The Great Human Egg Obsession – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Something was wrong with Tall Man yesterday. I regret to say that I have not figured it out.

Me:        Nothing is wrong with Tall Man.

Stella:    He was sitting on the floor. Do you call that normal human behavior?

Me:        Yeah, sometimes.

Stella:    No, it is not. Sitting on the floor is bulldog behavior. Floors were make for us to sit on. As were big softy chairs. And couches. And human beds. And…

Me:        Floors are platforms for humans, too.

Stella:    Not only was he sitting on the floor, his legs were crossed like he was some kind of weird cat, though all cats are weird.

Me:        Humans sit cross-legged at times.

Stella:    And he was surrounded by millions of strangely shaped balls that looked a whole lot like the eggs the chickens lay. But guess what?

Me:        Pray tell what?

Stella:    They were not like the eggs the chickens lay. He was opening them and there was no yellow goo inside. Ask me how I know about the yellow goo in eggs?

Me:        I don’t have to. I already know.

Stella:    Well, there was no goo in the eggs Tall Man was opening. And he was putting stuff into the eggs. And guess what?

Me:        What?

Stella:    The stuff was candy. Human candy. Ask me how I know.

Me:        How do you know?

Stella:    Candy smells like guess what? Candy. Candy smells like candy. Why, Lady Human, why? Why was Tall Man sitting on the floor cross-legged, opening millions of fake eggs, and putting candy in them?

Me:        First, he did not have millions of eggs. He had about a hundred which is still a lot.

Stella:    I counted millions but go on.

Me:        Those plastic eggs with candy in them were for a game that some human children play on Easter. People hide the eggs and the children search for them.

Stella:    I don’t understand.

Me:        Well, the fun is in the finding. They get excited to hunt the eggs, and when they find one, they have the bonus of getting the candy inside.

Stella:    So, you hide candy in fake eggs and hide the fake eggs, forcing the children to search for them and this is supposed to be a fun game. Shame on you all, Lady Human. Don’t ever try to fool me like that. Unless, of course, you are hiding real chicken treats. Then you are welcome to try to fool me. My nose will win every time.

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Who’s Been Digging Holes? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Someone has been digging holes in the yard and I want it stopped.

Me:        Okay, then stop it.

Stella:    How?

Me:        Stop digging.

Stella:    I am not the culprit.

Me:        Oh, really? Then what I watched you doing under the picnic table the other day was not digging? You were going at it pretty hard and it sure looked like a textbook case of digging to me.

Stella:    Textbook?

Me:        Classic.

Stella:    Classic?

Me:        You were digging. I saw you. Just as I have seen Wiggles, Miss Sweetie, and Tiger digging under the table on different occasions. I don’t really care if that’s where you want to dig and how you want to spend your free time…

Stella:    No, no, no! Of course, we dig under the table. That is what we are supposed to do.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    I have no idea. I think it has something to do with the ground being cooler down there, but I have no temperature device to prove it.

Me:        Then why do you want the digging to stop? Just stop it.

Stella:    Not that digging! Not that hole! The little holes that are all over our perfect bulldog landscape. All our trails have them. The weird little holes. They cannot be ours. They are the size of one bulldog toe.

Me:        Oh, those. Those are locust holes. Some humans call them cicada holes.

Stella:    Locust? Si-kay-duh? What? Who?

Me:        They are flying bugs. They bury their eggs in the ground and, when the time comes, the eggs hatch and the young bugs dig their way out, each one leaving a hole in the dirt.

Stella:    Young bugs? Horrible! Horrible!

Me:        They shed their skins and fly off into the trees. You’ve heard them. They make that whirring noise like a windup toy’s gears grinding.

Stella:    Horrible noisy young bugs! Wait! I have not seen these holes before.

Me:        It must have been a good year for cicadas 17 years ago.

Stella:    17 years?

Me:        That’s when these cicada eggs were laid. They have waited all this time for this summer to come.

Stella:    Well, they need to fill those holes in. I could be running along and catch my toe in one.

Me:        I doubt that seriously.

Stella:    Imagine waiting 17 years to set a trap for a bulldog’s toe. To honor their patience and perseverance, I declare cicadas to be the Bulldog of Insects. Now order them to come down and fill in those holes.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

The Chicken Conspiracy – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Run! Run! Get away as fast as you can! You can thank me later. Me, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Stella, what’s wrong?

