Friday, April 30, 2010

Sylvia And Friend Indulge In the Reversal of Species

By Anne Sullivan

“It’s so beautiful today,” said Sylvia, turning to me. She was standing on her hind legs, looking out the window onto what passed for the lawn until most of the grass washed away several summers ago.
“It’s April,” I said without enthusiasm.
“Yes,” Sylvia gushed. “Isn’t nature wonderful? Just when we thought winter was finished, we have another glorious snowstorm.”
“Bah, humbug,” I said, not looking up from my book.
“That’s the spirit. It could be Christmas. It’s a good thing you haven’t taken down the tree yet. Maybe we’ll have winter for 12 months this year.”
“It certainly feels like we will,” I said, pulling the fleece throw, the one that used to be electric until a power glitch killed it, up to my neck. “I fail to understand why you’re so cheerful about this frigid winter weather.”
“If you can’t beat it, join it, I always say,” was her answer. “Look on the positive side for once, boss. We can always use the moisture. Take your nose out of your book and gaze out the window and you can watch the grass grow.”
“I’m watching the mud grow. Last week I spent ages trying to get the mud off the undersides of both Silver Truck and White Truck and now I’ve got to do it all over again. I am not happy. I’m also dreading sloshing through the mud to find out how much butane is left in the tank, to say nothing of wondering how I’m going to pay for it all.”
“You’ve got to stop looking at the dark side of things. Buck up, boss. Think about the flowers growing.”
“I think about the flowers dying in the cold. The lilac bush looked like it was budding the other day. Now it looks like I feel.”
“I don’t see why you’re being such a grump.” Sylvia bounced down from the window and danced around the floor, shedding bits of dirt and fluff onto the rugs.
“Can’t help it. What with the wind, the rain and the snow, we haven’t been able to go for a walk for five days.”
“You may not have walked but I’ve been running all around our land every single day,” she boasted.
“And tracking mud all over the house and porch,” I complained.
“Pull yourself together and count your blessings. There should be loads of wildflowers this year and lots of tall grass.”
“Causing lots of wildfires later this summer,” I pointed out.
“I find your negative attitude hard to comprehend,” said Sylvia. “I would think that after this long winter you’d be delighted to see the Spring.”
“I would be if the Spring would stop tricking me with its here today and gone tomorrow attitude. What I really find hard to understand is your totally cheerful outlook today. It’s not like you. It’s as though some genie had replaced my dog with another.”
“Now you know how I feel, boss. You’re usually the one who cheers me up and now you’re in a complete funk. I want the old person back.”
“The Old Person is still here. The Crotchety Old Person. Maybe that’s who I am now and will be forever. You can play the laughing clown if you wish.”
“Not my job,” she protested. “What I will do is make you a nice hot cup of tea which you can drink before you take a nice hot shower. Maybe by then it will have stopped snowing and you’ll feel better about things.” Sylvia trotted off to the kitchen and turned on the electric water kettle.
“Tea and a shower might help,” I said doubtfully as I rose to join her. “I do have to wash my hair and the hot water should warm me up.”
With that every light in the house went off, taking with it every electric device including the hot water.
(The remainder of this conversation is censored due to language content.)

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