Saturday, April 22, 2006
It's 5:30 pm and there is a hot wind off the desert. The temperature is 100 F and the only happy things that I can see are the flies who are landing on my arms in hopes of some moisture and the dogs racing around the parrot cages hoping to catch a rat that will be flushed out by the hoses running down under the cages into the burrows. So far the rats are sitting tight and I would be inside typing this except the dogs work better when I'm around...sounds a lot like kids and employees, right? Thanks to wireless networks I can sit in the garden gradually stewing while I type a blow by blow account of a rat hunt. What a thrill, huh!
While the canines are patroling the parrot cage, Mona our one-legged Grey is inside entertaining the world with whistles and calls as she watches activities from the living room window. Her stump is healing very well and hopefully some time in the relatively near future we will outfit one of the new flight cages that are in the process of being assembled on the new land with some special landing perches since she needs platforms now more than branches. The flights are being fitted with a tree in the center of them to give the parrots some nice branches to play on and chew. The "trees" will be actually large orange, mango and mulberry branches.
The household has a new member as well. A week ago one of my grooms showed up with a young fox cub whom he had found along the road. She's very tame and may have been captured very young or even raised in captivity, but she has a break high in her right hind leg that can't be put into a cast. We took her home, gave her a good bath (so that now she had nice clean fleas), and popped her into a carton for a trip to the vet. Our vets informed us of the break, but other than that really couldn't do much except pet and cuddle her, which she seems to appreciate. We fixed up the wire on the back garden where Schmendrick the three-legged black cat and Molly the blind Greek Corgi live. This is our "special treatment" area since those two are very welcoming to the odd creatures that we foist upon them. As both Molly and Schmen are named after characters in The Last Unicorn, it seemed only appropriate to tag the poor fox with Lady Amalthea (10 points to anyone who knows who she is), but we mostly call her Thea.
She's made herself at home in the laundry room and seems to be quite comfortable with dry dog and cat food. We give her scrambled eggs mixed with yogurt and bits of meat or fish as well and she's thriving. Once her leg heals, she may be able to scale the fence of the garden and if she wants to live free she's welcome to. But I suspect that she may just stay with us as she is totally tame. We'll see. Meanwhile when I sent my daughter in New York a photo, she sent me a message that made me laugh out loud. "Well, Mom, you have the social outcast(Molly), the cripple(Schmendrick) and the orphan fox cub, so I guess now the back garden is The Secret Garden". Having the cast of The Last Unicorn living in my own Secret Garden isn't such a bad idea.
Score so far: Dogs 1 Rats O