Stella:    Take a deep breath through your limited human nose.

Me:        Whoa! Who did that?

Stella:    Miss Sweetie. It was a gas attack.

Me:        Poor Miss Sweetie.

Stella:    Poor us, you mean. Run! Run for your lives! No, not you, Sweetie. You stay right there.

Me:        Our lives are not in danger.

Stella:    You could’ve fooled me.

Me:        Whoa, Sweetie! What did you eat?

Stella:    It’s the fault of the chickens. They pushed an egg out of their run. Right at her. On purpose. They know she has no self-control when it comes to their eggs. Wicked chickens.

20150925_101355.jpg

Me:        Maybe they were being friendly.

Stella:    Friendly? Stinking up the whole world is friendly?

Me:        It’s not the whole world. It’s really just a few feet around Miss Sweetie.

Stella:    No, Lady Human, the chickens conspired to run us from the yard. I am a queen. Queens know when there is a conspiracy afoot.

Me:        Afoot? You have been watching too much Sherlock.

Stella:    Or have you been watching too much Sherlock? That may be part of their plan, too.

Me:        Why would they care if you are in the yard? They have their run and their house. They don’t even cross paths with you.

Stella:    Chickens are smarter than humans give them credit for being. They are planning a takeover. Do you see how they hunker down together like a big pile of fuzz? That’s when they discuss it. Oh no, maybe the squirrels are in on it!

Me:        Okay, time for some fresh air, Stella. I think the gas has gone to your head.

Stella:    That’s it! We need gas masks. Tell Tall Man to get some. Like the one he wears when he cuts the grass and pretends to be a giant insect. Bulldogs will not be outsmarted by chickens. We will defeat this conspiracy. We will all look like giant insects. I can’t wait to see what the chickens will have to say about that.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Leave It Outside – Stella’s Blog

I, Stella McStarFace the First, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby issue this edict:

 To All Olde English Bulldogges within the sound of my voice:

The following shall from henceforth be left outside the house (Personally, I don’t care what you bring in. Lady Human told me I had to talk to you all about this.)

 POOP – No matter how good it smells to you, it smells bad to the humans; therefore, no poop is to be deposited or brought inside. I mean, really? Do I have to say this? My fellow bulldogs, you know that poop belongs outside – always! If you find poop attractive (which to me is unbelievable), go ahead and sniff at it, but DON’T NOT PICK IT UP. LEAVE IT OUTSIDE!

 STICKS – You do not know where that stick has been. It is dead and fell off of a tree. The tree didn’t want it. Why do you? It may contain ants or (yuck!) spiders. The humans have given you tough chew toys. Gratitude, bulldogs! Don’t chew junk when you have better.

 MUD – Wipe your paws on the outdoor step. If the puppy pool is full of water, rinse your feet in there and do not return to the dirty yard before you go inside. Why should your paws prints be all over the floor. I have to walk there, too.

 ROTTEN CHICKEN EGGS – Don’t let the chickens fool you. If the egg were any good, they would not be shoving it in your direction. They are laughing at you, bulldogs. That’s what that cackling sound is.

 PERSONAL CONFLICTS – Lady Human insisted that I address this particular problem. Apparently, this is not something you can carry in your mouth although she says that our mouths are part of the problem. If you don’t like another bulldog, LEAVE IT OUTSIDE! We all have to live together. That means NO FIGHTING! If another bulldog ticks you off, so what? Nobody gets along with everyone else all the time. LEAVE IT OUTSIDE! It would be better for everyone if you just forgot about it and came in the house peaceable, ready to eat, drink, and enjoy toys and treats.

 In conclusion, Lady Human asked that I put this in my edict. It is the Great Creator’s desire that we all live in peace. She says that humans struggle with this as well.

 “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 KJV

 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18 KJV

Signed, Queen Stella

 

 Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sniff It Before You Eat It!

The chickens play a little game with the bulldogs now. They push a couple of their eggs against the wire wall of their run and the bulldogs paw at the offering. Every so often a dog successfully punctures an egg (they are infertile eggs – no roosters around right now) and licks up the egg white and yolk.

I always know when this has happened because when I call the bulldogs back into the house, they don’t show up. They are busy egg hunting behind the chicken run where I can’t see them. They are not about to break off simply to run back into the boring house where no one offers them smelly eggs.

