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Animalia

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img_0175 I have hit that moment in life when all conversations directly or indirectly involve my animals.  I don’t know when that transition point was.  I used to talk about last night when I was so drunk.   Now I talk about the dog’s ailments, the cats trips to the vet and then segue into other cute animal stories.  Today, I spoke with my good friend Lisa on the phone where we gracefully transitioned between three animal stories.   It wasn’t intentional. She’s not my “animal buddy” like I have “work buddies” or “music buddies”, “med school buddies”; she is the perfect unlable-able friend.  I started the conversation very innocently (while walking my hound dog).
“Hey! What are you up to?”
“Driving to meet Chris and his friend and some chickens.”

Background:  Lisa is a vegetarian, thus she would not be driving up to find dinner chickens.  However, she has mentioned on numerous occasions that she would like to raise them.  I find this admirable…as it is also icky.

“Are you going to buy some?”
“No.   Although I have had some eggs from this farm and they are the best damn eggs I’ve ever had.”
“Is Chris going to buy some?”
“No.  This is the place where he hunts turkeys in the fall. We’re going to feed the turkeys and take a walk around the farm.”

At first I was confused. Why on earth are there turkeys at a chicken farm.  Maybe if you grow chickens, you dabble in turkeys? Or is it the other way around?  After I got comfortable with this bit of information, the cruelty of their gesture started to sink in.  Hey turkey, I’m going to make a special trip up here to feed you and get you used to me so that when I come back in the fall to shoot, kill and eat you, you won’t be scared of me.  I can see them all right now.  Hey! It’s that guy who comes for visits and morsels of good food.  I don’t know what that large stick is that he’s carrying.  Maybe he launches the treats towards us so we don’t have to waddle so far.   Hey! We’re over here! Launch some goody treats our way!
Lisa and I quickly transitioned to more practical matters.  Why hunt the turkeys when the chickens would be so much easier.  You could just sit on the fence and pick them off.
For some reason, this made me think of Buddy.  Buddy is our neighborhood’s newest edition.  He’s a yellow lab and as such, he is not that bright.  The neighbors already had three small children, so it’s unclear at times why they thought a mentally challenged puppy would be good to add the mix but there he is.  Buddy has an electric fence that allows him to sit out in the front yard and observe the world around him.  Buddy is out there a lot.  It’s unnerving.  He is the only dog in the neighborhood that spends any great deal of time outside.  While the rest our animals are snoozing away their afternoons in our beds, we sit astounded that a dog could survive out in the wilds.  The neighbors have wondered what terrible crimes he could have committed that have relegated him to this “outdoor” existence.  Did he eat a Pottery Barn sofa?
Buddy also inspires a fair amount of guilt.  For example, my bloodhound and I like to play fetch.  It is a slight derivation from what many people would consider something I like to call “classic fetch”.  In our derivation, I throw the saliva-laden racquetball and Wyatt goes charging after it.  He doesn’t catch it so much as stop it with his body and then grabs it off the ground.  Ball in mouth, he runs right past me ignoring my pleas to stop.  About 20 yards away from me, he drops the ball out of boredom and exhaustion and then returns to me, without it, in hopes that I will go and get it and then throw it again.   It’s great exercise.  It is also impossible to play this game in front a Labrador puppy who watches the event as though he were a spectator at Wimbledon.
Lisa and I discuss Buddy’s fate as though he were a political prisoner in Tibet.  So unfortunate. What an innocent soul.  Surely they’ll have to bring him in soon.  At this point I bring up the lion.
If any of you haven’t seen this video, you must check out Christian the lion on YouTube.  I’m a little fuzzy on the details so bear with me.  These two guys see a lion cub in Herrods’ and decide that department store living is no good for a cub, so they buy him.  They take the cub to some place.   I think it’s a church? Or a school? Where they spend the next year raising him.  Lots of great footage of two men with bad hair, rolling around on the ground with what looks like large kitten.  When said lion cub, named Christian, reaches critical mass, they realize that this church/school/park/whatever is no good and that he needs to go back to Africa.  SO they send him.  I’m sure this was a more involved process but, again, details not clear.  The best part is that a year later, they go to Africa to find their lion….and they do.  Now here’s where it gets good.  They get warned that their old buddy might not recognize them because their lion is now the head of his….tribe?      herd?      group?     pride?      peeps? something.   You then see, our heroes walking through the African plains and a male lion running up to them at full speed.  They get down on their knees as if they are our neighbors welcoming Buddy back into the house.  The massive cat leaps for them and nuzzles them.  The three of them roll around on the ground together.  Each time, it looks like Christian is going to take a good bite of the jugular and instead they are all laughing.   When asked why they were so sure that the bounding 300+lb cat was going to be friendly, they said that they could tell by his body language.  His body language.  After a year, they trusted their ability to read a lion’s body language that he was not, in fact, going to eat them but merely say hello.    All I’m saying is that it’s a good thing they’re milking this for all the publicity they can, because they don’t sound very bright.

After that, I asked Lisa how she was feeling about starting law school in the fall.  “Fine”.  “Great.  Well I really didn’t have anything else exciting going on.”  “Me either.”  We agreed we’d talk soon and hung up.  It feels so good to really connect with someone.

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Written by composthaste

March 18, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Great post! Linkage here for anyone interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btuxO-C2IzE

    I think from the video that the Lion was just reacting to the familiar smell of patchouli oil, BO, and boys with manes of their own.

    doctor_shadow

    March 19, 2009 at 1:22 am

  2. Boy I miss you! This made me laugh out loud several times. For the record, I broached the shoot-a-chicken-instead-of-a-turkey-and-save-yourself-some-time idea with Chris and his response was “Believe me, I’ve considered it”.
    Loved the video of the guys and their lion. The version I watched had bad sappy music dubbed over it and no dialogue, but I could just hear them saying “first I was like DUDE, and then I was like dude, and then I was like dooood”

    lisa

    March 19, 2009 at 2:14 am


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