Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Case Of The Missing Mudder

The "Better-half Note" has decided to change her moniker to: "The Sour Note". The following post is her account of what happened Monday Evening (Jan 31st). It will help if you read this with a Clousseau-esqe type accent, to get the full impact. Here is her side of the story (my side to follow later - David B.) :

It all started off innocently enough on a bright, sunny, warm-for January, inviting, and hazeless day. All I can say is I must have been in a chemical induc-ed mental fog, for me to make such a vital error in my usually impeccable judgment. “Mama is Always Right” has become our family’s mantra. (I’ve got them sufficiently brainwash-ed!) It was the Motrin and Sudafed’s fault. That’s all I can say about that.

The offending day was Monday and - it was the 31st. I should have known not to get up that morning, but—duty calls and I am not one to shirk my responsibilities. The alarm rang much too early at 6:30 am. We all struggled to move in the cold morning air, as we all were under the influence of the same “Rhinovirus.”

Blue Rhino

After sneezing, coughing, and various tissue noises, I promptly medicated everyone with their dose of cold medicine for the day. That was the second mistake, you see I also partook.

Promptly at 8:10, I load Luke and Leia into our small, domestic, red, vehicle for the 1 mile journey to our bus stop destination. Of course we had to slog through the “other” school’s parent drop off traffic. (It has gotten so bad recently. Please - the way parents baby their kids today. Can’t they just let their kids walk to school? (it wasn’t even snowing both ways either) Oh, excuse me, I digress from the case at hand.)

Up the hill to the “West Bench” of the valley, out in the field across where the children’s bus stops, is a small, 30X30’, gated corral, where 4 horses are kept. In fact, it just sprung up there one weekend. How mysterious, but that is another case to investigate.

The children had hounded me that morning “Please, can we go feed the horses after school today? We’ll try to get all our school work done during class time.” We’ll I agreed. My third mistake. They boarded the bus, happier than usual, while I descended the hill to our family’s base location.

I promptly return-ed home and climb-ed into my, now empty, quiet, bed, for a long peaceful morning nap. Blissfully I fall asleep to the happy noises from our 4 parakeets, stationed for guard duty in the front room.

Precisely at 11:55 I awaken and begin my chores for the day. A load of wash-(color-eds), strange whistle noise investigated and solv-ed. (furnace fighting royal) I, vacuum-ed the air intake vent covers (times 3) and went deep probing for internal debris. Debris suctioned out from under the floorboard vents. The small, yappy, dog fed and watered, (I threatened him with a bath and he promptly straightened up his act.) And last but not lease the noisy birds seed cups were cleaned of offending seed hulls by blowing the remaining seeds with a straw. All in all, a full day of-duty, I think.

As the time approach-ed for the return of Luke and Leia, I gathered 2 long carrots and 1 stalk of old celery from the fridge crisper. This was provided for the children to feed the afore mentioned, lonely horses on the hill. Leia loves horses from afar and Luke loves horses but shouldn’t, as he is allergic to them. This indeed would be a interesting winter adventure.

Precisely at 15:45, the bus arrives with lights a flashing. The children bound down the stairs and pile into the small, domestic, red, vehicle and point me to the horses on the hill. They are just on the other side of the road, about 65 yards away. Oh I forgot to mention that I also took the small yappy dog with me to pick up the kids. (another mistake)

Energized with excitement and I in a muffled, Sudafed daze, I turn the small, domestic, red, vehicle onto the paved road and travel a short distance further west. After traveling at a relatively slow speed and precisely 50 yards on this road, there was a turn off to the left, at a right angle, heading directly due south. (You see every junction here in Perfectville is at a right angle.) Reconnaissance observation -- dirt road is covered with wild grass, looks dry, and it is obvious that others have tread this road before us as there is a dusty truck trail leading right to the horses and hay. The truck ruts appear to be just the right size for a small, domestic, red, vehicle.

