Happy Meat Day – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The air smells wonderful.

Wiggles:  The humans are celebrating one of their special days. And that means…

Doodlebug:  MEAT!!!

Miss Sweetie:  MEAT COOKED OUTSIDE WITH SMOKE AND SPICES!!!

Stella: Lady Human, what meat day is today?

Me:  Thanksgiving Day.

Stella:  We give thanks to the Great Creator for meat.

Wiggles:  And we give thanks for the wonderfully scented air.

Doodlebug:  And we give thanks for Tall Man who knows how to cook over fire coals.

Miss Sweetie:  And we give thanks for…

Stella:  What, Sweetie? What do we give thanks for?

Miss Sweetie:  I can’t…There aren’t just a few…I don’t know where… to start…or stop…We give thanks for everything all the time. There. I said it. And I’m not taking it back.

Stella:  That’s okay, Sweetie. Let’s keep that right where it is.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

OH POSSUM – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What was all that hubbub last night with Squawky the Squawker Chicken squawking and Tall Man stomping around with that light attached to his forehead.

Me:  His headlamp.

Stella: I don’t know what it’s called, but it was on his head and it was bright.

Me:  He was scooting something out of the henhouse. I’m not sure you want to know any more than that.

Stella:  I’m the queen. I should be told.

Me:  I didn’t notice any of you bulldogs getting up to check it out.

Stella:  We were tired. There was that loud, bang boom storm and how can we sleep through something like that and then Squawky was making her big voice noise and…wait…Squawky never squawks after dark.

Me:  That’s right.

Stella:  And Tall Man was scooting something out of the henhouse with a bright light stuck to his head.

Me:  Yep.

Stella:  And that thing was…NOOOOO! A POSSUM!!! NOOOOO! Where is it? Where did it go? Is it in the house?

Me:  No.

Stella:  How do you know it’s not in here with us? Oh, the horror! The horror!

Me:  It’s gone. It is not in the house. And it’s not in the henhouse anymore. And none of the chickens were hurt.

Stella:  This cannot go on, Lady Human! You humans must make one of those laws you all are so fond of, this time against possums.

Me:  Yeah, well, it usually doesn’t work that way. The storm probably stirred that one up. Or it got scared by a coyote.

Stella:  OOOOO! Don’t even get me started on coyotes. They think they’re so smart. What if the possum comes back?

Me:  We’ll deal with that if the time comes. Do you want me to wake you next time so you can do the scooting?

Stella:  Lady Human! How dare you suggest such a thing?  How could I deprive Tall Man of the scooting pleasure?

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.   

Rules of the House Part 4 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This next rule…

Doodlebug:  No!

Wiggles:  No, no, no!

Miss Sweetie:  Go on! Rules are fun. I don’t know what they are, but they make me laugh.

Stella:  Don’t stick your head in the big cold box in the kitchen. The humans are sensitive about all the stuff they have in there and they think our noses and drool mess up their food.

Wiggles:  This is the most selfish rule yet!

Stella:  Is that because your big old face is the one that pushes its way in there most often?

Wiggles:  Well, it does smell interesting. And it makes a cool breeze. And they keep treasure in it.

Doodlebug:  What treasure?

Wiggles:  Eggs. Shhh! Don’t tell them that I know. I don’t want them to take the eggs away. Every once in a long while, an egg will jump out and I can capture it.

Stella:  You mean you gobble it up.

Wiggles:  Same difference.

Stella:  But a rule is a rule.

Wiggles:  Awwww.

Stella:  Shhhh! Snatch all the stray eggs you can. Just keep your big ole bulldog face out of the ice box.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House Part 3 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Come to order!

Wiggles:  Never.

Doodlebug:  Nope.

Miss Sweetie:  Okay, I will have a hamburger. Fries, eggs, pizza, and…

Stella:  Not that kind of order, Sweetie. The kind where you sit quietly and listen to me.

Wiggles:  Never.

Doodlebug:  Nope.

Miss Sweetie:  Hmmm, maybe?

Stella:  Hey, this rule is a good one. When entering and exiting, don’t crowd the door. Bunching up means nobody can get through. And I should always go first.

