself she’s been Tommy’s pet ever since she was the runt of the litter last year – and she loves to meet our farm visitors.”

“Well, this fella stopped by last night when you folks weren’t home and says he was just having a look around – I’d use the term skulking myself – when he came past the barn and suddenly this vicious pig was charging at him, screaming like a banshee.

He ran but hit some slime, slid, and went head-first into a huge puddle of ‘barnyard sludge’–” Sheriff Wilson couldn’t hold back a chortle “– and the ‘berserk beast’ came wallowing in right after him so that he barely escaped with his life – and without whatever else he might have been hoping to take away, I might add.”

Rushton grinned, then shook his head and said, “Well, I’ve sometimes grumbled about how much water my kids use when they make a mud puddle for Socks to cool herself off in, but I won’t begrudge Socks her beauty baths from now on.”

Original image by Iris Hamelmann at Pixabay

Comfy Cat

Good morning everyone. It’s going to be a nice day here, with an unseasonably mild high of -9 C –16 F– if the forecast is right. And this is our FIRST DAY of the solar year, you might say: we had our shortest day yesterday so we can look forward to a few more minutes of daylight every day.

I seem to have a set amount of sleep time in my old age: more-or-less five hours. I went to bed early last night — about 11:30, that is — and woke up at 4:10 this morning. With a bit of a headache, so I decided to get up and feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, check the Ragtag Daily Prompt. Now I’m going through my Word Perfect Docs file and decided to post a few previously unpublished verses.

Here’s something that happens regularly at this office:

cat sprawls out
in the warm desk chair
writer’s coffee break

And if we want our chair back, we’ve found it’s most effective if we rustle the bag of cat treats.

No Encroaching Here!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is ENCROACH

To me this is such an old-fashioned sounding word, like something Chaucer or Shakespeare might have used. Like the branches of Burnham wood slowly encroaching on Macbeth’s castle. Anyone remember that scene?

According to my book of word meanings, encroach and crochet have a common root. To encroach on something is to try snagging the thing, or attempt to catch it with a hook, coming from the French word, encrochier : “to seize with a hook.” Even more interesting, the French borrowed the root word “croc” from the Norwegian krokr, meaning hook – the word that has streamed off into the English crook, someone who snatches things wrongfully.

We got a little demonstration of encroachment yesterday afternoon. I’ve been feeding a stray cat that somehow landed on this property at some point in spring and likely found a safe place to stay in one of the farm buildings next door. He’s very timid – in fact that’s what I’ve named him. Since he doesn’t belong to the neighbours, they don’t include him when they put out food for their several tame farm cats. So, since I have a soft heart for cats, I’ve been feeding him all fall.

Yesterday one of the neighbour’s cats, a pretty calico, wandered over to our yard and happened to be near the garage when I set out a bowl of food for Timid. The calico took a notion that she could encroach on his food dish. He didn’t attack her, but expressed his displeasure quite sternly. No encroaching of any kind tolerated here!

Image by ArtTower — Pixabay

Had she reached out a claw and snagged some of his food, the calico would have been encroaching in the true sense of the word. Doesn’t work very well with dry cat food, though.

We’ve enjoyed a long mild fall with almost no snow, in fact last week was delightfully mild for this time of year. It has worked so far to feed the stray. But a cold wind is blowing from the northwest today and the temp is dropping steadily, so I suppose we won’t see so much of Timid once winter really settles in. Hopefully the mice around wherever he shelters are well fattened.

Scintillas of News & Views

I don’t know how it can possibly be July already, but want to wish my fellow Canadians a Happy Canada Day.

Awhile back I used the word MODICUM and it was so well received that I thought today I’d do one of its synonyms: SCINTILLA.

The thesaurus gives this list of alternatives:
atom, bit, crumb, dab, dash, grain, mite, morsel, nit, particle, shade, shadow, shred, smidgen, speck, tad, trace

It’s an old word, according to Merriam-Webster, first used in English in 1661 – the same year the word PUNDIT appeared. This was originally the Hindi word PANDIT, a pandit being a learned and highly respected teacher or leader in India. The word when first introduced into English, referred specifically to these men, but gradually came to be applied to other sages and scholars. However, it’s been given a sarcastic twist in modern days, now referring to a know-it-all who voices his opinion boldly and often at length.

