The signs of spring: the snow melts, the hockey boards come down, and humanoids harvest the poops.
It all happened in quick succession this year. The snow was still hiding behind the hockey boards when the city workers came to take them down; the boards were still stacked in the middle of Windsor Park the day of the Seventh Annual Poop Picking Harvest.
The harvest brings out the best in humanoids. I don't know why they try so hard during the winter to clean up after us when it's evident they have so much fun in the spring, harvesting what they'd missed when the snow was on the ground. They come to the Windsor Park harvest fields, dressed in their colourful, traditional poop-picking costumes. Something very folkloric about the attire: their garden gloves and rubber boots; plastic garbage bags and trowels.
What I love best is the merry songs the happy poop pickers sing while bending over their labours. Some of the songs go back a long time, I'm told. My favourite comes from when the Industrial Revolution was transforming traditional poop picking. It's the song about the race between a legendary poop picker, John Henry, and the steam-driven doop picker that was threatening everyone's job.
When John Henry was a little boy
The first words his lips did tell
Was, "I'm gonna be a poop-pickin' man
Cause I got no sense of smell
I got no sense of smell."
There's a disturbing trend in the poop picking harvest, however. Each year, we see fewer dogs. More humanoids leave us at home when they harvest. This is ungrateful. Where would the poop pickers be without our hard work over the winter months? We planted the seeds; it's only fiar that we're there to share in the festivities. So where was Zep? Where were Obie and Diva? Fortunatly, my Alpha is of the old school that believes in letting me see if I can add fresh material to the harvest while he toils at bringing in the past winter's bounty.
When the day of this year's poop picking dawned, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed was away on a business trip. My Alpha couldn't leave the Lump at home while he and I did our jobs.
Two years ago, the Lump slept in his baby carriage while the rest of us worked. Last year, he watched, strapped down in his stroller. This year, my Alpha was rash enough to let the Lump loose, armed with a trowel.
The Lump decided his contribution to the day would be to dig a hole in the baseball diamond. This cut down on our efficiency as Alpha and I would prowl among the bleachers and along the river bank. Whenever we found a poop, Alpha had to return to the baseball diamond to negotiation with the Lump for the temporary use of the trowel. After much squawking and complaining from the Lump, Alpha secured the trowel for just long enough to scoop our find into the plastic bag. Then the Lump got the trowel back and returned to the shortstop position to resume his engineering project.
In future years, perhaps the Lump will dig a hole sufficient to bury the entire harvest. He'll have to graduate from a trowel to a back-hoe. By mid-afternoon, the poop pickers had brought in eleven bags full of the winter's accumulation. Not just our souvenirs, but humanoid debris as well -- bottles and cans, paper and styrofoam. By the time we all gathered for our team photo, Windsor Park and the riverbank were looking pristine again. Just the kind of place you like to trot through with a grin on your snout and your tail held high.
See you there tomorrow.