News from Vermont #368 A Boy And His Dog…?

News from Vermont #368 A Boy And His Dog…?
September 9, 2016

Hello again Maple People,
It seems these days with all the stupid things going on in our human “community” that maybe the animals have a better handle on how to live life. After all, you don’t see any of them walking around “thumbing” electronic devices or putting signs on lawns and intersections (vote Bessie for Better Milk, or Rover for more Gravy Train). Yup, the more time I spend with the animals in my life, like our two black Labs, Averill and Fern, the more at peace I feel. The other night, an encounter I had with two more of man’s “best friends” had me both peaceful and in stitches.

Hello, my name’s Fern and I love to be petted!
I had driven down to the mid-New Hampshire village of Newbury to play a concert with the East Bay Jazz Ensemble. The setting was beautiful, a quintessential village bandstand situated right on the southern tip of Lake Sunapee. We played big band standards to a small but appreciative crowd of folks. On our break I strolled around the grounds. It was getting dark and all of a sudden I almost bumped into a boy walking two big black dogs…or at least I took them as dogs until one of them “oinked”. On close inspection, the animals were fatter than the average dog.
The boy, about ten, sported a Mohawk which stood up on his head as stiff as the bristles on his two medium-sized pigs, Madge and Harry. When I reached down and scratched Madge behind her ears she looked up and smiled with pleasure. “They live with you in your house?” I asked. “Yup. They can hold their poop and pee for nine days” the boy said proudly like they had both won gold at the Olympics. By that time Harry, the bigger one, was rooting up perennials bordering the bandstand. I noticed scary-looking tusks protruding from both sides of his snout but would find that he was as docile and friendly as his partner Madge. I wondered, though, how friendly Newbury officials would be when they found their village park looking more like plowed-ground than a landscaped park! When our break was over, I said goodbye to the boy and his “best friends”. I returned to a second set of big band music resolving, at least temporarily, to never eat bacon again.
Hi, my name’s Averill, on most days I’m here to greet you!
The next morning, I was about to tell Betsy my pig story when she asked if I’d sensed another presence in the bedroom the night before. “No” I said, thinking of my peaceful sleep and lack of ghosts of any sort. Then she floored me…”There was a big fat wart toad hopping around our bedroom last night.”. She said she quickly shooed it back to the great outdoors. We’re both still puzzling over how that guy got into our house but know he meant no harm. In fact, some men might speculate that bedroom company of that sort might just turn into a beautiful princess, but not me…I’m happily married, and happy, I might add, that the animals in my life often take the focus off “trying” things of the human kind.

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