Thursday, February 5, 2009

Losing things

At the beginning of this week I lost my keys. This is especially impressive as I have almost as many key-chain do-dads as I have keys. I say almost because I removed the little monkey that could be considered a stuffed animal when I realized it was tempting the dogs to bury the keys in their bed, their toy basket or (most problematic) the yard.

I looked everywhere, starting with the obvious & ending with sifting through the garbage, walking the yard with a flashlight & calling A at work (twice) just in case he picked them up by accident. In the end, I found them a day+ later in one of the first places I looked. Lame, I know.

But then I scaled up. On Wednesday I closed the gate at the top of the driveway, opened the emu yard & did a few chores. Two hours later, there was no sign of Cleo. That's right, I lost a giant pre-historic bird. That cannot fly. Or see very well.

Around dusk, I learned he was up at B***'s, scaring his dogs half-to-death. I learned this when a woman pulled into my driveway & told me my pet bird was up at her house: "the cracker house, up on the hill". This threw me until I remembered what passed for a hill in Florida versus Connecticut. She could have just as easily said "the house next to the blueberry field", "the second driveway on the left" or "B***'s house", but she did not. She seemed surprised that I knew B*** by name & still did not have the faintest idea who she was. I did not have the heart to tell her we have never bothered to learn the names of any of B***'s girlfriends (or wives for that matter).

Otherwise she could not have been nicer about it. Okay, she could have been nicer, she seemed a bit freaked (this was after I said she REALLY did not need to worry her dogs would hurt the bird; she needed to worry in the other directions), but in her shoes I would have been raining holy hell, so I think she was a brick. B***, as usual, was jovial-in-the-extreme. They had company for dinner & everyone seemed to enjoy the idea of me chasing this crazy bird around in the dark with a bucket of apples & a dieing flashlight. I have NO DOUBT all the crazy incomer stories were told & retold.

It was a long night & early this morning I walked back up there (he settled somewhere for the night & it is not possible to find an emu in tall grass if he does not stand up) & found him rummaging through the undergrowth, trying to avoid the sprinklers (did I mention Cleo was on the edge of a giant blueberry field? & that it was about 18F overnight, 22F when I left the house? Well he was & it was & it was) right away.

A & I both were wide awake well before dawn. I had not slept well worrying about my pet velociraptor & A got a phone call at 5:30 or so to go over some confusion in the 2009/2010 research budget. As soon as there was enough light for me to see (which is considerably less light than most need to see; yes, I am a creature of the dark), I took a bucket of feed & the rest of the chopped apples up the 'hill'. By the time A got there, I had Cleo eating from the bucket & had impressed the farm workers with my machismo, hand feeding the giant bird that had been hissing & kicking at their dogs (none of them were crazy enough to go near him themselves).

Cleo would have happily followed me (& the bucket of feed) home, but those same dogs objected to his passing them & in the end, A threw a blanket over him, lifted him into the bed of the pick-up & sat on him while I drove home. Once home, A lifted him out, took the blanket off & Cleo has been walking around his yard, his feathers ruffled (no, really) since then. As far as we can tell, Antonelle is not speaking to him. When he goes near her, she turns away. I leave you to imagine the dialogue between that unhappy couple.

Bad luck always comes in threes (or twelves or two hundred & forty sixes) so I am a bit worried about the next one, nine or two-hundred & forty four things I am going to lose.

No comments:

Post a Comment