A good fresh hard-boiled egg now and again is a reputable treat, but on occasion, the hens offer their bulldog followers an egg that they have kept buried, an egg overlooked in the regular retrieval process – in other words, a smelly old egg.

Stella, Snoopey, and Tiger are discerning food connoisseurs. Egg offerings do not tempt them. But Wiggles and her 10-month old puppies, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie, are trash divers. A stinky smell will lure them off course and entice them every time.

“Don’t eat that!” and “Ew! Yuck!” are my two most common warnings to them. I have started using truly delicious, pungent treats to break their habit. It appears to be working.

If you were given a choice between a raw egg and a smoky chicken jerky treat, which would you choose? Precisely! Me, too! Smoke and salt every time!

So what have I learned from the bulldogs?

  1. If it stinks, there is a reason. Don’t assume that it is okay, no matter what it is.
  1. Some stinky foods are all right because they are meant to stink, e.g. bleu cheese. If it is meant to stink, let it. If it is not meant to stink, throw it away and get something fresh.
  1. If it is supposed to be yellow and it is blue or green, that is not okay.
  1. If it is supposed to be red and it is black, nope!
  1. I believe that God has given us a discerning sense of smell so that we can avoid the bad smells and enjoy the good ones. Bulldogs have been especially blessed in this (200 – 300 million olfactory receptors in dogs vs. 5 million in humans).

Bottom line, if it smells bad, that’s a red flag warning. Stay away from the stink!

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Conversations with Stella – Chicken! Hush Your Squawking!

Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, and I are here again to discuss what Stella thinks is the topic of the day. Though this subject will never make the front page of the New York Times or any other page, Stella likes to keep her interests close to home and personal.

Stella:   If it doesn’t involve me, it is not interesting.

Me:        That is a self-centered approach to life.

Stella:   Exactly. You understand.

Me:        That was not a compliment.  On to your question.

Stella:   A hen outside squawks very loudly. She is annoying. You know that I don’t like annoying. I told her to be quiet, but she just looked at me like I was crazy and kept up the noise.

Me:        She probably doesn’t speak bulldog well. I heard her, too. I shushed her, but she didn’t listen to me either. She paused for a few seconds and then started up again.

Stella:   What is her problem? That noise is so rude.

Me:        Her squawking is akin to your barking.

Stella:   It is not. Chickens are not related to bulldogs. Look at us. Strong. Magnificent.  Look at them. Silly. Fluffy. And they walk funny.

Me:        They are likely thinking that same about you. Not the fluffy part. But silly, yeah. And you do tend to sashay when you walk, Stella. You know, the chickens have been with us a whole year now.

Stella:   I remember when they came. They were tiny little peepers. There was not a loud squawker among them. What happened?

Me:        They grew up, just like puppies do.

Stella:   Puppies don’t grow up to squawk. They learn to bark. Barking is noble. Chicken squawking is a horrible noise.

Me:        You have complained about Tiger and Wiggles barking.

Stella:   Only when they weren’t saying anything useful. Now about this chicken problem.

Me:        Occasionally, chickens squawk when they lay an egg. She’ll quiet down after it’s not such a big deal to her anymore. Or she may be bossing another hen around. They will sort that out in the pecking order. Sort of like your bulldog pack order.

Stella:   Did you say ‘egg’?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:   Eggs are food.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:   I should eat the eggs.

Me:        No, that’s not part of your diet. Remember when you had all the itchy patches.

Stella:   When I hear the squawking, I will run to check for eggs.

Me:        No, you won’t. You can’t get to them anyway.

Stella:   I will befriend Squawker and she will hand them to me.

Me:        I seriously doubt that.

Stella:   Wait! Do chickens lay eggs the way dogs lay puppies? Are you eating their babies? No!!! No wonder they’re squawking! I would squawk!

Me:        Don’t worry. These eggs will never turn into baby chicks. There is no rooster.

Stella:   We should have a rooster then.

Me:        If you don’t like squawking, I can guarantee you won’t like what a rooster does. Meanwhile, go use your Stella power on the squawking hen the way you do when you change Wiggles’ mind by looking her in the eye.

Stella:   I will try, but I have to be careful. Chicken brains are so small. My bulldog brain superpower might melt them.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.