I pull off the paved road, of course making a left turn, on to the dry, truck tracks, a sound of nervous glee and excitement emitting from the back seat. I pulled up to the corral and stopped, leaving the motor idling. Across the road was a small stack of hay-bales which broke the chilling wind for us.

Children disembark-ed, simultaneously full of terror and joy. Leia cautiously approaches the biggest horse. He is the first in the line. She has the big end of her carrot clutched in a death grip. She lifts her arm and hand offering her carrot to “Stripe”. (They all had names you see) She had her carrot tip pointing to his mouth. The poor creature pert near hung himself trying to get at the carrot. The closer he reached with his big, scary, head and alien like lips, the further Leia inched backward. Horse lips pleading with Leia for the tasty morsel, she finally gave in and let him have his morsel from the very ½ inch tip of her carrot.

At this she had reached her fear threshold and with a squeal, jump backward, and a little rain dance, she decided she had had enough. She almost threw her carrot at Luke telling him, “Aaah, You do it!”

At this he was all too happy to help out his damsel in distress. By then I had already called Leia over, taken her carrot and celery, and snapped them into bite size pieces, and instructed her to hold it out with the flat of her palm. This way she could feed them and they would have to grab her treats with their lips and not have “those big teeth” coming at her. The test now would be, could she handle the big slobbery, pleading lips? (I didn’t mention that, of course)

Luke, knowing no fear, had already successfully given his treats away and now was honing in on Leia’s. She had decided to give it another try with “the lip thing”. Allergic Luke was busy patting and stroking the littlest horse, (a yearling they named Angel, - of course), on the head, nose, and neck, all the while encouraging his sister that it was no big thing, “Look at me.” Now don’t you just hate that? This all was done quickly before mama could mount any objections to him. I had been occupied with the female squeaky wheel/rain dancer. Oh well, adventures to the wind.

To her wonderful credit she did try again, but those wiggly, slobbery, lips were too much. With her eyes the size of saucers, her rain dance commenced again this time accompanied by a full blown war whoop. Luke, true to his helpful nature, stepped in. He led her over to “Angel” the same one he had been lovingly stroking. He patiently explained that she should be feeding the little one. He wasn’t to scary. (Hey, I don’t even know if they were he’s or not.) But also true to his nature, he wasn’t going to give back the treat she had thrown at him, for her to do it. He was going to show her how it wisely it is to be done - without fear.

Now all along I am sitting in the car with the my window rolled down. My arms folded along the edge of the window track. The slippery, yappy dog is by now having a full blown conniption fit. He is bouncing all over the inside of the car, front seat and back. Occasionally I have to grab him by his tail as he tries to sail across my lap, and out of the open window. He is determined to get at those 4 monsters that seem to be scaring his Leia. Fortunately, I have developed a talent of selective deafness so ignoring, our maniacal, yappy dog isn’t so bothersome. — Yet.

Mission: Treat the Horses, now successfully accomplished we make hast to get out of there without detection. (We are, after all, on private property.) The kids pile into the small, domestic, red, vehicle and grab the yappy dog, to keep him from jumping over their laps to freedom. All hatches secured, windows rolled up, I put the engine in forward gear and we proceed down the dry, grass mashed, dirt road. Another ill timed mistake. (I should have just back-ed up on the dry trail.)

The resulting problem that further springs up, I can only account to the fact that, I am definitely a city girl out in the wrong environment. (That’s all I’ll say about that.)

On the left of the dry dirt road was a field of winter grain that was plowed last fall. Don’t those furrowed lines look wonderfully symmetrical? To the right of the road is a grassy, tumbleweed compacted, boulder field. I can clearly see big rocks hidden in “The long grass”. We like to use a line from the movie Jurassic Park, “Don’t go into the Long Grass,” to warn us of hidden dangers.