Wiggles: Hey, you sneaked that part in. You don’t go first. The first to get there goes first.

Stella:  I am the Queen. That makes me first.

Doodlebug:  My legs are longer and faster than yours, so guess what? I’m first. See ya!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House Part 2 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am reviewing the house rules with the pack. Some have been ignoring them.

Miss Sweetie:  Me? Me? Say it was me!

Stella:  Yes, it was you, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Yay me!

Stella:  NO GOING POTTY IN THE HOUSE! Did everyone hear that one?

Miss Sweetie:  Awwww.

Doodlebug:  Awwww. I like to keep my options open.

Wiggles:  This rule I actually agree with. Take it outside, y’all.

Stella:  I agree with it, too, but it irks me that the humans don’t abide by it. Just one more example of humans treating themselves better than everybody else. They can’t hide from us what they do in those special little rooms with the huge water bowls. No potty in the house indeed!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Come On In – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am extremely frustrated. Lady Human, turn off the Picture Box. You know I don’t like it. I am tired and ready to go to bed.

Me:  You used to like the television a whole lot. You just haven’t liked it since I moved it in here. Come on in! It won’t hurt you.

Stella:  I don’t want to see ridiculous humans right in my face.

Me:  I’ll be finished in a few minutes. Come on in. It’s fine.

Stella:  If I say it is not fine, it is not fine.

Me:  Sorry, you were the one who came back here early tonight. I will turn it off in a bit.

Stella:  Do you misunderstand my bulldog tone of voice? My grumpy, huffy, puffing voice?

Me:  No, I recognize it just fine. I’m just being the human right now.

Stella:  Another reason humans should not be in charge of anything.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House Part 1 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has been bringing the house rules up again so we need to go over them again.

Wiggles:  No.

Doodlebug:  No.

Miss Sweetie:  We have rules?

Stella:  First rule – keep the barking down to a bare minimum.

Wiggles:  No.

Doodlebug:  No.

Miss Sweetie:  I can’t help it. The barks just come popping out.

Stella:  I believe this to be a violation of our free speech rights.

Wiggles:  Yeah, the humans are always yelling about their rights to speak. What about our rights?

Doodlebug:  Bulldog rights! Bulldog rights! Bulldog rights!

Stella:  Hush, Doodle! No barking! You sound like a human!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Big, Shiny Bird – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is that horrible noise in the sky? Look! A big shiny bird! Help it, Lady Human! It must be in pain to make such an ugly loud noise!

Me:  That’s just a plane. It’s coming in for a landing.

Stella:  It is landing here? No! It is too big! Shoo it away!

Me:  It is not landing here. It will land nearby. It is an airplane.

Stella:  Why did the Great Creator make big, shiny, loud birds?

Me:  Humans made big, shiny birds…correction, airplanes. The Great Creator’s birds are graceful and soft and lovely and colorful.

Stella:  Then why would humans make a big loud bird?

Me:  So we could fly in it.

Stella:  Foolishness.  Just like humans to make some loud thing so they can pretend to be something they are not.

Me:  I recall that you used to dream of flying so you could chase squirrels.

Stella:  That was long ago. I no longer dream that dream. Look at me. Imagine if I tried to land myself in our yard. Too horrible to consider. Now I am happy to keep my four feet on the ground and let the squirrels come to me.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Monsters! Run! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Run! Monsters! Flying Monsters! Save yourselves! Save me, too!

Me:  It’s alright, Stella!

Stella:  Save the tiny human!

Me:  She seems to be doing okay.

Stella:  Have all the humans lost their minds!

Me:  Stella, calm down. I know you don’t like the TV anymore. Just wait over by the door. We’ll be finished in a few minutes.

Stella:  Do you mean those monsters are just on the Picture Box?

Me:  Yup. It’s a video game. We are battling dinosaurs and we are doing very well at it.

Stella:  Humans made a game with monsters? You think that is fun?

Me:  Ummm, well, yeah.

Stella:  Who can ever comprehend the human mind?

Me:  That’s quite a philosophical question for a bulldog.

