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Master Daniel and the Ground-Rottweiler

Poster: Rutlands@aol.com

Good Gentles, allow a poor bard to entertain you with a tale...
    Master Daniel and myself had attended a wedding this Saturday past (which
is why we weren't at K. A&S) and came home at about six in the evening to find
the kitchen, at the first horrified glance, totally trashed.  Vandals!  --Or
at the least, Visigoths--  But then we noticed that all of the items on the
floor had previously resided in the Great Pyramid Of Stuff In The Corner,
perched on a stool & a radiator.  Nothing else was disturbed.  The worst of it
was a five pound sack of wild bird seed (we had wondered where that went) that
hit the floor and burst.   Well, we blamed it on the cats.  Wonderful things,
cats,  always there when you need a culprit.
     We got all THAT cleaned up, walked down the hall... and saw the dining
room... which USED to have plants all over the windowsills.   By now we were
thinking, microburst, wind did this, and the like; but the living room windows
were open (door to the hall was closed) and there was no damage.  So we
decided the cats had been chasing some poor insect all over the house.  The
cats, by the way, were NOT behaving oddly when we returned...We cleaned up the
D.R. and went to bed.  
     I left at 7 the next morning to be on duty at my nursery job at Behnke's
at 8.  At nine I got a frantic phone call from Master Daniel:  "I came down
the stairs and here was this huge GROUND HOG  at the front door, trying to get
OUT...."  Well, now we know what the cats were chasing.  Or vice versa.  At
any rate, Dan was his usual calm-in-a-crisis self... yeah. Right.  
"What do I do?"
     "Where is it?"
"In the dining room.  The cats have it cornered under the china cupboard."
     "Idiot.  It can outfight them and it might be rabid.  Listen.  Close the
door from the dining room to the kitchen.  Get the cats out.   Close off the
hall.  Open the front door.  Then open the door from the dining room to the
hall..  Then go to the kitchen and get the broom."
"The broom?  Why the broom?'
NINNY!-- And come to think of it, call Keith and ask for help."  (This is Sir
Xenophon, who lives next door to us.)
     Well, I trust Dan to do exactly the wrong thing in a crisis, so I called
Sir X. myself.  Dan met him just coming out of his house.  He brought up a
mucking huge net for landing fish, and managed to net the groundhog.  He (or
she) was ceremonially dumped out at the far end of the driveway.  
     In Dan's words, " I went back to the kitchen about half an hour later to
get a snack... and sat down... and heard munching... and it wasn't me."
     We now treat you to a repeat of the initial hysterics, re-calling of Sir
Xenophon, re-netting and re-dumping.  Sir X.  is a saint.  He wasn't quite as
happy this time around, but he came.   (The THIRD time he left the nets
behind;  he had somewhere to go and I guess he figured that Dan had been
through it twice already & should have the hang of it.)
     What follows is conjecture.  We had left our under-porch door open for
weeks...and there was a small window from there into the cellar.  Dan had, two
days previous, closed the outer door and opened the window.  
     "But.. there are slats across the opening...and the thing was the size of
a Rottweiler."  
     "You had to fish it out from under the china cupboard, didn't you?   How
high an opening was that?"
     "About three inches.. but..."
     We  closed the window.  Tightly.  Because there is a groundhog hole under
the flowering almond 25 feet from the front porch.  And they always build two
exits... and the underporch is earth-floored.  We will get it cleaned out &
check things out....later.

Thus ends the tale of Master Daniel and the Ground-Rottweiler.
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