April 2018

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Dead Animal

We got a lot of great Christmas gifts, but maybe the best conversation piece is the dead animal that Ann got in her stocking. It's not really a dead animal. It's really a furry throw from Restoratin Hardware, but it looks like a dead animal.

The night before Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve Eve?), when we were sleeping at Sister Jen's house, we heard the family dogs Ranger and Rosie barking up a fit and then we heard a high pitched wail.

The next day, when my brother-in-law Todd went out to the yard, he retreated quickly inside, "Oh, God! There's a dead animal out there! I don't know what it is. Maybe it's a possum playing possum."

Dad went outside to scoop up the dead animal and throw it over the fence. Todd trailed behind and hid himself behind Dad in case the carcass jumped back to life.

Dad explained that he didn't think it was a possum playing possum: "It didn't have a rat-like tail, and it didn't have a face anymore. I don't think it's coming back to life." Dad probably has such insight into life and death because of his years as a pediatrician, but Todd wasn't taking any chances. He stayed inside for the rest of the day.

Christmas morning, Ann opened her gift from Todd and Ranger and Rosie: a throw to keep her legs warmed that looks like the pelt of a giant squirrel.

Mostly, I must admit, Ann can't use the dead animal because I'm huddled under it in front of the fire. Last night, I forgot to put the dead animal away before our 91 year old neighbor Annabella came over for dinner.

When Annabella saw the pelt, he eyes opened wide behind her big glasses, and she said, "Good Lord!" Then she crossed herself, as any good Catholic woman would. "That's creepy."

She summed it up.

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