Stella:  Bulldogs are straight thinkers. We don’t like monsters; therefore, we don’t make them up so we can shoot them with little lights. Please learn from us, Lady Human.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Where Are You Taking MoonCat? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Where are you going with MoonCat? What’s wrong?

Me:  Nothing. Just vaccine time. You look all worried, Stella.

Stella:  What? Why would I look worried about a cat? So… she’s all right?

Me:  This is a routine vet visit.

Stella:  The vet! NOOOO!!! She must be so scared!

Me:  I put a big, folded towel in her carrier, so she’ll feel more at home.

Stella:  She may be a cat, but she is not that dumb, Lady Human.

Me:  Well, we’re going now.

Stella:  Wait! Are you going to bring her back?

Me:  Are you concerned that she won’t come back?

Stella:  Well, I’m just kind of used to having her around, you know, to chase and other such bulldog pursuits. You can’t chase a cat that’s not here. So…

Me:  That’s sweet, Stella. You love MoonCat.

Stella:  Don’t go overboard there, Lady Human.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved, 

Where Has Our Fake Forest Gone? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human call those humans with flashing lights on their rolling boxes. Someone has taken away our forest.

Wiggles:  Yes, the tall weeds are gone.

Doodlebug:  The yard is so empty. Make them bring the tall, skinny plants back!

Miss Sweetie:  Once again, I can run free and see where I am going. Yay!

Me:  No need to call the law. Nothing has been stolen. I have been cutting our lamb’s quarter jungle down bit by bit and now the progress is showing.

Stella:  When will you bring it back?

Me:  Well, I won’t. All those plants are annuals. They die out each year.

Wiggles:  How will we hide from each other?

Me:  I guess you’ll have to wait for next spring to see if they come back.

Stella:  Not good enough. We had a perfectly good forest and it died out?

Me:  It was not a real forest.

Stella:  It looked like one to us.

Me:  When you’re as close to the ground as you all are, I can see how that mistake can be made.

Stella:  Are you calling us stupid or stumpy?

Me:  I am calling you bulldogs.

Stella:  Nice save, Lady Human.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Horsey – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. EXCUSE ME, LADY HUMAN!

Me:  What?

Stella:  Move aside.

Me:  Move aside what?

Stella:  Move aside out of my way. I’m coming through.

Me:  All right, Prancey.

Stella:  Who are you calling Prancey?

Me:  You, Miss Horsey.

Stella:  I am not a horse. I am a beautiful bulldog.

Me:  That doesn’t stop you from acting horsey.

Stella:  So…acting horsey is the same as acting bulldoggy? Thank you, Lady Human. At first I thought you were trying to insult me.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved,

Pay Attention to Me! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Play with me, Lady Human.

Me:  In a little while.

Stella:  No! Now!

Me:  Not right this minute.

Stella:  How demanding do you want me to be?

Me:  Not at all. If you haven’t noticed, I am babysitting.

Stella:  I noticed. That is why I am being ignored.

Me:  Here’s an idea. Lie down and roll onto your back.

Stella:  What? And expose my tummy to a little human? You know how they are!

Me:  Come on. I’ll be here.

Stella:  Oh, all right. For just a second. Then I’ll get up…and…say! That feels nice. Her hands are so soft and tickly.

Me:  Enough attention?

Stella:  Yeah. Just a little more over there. Yeah. That’s fine. Lady Human, you should babysit more often.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved. 

Indoor Voice – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Doodlebug! Quiet down!

Me:  I second that motion!

Doodlebug:  WHAT‘S THE MATTER?

Me:  You are talking too loud.

Doodlebug:  HOW LOUD IS TOO LOUD?

Stella:  About like that right there.

Me:  If you need something, use your indoor voice. I can hear you just fine.

Doodlebug:  YOU MEAN…

Me:  Lower…

Doodlebug:  LIKE…

Stella:  Quieter…

Doodlebug:  Like this…whisper…whisper…whisper…

Stella:  Quieter…

Doodlebug:  If I get quieter, you won’t hear me at all.

Stella:  Yes, exactly! Do that!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.   

What’s in the Bag? Give It to Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. You are being sneaky again, Lady Human. You must know that our noses are smarter than your brains are.

