The Tomato Mama Sky – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Okay, we’re getting outdoor stuff done a little early this evening.

Stella:  How come?

Me:  There’s a mammatus sky overhead and some weather is predicted.

Stella:  A tomato sky? How did tomatoes get in the sky? And why do I care? I don’t eat tomatoes anyway.

Me:  Not tomato. Mammatus.

Stella:  Mama?

Me:  Actually, that’s not too far off. It doesn’t always mean bad weather, but it usually does signal turbulence aloft.

Stella:  Where is a loft?

Me:  Way up in the air.

Stella:  Is this one of those times we should ask the Great Creator for help?

Me:  We should always do that anyway.

Stella:  Okay. I’ll start. You finish. And Lady Human…

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Thank you for always making sure to check the sky and that we are inside when we need to be.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Sun Has Run Away – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The sky will always be gray from now on. The sun has moved away and left us.

Me: No, it hasn’t.

Wiggles:  It has been days and days and days on end since it has even peeked at us. It ran away, Lady Human. It didn’t like us as much as we liked it.

Me:  There has just been a lot of cloud cover and rain lately.

Miss Sweetie:  Why didn’t the sun like us enough to stay? How come it ran off?

Me:  The sun has not run off…

Doodlebug: I think the sun is scared and is hiding.

Stella:  What ever could the sun be scared of? It is a big fiery ball in the sky. Wait! What’s that?

Me:  It is the sun shining through. The clouds are breaking. The sun has been there the whole time. We just couldn’t see it down here.

Stella:  A likely story! How about when it hides every night? Where does it go then, huh?

Me: Actually, it is still in place. We are the ones that move.

Stella: You just make up wilder and wilder stories, Lady Human. I am here every night and I don’t move. I have seen the sun running away and hiding. But I guess even the sun deserves a break.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Fair Division of Crackers – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  And an expert cracker thief.

Stella:  How dare you? What crackers? Where? Here? Now? Lady Human, are you holding out on me?

Me:  I am just getting them ready to hand out.

Wiggles:  What are you doing?

Me:  Breaking them in half.

Stella:  Let me see! Her piece is bigger!

Wiggles:  No, it’s not! Your piece is bigger! Not fair!

Me:  Okay, fine. One whole cracker each.

Wiggles:  Let me see! Her whole cracker is bigger!

Me:  No, look. See? The same size, one on top of the other.

Wiggles: (snatch) Mmmm.

Stella:  She got both!

Me:  I’ll find two for you.

Wiggles: Who’s the expert cracker thief now?

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Big Human Mess – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Who made this mess? Wiggles?

Wiggles: Not me and so what if I did?

Stella:  Nothing. Nothing. Not a big deal. Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Nope. Those footprints are even bigger than mine.

Stella:  Doodlebug?

Doodlebug:  Look at my paws. Clean! I rest my case.

Stella:  Well, I didn’t track an ocean of mud into our precious house. That can only mean one thing…Lady Human!

Me:  Yeah?

Stella:  Stinky mud is all over the floor.

Me:  Yeah.

Stella:  Is that all you have to say?

Me:  Yeah.

Stella:  Well…all right…You sound so much like a bulldog, I can’t stay mad at you. Now clean it up!

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Don’t Humans Eat with Their Mouths? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Stella? What are you staring at?

Stella:  You.

Me:  Why?

Stella:  Just wondering.

Me:  About what?

Stella:  What’s that funny thing you have? A special stick?

Me:  This spoon? It helps me to eat.

Stella:  You eat weird. Dogs know how to eat. Just stick your mouth and shovel it in. That’s why the Great Creator made tongues. It’s simple. It saves time. And you don’t need a shovel on a stick.

Me:  I think I’ll keep on using spoons.

Stella:  Fine with me, Lady Human. Disregard sound bulldog advice at your peril.

Me:  Ouch!

Stella:  What happened?

Me:  I stuck my gum with the spoon.

Stella: Just as I thought. Humans are dangerous to themselves when they eat. You won’t ever catch a bulldog doing that.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Digging Like a Squirrel – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Sadly, I must report that Lady Human has taken on some very squirrel-like behaviors and we are all very concerned that we may soon have to chase her out of the yard.

Me:  Yeah, like that’s going to work. I’d just like to see you try.

Stella:  No, you wouldn’t.

Me:  You’re probably right.

Stella:  Are you feeling well, ma’am?

Me:  Yes. I’m fine.

Stella:  Then why are you acting so like a squirrel? That is not normal for a human.

Me:  If you mean the digging, I am trying to renew our vegetable garden. We can grow vegetables for food the way we did a long time ago.

Stella:  That sounds insane.

