Seasons Change – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The cicadas are dying. Here. And here.

Me:        I know. You need not pile them at my feet.

Stella:    But they are dying, Lady Human! Why?

Me:        It is the end of their season. They have done their job.

Stella:    But they only hatched out a few weeks ago. They waited in the ground for 17 years and only stayed a few weeks? I don’t understand.

Me:        They hatched. They sang in the trees. They mated. They laid their eggs.  And 17 summers from now…

Stella:    …the eggs they just laid will hatch and the babies will do it all over again. How sad.

Me:        Or how comforting. It’s a great cycle. The locusts…sorry, cicadas that hatch next year will be the ones that were laid as eggs 16 years ago this summer and so on and so on. A continuous chain that keeps looping back.

Stella:    Why now?

Me:        Summer is ending.

Stella:    The trees are silent.

Me:        Seasons change.

Stella:    I don’t like change.

Me:        Neither do I.

Stella:    I’ll miss them.

Me:        They’ll be back.

Stella:    Sure as summer.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rubbing Elbows with the Enemy – Conversations with Stella

Hello. I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        And I am not. What I am right now is amazed, startled, even shocked, because I just caught a glimpse of something on the patio, something surprising, staggering, incomprehensible…

Stella:    Okay. We get it. Something weird happened.

Me:        You should know. You were at the center of the weird.

Stella:    Let’s see. I was panting because it is hot.

Me:        That’s not weird. That’s normal.

Stella:    I got excited when the tiny human puppy visited again and I knocked my water bowl over.

Me:        You get excited whenever anybody visits, though admittedly not to the point of upsetting the bowls.

Stella:    Weird, huh? Oh, yeah, I had a meeting with Jerky McSquirrelyFace out on the patio. Nice guy.

Me:        You don’t think that’s weird after all the running and the chasing and him throwing nuts down on all of us and the saber rattling and the threats of all out squirrel/bulldog war…

Stella:    We talked. They’ve just about run out of pecans here. We made a deal. There won’t be as much nut tossing from now on.

Me:        You talked. Huh. So, there is an outbreak of peace between squirrels and bulldogs?

Stella:    No, not really. We are just on summer hiatus.

Me:        You know what a ‘hiatus’ is?

Stella:    Sure. Yes. No. Maybe. I am thinking it is like a vacation. Anyway, Jerky and I decided that it was too hot to fight right now so we are putting all plans off until the leaves start to fall and the air is cooler. And then, Jerky, watch out! Autumn is coming!

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

And So…It Begins Again – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I found the evidence in the yard today, evidence that waves in my face like a red flag in front of a bull, whatever that means. I heard one of the humans say it. I quote humans when they say words that sound interesting, even if they make no sense.

The evidence speaks for itself though it has no mouth. And so, once again, it begins.

Me:        All right. This time I am totally confused. What begins once again? What evidence speaks for itself?

Stella:    War.

Me:        I beg your pardon.

Stella:    Granted.

Me:        No, I mean, what war?

Stella:    Well, then you should have said so. Of course, you are confused. Humans live that way.

Me:        Stella, what war?

Stella:    The war between me and Jerky McSquirrelyFace. He has returned. I found the evidence this morning. A green pecan on the ground, chewed in half, cut down in its prime. I know his MO.

Me:        Where did you hear about MO?

Stella:    On the source of human stupidity – the Picture Box, naturally. Jerky starts small and then BOOM! He eats ALL the green pecans, leaving none for the rest of us! If that is not an act of squirrel war, what is? Get ready, Lady Human. It is going to be a long, hot summer. CHARGE!

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Me:        Can I just sit this one out in the air conditioning?

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        I don’t really have to pick up pecans. I can always go to the store.

Stella:    Fine! Just turn over every pecan tree in the world to the squirrels. Who will have pecan pie then?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dog Days – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and, as Queen, I have the authority to declare this: IT IS HOT!!!

Me:        Yep, if you say so, it’s official. The Dog Days of Summer have begun. You know how I knew it.

Stella:    Because it is hot?