Me:  I don’t know that at all.

Stella:  What do you have in the bag?

Me:  Leftovers.

Stella:  That’s interesting. Give me the bag.

Me:  That’s a little demanding of you.

Stella:  What’s the surprise? Look at me. Bulldog. Give me the bag.

Me:  I don’t think so.

Stella:  I’ll stand right here…

Me:  You can stand there all night. You are not getting these leftovers. It’s Tex-Mex. Too spicy for you. You will thank me later.

Stella:  I doubt that. Clear your food choices with me before you go out again. That Tex-Mex stuff is off the list from now on.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Is It Human? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am scared, Lady Human.

Me:  How come?

Stella: There was something walking down the road. It was tall and walked on two legs, but it had the head of a…

Me:  What? The head of a what?

Stella:  It was horrible. HORRIBLE!

Me:  Stella, what was horrible?

Stella:  A two-legged monster with the head of a CAT!

Me:  Oh, that was just someone wearing a costume. It is a special day for that sort of thing.

Stella: So it was human?

Me:  Yeah.

Stella:  What about the one that looked like a bat?

Me:  Yep. Human.

Stella:  And all the princesses holding bags?

Me:  Yeah, all kids looking for candy give-aways.

Stella:  That’s a relief! I thought they were trying to replace me as queen.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Balding Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What are you doing on the floor, Lady Human?

Me:  Cleaning up some of your discarded hair.

Stella:  Save it! We can glue it back on.

Me:  Why?

Stella:  So I won’t have bald spots like Wiggles does every winter.

Me:  It’s not a big deal. The hair grows back.

Stella:  But she has naked sides until it does. I don’t want naked spots.

Me:  You shed evenly so you don’t ever have naked spots.

Stella:  I still think you should save my floor hair just in case.

Me:  You shed enough hair to make a new dog every week and that’s only a slight exaggeration.

Stella:  Then don’t save my shed hair! Throw it all away. You are not allowed to make new dogs! That’s just crazy! And scary. And weird.

Me:  And not something I can really do. Remember?

Stella:  Oh, yeah. Whew! At least that’s good news.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sneaky Move – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ahhh. I am resting comfortably after a cool, rainy day of indoor naps and…hey! What was that?

Me:  What? Here, have a cheese cracker. The good kind.

Stella:  Thank you. Don’t mind if I do…hey!

Me: Have another cracker.

Stella: I get it! That’s a sneaky move, Lady Human! You trick me with belly rubs and my favorite crackers so you can snip my toenails. Well, cut it out!

Me:  l don’t see you turning down the snack.

Stella:  Of course not. What do I look like? An idiot with no crackers?

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Vocal Exercising – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Sing! Sing, trees! Sing, sky!

Wiggles:  I am singing as loud as I can. Stop trying to drown me out!

Doodlebug:  Doh doh duh doh doh DOH! I am louder than everyone put together.

Miss Sweetie:  Ah ooooo. Oh oh oh ooooo!

Me:  What is all this racket about?

Stella:  Racket? You call our singing racket? Is racket a beautiful noise that you enjoy? Because if it is, here is some more.

Me:  No, thanks. I’ve had quite enough already. Why are you all caterwauling?

Stella:  Lady Human! How dare you compare us to cats?

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Aren’t We Your Friends, Too? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. You sneaked out on us again, Lady Human.

Wiggles:  Yeah, I can smell the food all over you.

Miss Sweetie:  You ate without us? Awww.

Doodlebug:  Now I feel sad. And hungry.

Me:  Here’s your food.

Stella:  Where did you go?

Me:  I met a friend of mine for dinner.

Stella:  Aren’t we your friends, too?

Me:  Sure, but…

Wiggles:  But we are not good enough friends to eat with you at a human food place. Awww.

Me:  Can you imagine me walking into a restaurant with 4 bulldogs?

Miss Sweetie:  I can.

Doodlebug:  Me, too. I can see it now in my big bulldog mind.

Miss Sweetie:  What’s a restaurant? Can I go?

Me:  Come on, y’all. Be reasonable.

Stella:  Reasonable? You’ve forgotten who you’re talking to.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.