Me:  No, really, people used to grow a lot of their food.

Stella:  What I mean is why would anyone want to eat vegetables. Yuck.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dream More Quietly – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ruff…RUFF.RUFF RUFF…WOW WOW WOW!

Me:  Stella, hon!

Stella:  What? You called me ‘hon’. You never call anyone that unless they’re in trouble. How could I get in trouble? I was asleep.

Me:  You’re not in trouble, but you were dreaming again. And loudly. You woke me up.

Stella:  Is that all?

Me:  It was enough. How come you’re dreaming so actively this last little while?

Stella:  I have a great imagination. What else am I supposed to do?

Me:  Has something bothered you lately?

Stella:  No…well, not much. Maybe the Big Freeze with snow that swallowed our feet and turned yellow.

Me:  Turned yellow?

Stella:  Yeah, when we peed on it. The ground doesn’t do that. Just that weird, cold snow stuff.

Me:  It’s over now. Maybe try to calm down a little more before you go to sleep.

Stella:  Forget it, Lady Human. You’re cramping my style.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Head Snuggle – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My head is important to me. I like it when my head is comforted. When it is comforted, the rest of me feels better, too. And my head is big, so big that it easily makes a space in the blanket for it to stick out.

Me:  Well, thank you for sharing.

Stella:  Hint. Hint.

Me:  Okay, right now I’m trying to do something else with that hand so…

Stella:  Bump. Bump. Hint. Hint.

Me:  One quick head rub then.

Stella:  Ehhh! Inadequate. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rhythmic Snoring – Conversation with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English…snore…

Wiggles: Quiet. Can’t you see? I’m trying to…snore…

Stella:  My turn…snore…

Wiggles:  Snore.

Me:  Wow. Y’all are like a bulldog symphony.

Stella:  What? Snore…

Wiggles:  What did you say? Snore…

Me:  Nevermind. Just go on with what you’re doing.

Stella:  We…snore…

Wiggles:  Will…snore…

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Early to Bed – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has a bad habit.

Me:  Only one?

Stella:  No, but I am too tired to talk about more than one.

Me:  All right then. What is my failing today?

Wiggles:  You stay up too late. When you should be asleep, you are punching that little black box with your fingers and looking at talking pictures or listening to weird music.

Me:  Yeah, but I wear earphones for the music, so…

Wiggles:  Uh, sensitive dog ears.

Stella:  Uh-huh. Can’t fool us. We know what you’re doing.

Me:  Listen. Y’all can go on to sleep any time you want to. I like to wind down first.

Stella:  Did you get away with this sort of thing when you were a puppy?

Me:  I am a human. I was never a puppy.

Stella:  I can tell. Puppies have better sense than to stay up late when they could be sleeping. IiAlways be sleeping!

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Talk Ugly to the Cat – Conversaations with Stella, Doodlebug and MoonCat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:  Hey, Stinkyface! Move aside!

Me:  What’s all the noise?

Doodlebug:  Stinkyface.

Stella:  Doodle is yelling at Stinky…I mean MoonCat.

Me:  Doodle, cut it out. She’s not bothering you.

Doodlebug:  She’s staring at me with her stinky face.

Me:  And you are barking at her with yours.

Doodlebug:  Hey!

Me:  You know it’s true. Just smell your own breath sometime after one of your outdoor nasty snacks. Now get along with each other and don’t talk ugly to MoonCat.

MoonCat: Meow!

Me:  You see. She agrees.

Doodlebug:  Well, I don’t. I’m a bulldog. You’ll never catch me agreeing with a cat.

MoonCat:  Meow! Stinkyface.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved. 

Brunch Time – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Time to rise and shine. Past time really.

Wiggles:  I don’t want breakfast unless it’s in bed.

Me:  That’s good because we’re way past breakfast time and I don’t serve breakfast in bed anyway. We’ve overslept. So how about brunch?

Stella:  What is brunch?

Me:  Brunch is breakfast, only later.

Wiggles:  I’ll have brunch in bed then.

Me:  I don’t serve…

Stella:  You said you don’t serve breakfast in bed. You said nothing about brunch. I’ll have mine right here.

Me:  You’ll both have yours in the usual place.

Stella:  I’ve said it before, and I say it again. This is the worst hotel ever.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella the Restless – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m getting out of bed. No, I’m not. I’m getting back up on the bed. Now I’m going to sleep. Nope. I was wrong. I’m back up.

Me:  Do you need to go outside?

Stella:  Yep. Let’s do that.

Me:  Okay.

Stella:  Whee!

Me:  Okay, back to bed.

Stella:  Yep. Bed. Sleep. Nope. No sleep for anybody tonight.

