64. Pig in the Python

Dear Tera,

What a shambles this house has become over the past couple of days.  What chaos.  And what a pile of new stuff to be sniffed at and pondered over.

More humanoids in the house as well.  They’re back – the three females who form Lily’s pack.  They were our houseguests last winter.  Lily has continued to spend her days and most of her nights with us, but the comings and goings of the rest of her pack were less predictable.

But now they seem to have established themselves.  Their scents are everywhere.  The daily routines have altered – sometimes to the benefit of Lily and myself. 

The Pup and the two girls have responsibility for feeding us.  Alpha often orders the Pup and the girls to take us for a long walk in Windsor Park.  This is for Lily’s and my edification, of course, but I also wonder if maybe the adult humanoid’s are also seeking a little island of peace amidst the turmoil of two dogs and three humanoid youngsters.

The mother of the two girls is a very nurturing soul with both dogs and humanoids.  Compared to Alpha, the Mom is much gentler with us, except when I want to lick the meat juices from the dishes stacked in the dish washer.  On that point, she can be quite authoritarian, in fact.

The older of the two girls always wears a baseball cap, and often plays with a basketball out on the front walk.  She is very Sporty, but that doesn’t stop her from lying down with us dogs on the living room floor and rubbing our tummies while she watches TV.

The younger girl is very bouncy and enthusiastic and full of Sunshine, but her mind sometimes wanders away from the task at hand.  When she pulls the assignment to feed us, you have to stay very close to her so she doesn’t forget and begin some new project, such as drawing pictures of flowers. 

The Pup gets along very well with both Sporty and Sunshine, but there are difficult moments.  He is used to sharing this house with me and Alpha, with frequent visits by Lily.  He is very concerned about disruptions to the natural order of things.

And there have certainly been disruptions this past weekend.  It started slowly at first, over the past few weeks.  A new table for the hallway.  Cushions put down on the floor to help measure out the space that will be occupied by a sofa.  New plates and bowls, carried over in cardboard boxes, then placed on the shelves while Alpha’s own plates and bowls are packed away in the boxes. 

This weekend, everything began to change on a much bigger scale.  All the furniture was cleared out of the guest bedroom.  Everything in that room had to be relocated to another room – or several rooms.  This means that the master bedroom is now so full of stuff that it is very difficult for a dog of advanced years to negotiate around the boxes and bins and tables to find her safe haven in the bed below the desk. 

But what a change in that first room.  Alpha’s books and music have been removed from the shelves, which now sport children’s books and stuffed animals.  And a brand new bunk bed has been set up that sleeps three new members of this pack:  Sporty on the upper level; Sunshine on the main level; and Lily on her blanket on the floor below the ladder.

Now I overhear Alpha and the Mom discussing plans for moving everything out of the master bedroom.  Alpha’s furniture will be moved to the basement room so that new things can be brought in.  I can see it all now.  In a couple of days, the master bedroom – my room that is! – will be as clean and empty as the girls’ room was yesterday.  But it will be impossible to move around in the basement because all the stuff will be relocated there.

I am told that in some parts of the world, there are snakes so big they can swallow a pig whole.  In fact, you can see a big bulge in the long, narrow snake – the bulge where the pig is making its way through the snake’s innards.  The bulge moves along the length of the snake, gradually diminishing as it gets digested. 

That’s what is happening to this house.  This huge bulge of humanoid stuff is being moved from room to room.  Eventually, the house may be able to digest it all.  But for the life of me, I cannot picture how we will be able to accommodate so much furniture and clothing and toys and stuff. 

In the meantime, it’s very nice to be living in a much larger pack – capable of showering so much more attention on those of us who can make our beds in the out of the way corners where we can stay out of the way of all this chaos.

                                    A member of a larger pack than before,


The Contest


            Many of Zoscha’s readers have observed that she often sprinkles her prose with various quotes, parodies and allusions.  This month, she takes inspiration from a recent book about humanoid demographics.  If you can identify a reference, send your contest entry to oscar@oldottawasouth.ca, using “Zoscha’s contest” in your title line.  Or drop a note off at the Firehall.


            Last month’s column elicited many responses from those who recognized Zoscha’s parody of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”  But the cyberspace doggie biscuit with a virtual pat on the head go once again to Ruth Smith of Bellwood Avenue, who identified the riff from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline:  “This is the forest primeval.  The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded in moss and in garments green, stand like Druids of eld…”