Anyway, here are some scintillas, smidgens or shreds of detail about this past month at our house:

I’m afraid the month of June passed with a minimum of accomplishment by me. I’ve kept basins of water filled for the birds so that’s a twice-a-day thing, and now I’m watering my planters frequently. Today it’s like a blast oven outside; a hot dry wind is attempting to dessicate this land and its inhabitants.

I’ve done next to no writing. I’ve simply lost interest in blogging – and I don’t know why. I’m hoping you other bloggers, busy as you all are, will understand. I’ve been trying to get a few paintings finished with the thought of having a little art show and sale one of these days, but have abandoned my artwork this week as well.

On Monday something rather amazing happened: I got the urge to sew. For me that’s almost a miracle – I haven’t wanted to even look at my sewing machine for a couple of years! So, while the mood’s upon me, I cut out and worked on a dress, also am finishing a couple of other dresses I started (blush) several years ago. Since hemlines have changed drastically around here in the past few years, I’ve had to take out the hem I’d made when styles were quite long, and chop off two inches. We’re going on a week-long trip to visit friends in Quebec where we used to live, so a new dress or two will be nice. Our oldest granddaughter, who just got her driver’s license yesterday, plans to go with us.

We’ve had a few trips to the vet with our cats in the two week. Pookie had a sore on his side – likely caused by the claw of another cat – and it didn’t heal until we got antibiotics last week. But he’s been sick today and we’re wondering if the antibiotic has been too hard on his stomach.

Then last week one evening I let Angus out and he didn’t come home. Not that night nor all the next day; he still wasn’t back the next morning. The neighbour heard a serious cat fight in the night – a stray that showed up here, trying to survive. Angus doesn’t welcome visitors. He finally came limping home the 2nd morning on three legs. A bit of clean-up and antibiotics have put him on the road to better days, though he’ll be limping for awhile yet.

I could become a pundit and rant awhile about people who drop cats off on farms or villages thinking they’ll just settle in! We took Tuffy in last fall but he lacked survival skills; the two other fluffy black cats that showed up this spring haven’t fared well at all.

With regular cooks taking vacations or busy about the yard it’s harder to find casual cooks to do meals at the seniors’ residence. I did one meal in June and will prepare supper there tomorrow and Saturday dinner. I’m very thankful that I recovered so quickly from my surgery at the end of May and tried hard not to lift anything heavy that might cause my hernia to pop again. But my four weeks are up now. I see my surgeon next Monday and I think he’ll say I can resume normal activities.

Last week I borrowed a book from our e-library: The auto-biography of Sidney Poitier, titled The Measure of a Man. Haven’t read it all, but his childhood and youth are really interesting! I got curious last night and checked to see if he’s still living; he is, according to Wiki, and he is 94 years old.

And now I’d best get back to my sewing machine. Take care and have a great summer, everyone.


A humorous, familiar tale by Edgar Guest


Janet has a pair of rabbits just as white as winter’s snow
which she begged of me to purchase just a week or two ago.
She found the man who raised them and she took me over there
to show me all his bunnies, at a dollar for a pair,
and she pleaded to possess them so I looked at her and said:
“Will you promise every morning to make sure that they are fed?”

She promised she would love them and she promised she would see
they had lettuce leaves to nibble and were cared for tenderly.
And she looked at me astounded when I said, “I should regret
buying pretty bunnies for you if to feed them you’d forget.
Once there was a little fellow, just about as old as you
who forgot to feed the rabbits which he’d owned a week or two.”

“He forgot to feed his rabbits!” said my Janet in dismay.
“Yes,” I said, “as I remember, he’d go scampering off to play.
And his mother or his daddy later on would go to see
if his pretty little bunnies had been cared for properly,
and they’d shake their heads in sorrow and remark it seems too bad
that rabbits should belong to such a thoughtless little lad.”

“Who was the boy?” she asked me, and the truth to her I told,
“A little boy you’ve never seen who now is gray and old.
Some folks say you’re just like him,” but she looked at me and said:
“I won’t forget my bunnies! I’ll make sure that they are fed!”
And she bravely kept her promise for about a week or two,
but today I fed the rabbits, as I knew I’d have to do.


Image: Engin Akyurt — Pixabay

Remembering Tuffy

We have another beautiful day ahead of us. Our two older cats have been out exploring and just came in for breakfast.

A month since he left us, I’m remembering our little Tuffy on this beautiful spring morning that he would have loved.

such a small creature
such a big hole left
to catch all the rain