Me:  Well, I’m going to sleep.

Stella:  Not if I can help it. Whee!

Me:  What is the problem? Why can’t you settle down? I’ve never seen you like this…

Stella:  Problem? What prob…SNORE…

Me:  Okay. Good night, girl.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Put Your Hand on My Head – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m waiting, Lady Human.

Me:  You usually are. What are you waiting for this time?

Stella:  Can’t you tell? Look at me. What do you see?

Me:  Your head is tilted toward my hand.

Stella:  Therefore?

Me:  You want me to scratch your head.

Stella:  Ehhh! Wrong! Guess again.

Me:  How about just telling me?

Stella:  Here. My head goes under your hand like this. There.

Me:  And now what?

Stella:  Nothing. Just let your hand rest on my head.

Me:  Why?

Stella:  Because it feels solid. It makes me feel secure. Like you’re in charge.

Me:  But we both know that I’m not.

Stella:  True. But another thing. With your hand on my head, I’m not likely to go floating up into the air.

Me:  Is that a real danger?

Stella:  In this weird world, Lady Human, yes.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Crackly Paper in the Dark – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is that noise?

Me: Hmmm?

Stella: That crackly paper noise. Is there a rat eating something in here?

Me:  Mmmm. Nope.

Stella:  Sounds like a rat to me.

Me:  Nope.

Stella:  Lady Human! Are you eating in here?

Me:  Maybe. A little bit.

Stella:  Shame on you.

Me:  Shame on me nothing! Remember the crackers, Cracker Girl!

Stella:  That’s different. My crackers are necessary.

Me:  So is my snack.

Stella:  Next time pick something quieter.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rubbing Shoulders – Conversations with Stella, Wiggles, and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What are you two up to? Whatever it is, cut it out!

Wiggles:  Move over, Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:  There’s nowhere to move.

Me:  What did I say about trying to get through the door all at once?

Miss Sweetie:  Uh, I forget.

Wiggles:  Uh, I don’t care.

Me:  Look at y’all, stuck at the shoulders for trying to power through the door at the same time.

Wiggles:  Not a problem.

Miss Sweetie:  Bulldogs power through everything. Stand back and watch.

Me:  Standing back is something I will definitely do.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Time Clock – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  It’s time!

Stella:  It’s been time for a long time.

Wiggles:  Nope. It’s time right now. Lady Human! Bedtime!

Me:  I knew that’s what you were going to say.

Stella:  I would have gone to bed willingly a long time ago.

Me: But I wasn’t ready yet.

Stella:  What’s that got to do with it?

Wiggles:  Hey, enough talk. Time’s a wastin’! Bedtime! My bulldog clock says so and it’s never wrong.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sanctuary – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:  Lady Human! Let me in! Let me in!

Me:  What’s going on now?

Wiggles:  Hide! Hide! Hide!

Me:  Okay, let me check it out.

Miss Sweetie:  No, Lady Human! Save yourself! And us! Don’t forget to save us!

Me:  It’s just some heavy equipment. Somebody’s got some big job to do around here. It’s a lot of noise, but it doesn’t have anything to do with us.

Stella:  If it’s in our ears, it has to do with us. We need a safe place. What you humans call a something or other. A place where the loud ones can’t get to us.

Me:  A sanctuary?

Stella:  Yeah! That’s the thing! This is our sanctuary where no one can bother us. Now, go and guard the door, Lady Human, so no one can bother us.

Me:  Wait. Is the house your sanctuary, or am I?

Stella:  The one’s no good without the other, ma’am. 

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Trip Yourself Up! – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hey, watch where you’re going, son!

Doodlebug:  Sorry, Aunt Stella! Got to hurry!

Me:  Slow down, Doodle!

Doodlebug:  Can’t do it, Lady Human! Never slow down! Never! Never! Nev… Whoop!

Me:  See what can happen when you run everywhere.

Stella:  Big old feet like yours won’t keep you from tripping over them.

Doodlebug:  Who put that corner there? I don’t remember that.

Me:  It’s been there for always.

Doodlebug:  Well, someone needs to fix that double quick. It’s a real sliding hazard. For bulldogs. With big feet. Who run everywhere.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Talking In Your Sleep – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde…

Me:  Stella?

Stella:  Rumble…grumble…rum…rum…wow. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Me:  It’s okay. It’s okay.

Stella:  What? What happened?

Me:  You were talking in your sleep. You must have been having a dream. You were moving your paws and wiggling and bulldog grumbling.

Stella:  I don’t remember. What was I saying?

Me:  Nothing I could decipher.

Stella:  Well, that’s no help. How will I know what I was dreaming? It sounded like fun.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.