Dandelions archived - 25 Dec O4

25 Dec 04: A Gift of Giggles

Many years ago, in the dead of summer, I came home from a day of helping care for a sick friend. I was exhausted and disheartened. Worse, Ricky was away for the week and I wasn't looking forward to my own cooking and to eating with a rag-tag group of opportunists with no conversation but Gimme! I was wondering what I could do to wind down and cheer up enough to be able to do it all again the next day.

On my doorstep was a box from Phyllis W. This was decidedly mysterious. I hang out with Phyllis at her booth in the huxter room and she shows me all the best new animal books she's got and she and I swap critter stories. (She was the one who told me how ferrets "dance" to bring the rabbits out of their burrows, and you'll find that in Mirabile.) But a box? What on earth would Phyllis send me...?

Given my mood, even a mystery was welcome. I took the box upstairs. I confess I put off opening it until I'd done some necessary things, like greeting the cats and feeding the gimmes! Then, as I wasn't ready to think about cooking dinner yet, I sat down on the floor so the cats could help me open the box, which can be cheering in itself.

In the box, to my utter delight, were all manner of pictures of moose cut from catalogs and nature magazines, heavy cardboard window displays of moose for bookstores, about a zillion moose refrigerator magnets that Phyllis had made (!)...and six (count 'em---6!) plush moose, all of them little-kid-hand size.

Phyllis sent me a Big Box o' Moose just when I needed moose most!

Moose make me giggle---even gorgeous photos of snow-covered moose of great dignity give me gosh-wow! and giggles. Phyllis's Big Box o' Moose made me laugh out loud. The cats had to sniff everything that came out of the box and Mosh claimed the box. The next day, I took the box with me and the moose made my sick friend and his daughter laugh too!

Last Christmas, I looked from the tree to those six plush moose circled on the cabinet behind it and I remembered something we used to sing way back in the fifties when we were sleepy-silly and freeeeeeeezing and on our way home from carolling on Christmas Eve.

Usually Dapper Sam sleeps under the tree, so there's not much room for anything else. Sam's the one who bent that lower branch down far enough that he could rest his head on it and breathe in balsam as he dreamed. But the day was gloriously sunny, so he was outside, doing what he does when he's outside (and, no, I haven't a clue, except to say that even though he's neutered, he likes the ladies and they like him <g>).

New Year's Day, I saw that empty space and that splash of sunshine under the tree and I couldn't resist giving the moose herd a photo op before I began the Great Undoing.

May they give you a gift of giggles, too.

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Standing in the Spirit



1st Woman

 James H. Schmitz

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 Love Our Lockwood

John Randolph, the Actor

JJ1, JJ2, JJ3, JJ4, JJ5, catstuff

 The Goblination of the Runt

Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos © 1992-2005 by Janet Kagan