Me:        Well, that, and I found Wiggles and Sweetie down in the hole y’all have dug under the picnic table.

Stella:    Because it is hot.

Me:        95 degrees at dusk. I guess that qualifies.

Stella:    Dog Days. Why can’t the Dog Days be pleasant? Why must Dog Days be hot? Not fair!

Me:        Some people count them from the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, at dawn…

Stella:    Wait! There is a star that‘s a dog? Why didn’t you tell me? Can we go visit him? Where is he? Show me! This is great! I always suspected there were dogs out there.

Me:        It’s not a dog, honey. It’s just called that because it is the brightest star in a constellation that reminded ancient people of a dog. Like a picture in the sky made by stars.

Stella:    Ancient people? Just where are these ancient people because I have some questions.

Me:        They’re not around for your questions. Sorry.

Stella:    Typical. Humans playing with dogs’ hopes and dreams again. I don’t think these Dog Days have anything to do with us at all. Hmmmph! If these are true Dog Days, where are the treats and toys?

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s 99 Degrees. Do You Know Where Your Bulldogs Are?

I just saw the temperature. How did it get to be 99 degrees Fahrenheit without my noticing it? When the mercury rises above 98, that’s when it gets to be a little bit warm. There was that hint in the air this morning, that heavy wet blanket dampening that makes the outdoors a place to avoid.

Oddly, each of the bulldogs in turn wanted to sunbathe this morning. Maybe they sensed the approach of the stultifying afternoon heat and decided to slurp up the kinder, gentler morning sun’s rays while the slurping was safe.

The pressure is on. The heat is rising. Living will take simpler forms for a few months. We will stroll, not rush and we will abide by simple rules.

Keep calm. Calm people and calm dogs make for a cooler life.

Drink plenty of water. Bulldogs are experts at this.

Stay in the shade. Play hide and seek with the sun as “It” and don’t let that mean                   old fireball find you if you can help it.

Don’t work out during the heat of the day, even if the workout is fun. Running,                       jumping, wrestling, and chasing are play, but they are hot play.

Take advantage of cooling vests for dogs and puppy pools. Use cooling pads.                             Humans, use wet scarves and cloths.

Those are just a few basics for summer.

Wait! Is that thunder I hear? The sun is cloaked with clouds. The temperature has already dropped a degree.

Praise the LORD! Now it’s only 98 degrees. Autumn must be just around the corner. All is well!

And in case I didn’t mention it, thank You, LORD, for air conditioning.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversations with Stella – Puppy Pool Party!

Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, and I are back and, though the calendar does not yet agree, summer has already fully arrived here…

Stella:   A pool! A swimming pool! A pool just for dogs!

Me:        I’m glad you’re excited, Stella.

Stella:   Cannonbaaaall!!!

Me:        Wait, you can’t do a cannonball in that pool. Well, you could, but all the water would splash out.

Stella:   I don’t do cannonballs. I am a bulldog. I am a cannonball! Thank you! Thank you, Lady Human, for the bulldog pool!

Me:        You are welcome!

Stella:   Of course, I won’t be using it.

Me:        What? Why not?

Stella:   The stinky puppies, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie. Dirty.

Me:        The pool will help clean their feet.

Stella:   And everything else. Nasty.

Me:        You are going to skip pool time just because the puppies are going to use it. You need to learn to share.

Stella:   Nope.

Me:        It’s filled with clean water right now. You can jump in. Are you sure you won’t try it?

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Stella:   Let’s see what it looks like when Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie are done with it. Oh, and Wiggles. Did you see how much dirt she carried into the house the other day?

Me:        Yes. She found a good dirt-rolling spot and took advantage of it. I may stick my own feet in the puppy pool once in a while.

Stella:   My point exactly. Nasty.

Me:        I hope you will reconsider, especially on the really hot days.

Stella:   Nope. It will be fine for the others. For my part, I would prefer an indoor spa and my very own bathrobe and towel. Please let me know when they show up.

Me:        Happy Summer, Stella.

Stella:   Happy Summer, Lady Human.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.