About this time I notice, as we proceed away from the horses and looking for a place to turn around, that the dry, grass-mashed, dirt road was becoming slightly more moist and slippery. The forward truck tire prints are clearly in the mud now. Granted they looked like old prints with their edges not sharp, and water puddles in them. (Take note that the small, domestic, red, vehicle is still rolling forward.) Hummmmm This is not good.

OK, I’ll turn around NOW, before we go any further on this road. With boulders on the right of me, furrows (they looked dry! Honest!) on the left of me. I took the left. I planned to make two 45 degree turns, and we would be out of there. That’s where good intentions meeting reality clashed. I successfully made the first 45 degree turn out into to grain field,(I only went 10 yards), and as I was trying to make the backward 45 degree turn, well --- lets just say I got stuck. Royal!

Car in mud

It wasn’t just a easy case of stuck. No, no, I was really stuck in cold, frosty, mud, up to my as…, um, axels (yes, axels, that’s it!) I was, unfortunately, barefoot, and without a coat, without my purse that carries my cell phone. (What could happen on a little ole 1 mile trip in the neighborhood?)

Well, you can imagine the comments fermenting in my young Luke and Leia’s mind. After the initial 15 seconds of silence from everyone, even noisy, yappy dog, Luke broke the tension. “Now mama,-- this is the second time that something like this has happened to you. (I don’t remember the first)“Mother,-- don’t you know that it is for things just like this, that cell phones were made for?” Leia is quietly shaking her head, wondering how her mama went wrong? (It so seldom happens:)

Quickly before anyone can ratchet up any rain clouds, I formulated this plan. Because the children still had their coats and shoes on their feet, they were chosen to walk home. (It’s only 1 mile in the snow and downhill.) When they got there, they were to call their ObiWan master at work, and have him come with his new, shiny, big-wheeled, truck to pull me out. (About time that truck was used for something useful!)

Luke tells me with his serious voice, “Mama you stay in the car where it is warm. Don’t turn off the engine and we’ll be back.” So with both my heroes fading from away from view in my rear view mirror, I settle in for the long wait. I begin calculating how long this might take. I look at my car’s (Whoops small domestic, red, vehicle) clock and figure well about dark I will be saved.

It is now 4:00 pm and the yappy, obnoxious dog is getting on my nerves. Before I know it, Luke is pounding on my window, breathless. He tells me that he had stopped a lady in her car as she was driving down the hill. (I later find out that he stood in the middle of the street with his hands stretched out like a traffic cop, yelling stop!) He continues to tell me that “It is an awfully long way to walk all the way home and this lady would take them down the hill to our house if I gave her permission. (Well that cuts about a hour off the recovery time.)

He had already call-ed ObiWan on the nice lady’s cell phone, (“see mom she carries her cell phone in her car!”) and he had relayed my predicament to him. ObiWan was already on the way home and would pick up the kids at the base location. Gratefully I looked in the rear view mirror and saw two headlights at about the horse’s location. It seems that she is wiser than I. I gave permission with a prayer and Luke began running back to her parked car. Everything would be all right.

I grabbed my scriptures that I had brought with me and tried to remain calm. Various headlines come to mind as I try to describe this mission: “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” “Out of the mouth of babes. . .” “Mama’s stuck in the mire and it is not even Sunday!” Or “Peace and quiet for the space of 1 hour.” How about: “Dog narrowly escapes throttling.” These are some of the headlines that I thought of in the few wild minutes of solitude.

Before even the hour was up, I see coming over the horizon Obiwan and his young padowans in the big shiny wide wheeled truck. Yeah I am saved to fight another day. I wonder if ObiWan really hurried as fast as he could. I think he might be getting more than a little giggle out of my unfortunate situation. As per his nature he had assessed the situation and proceeded to carry out his plan. He had me out of there quicker than a greased pig. In fact just as the sun was setting he had me fixed just right and on my way home. Mischief - Managed - The End

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved that story ,and the title was wonderful to read full of intense ,and so much more .The title is really good, first I thought that someone was going to kill the lady and her kid's plot of the story ,and the setting was off the Chane LOVE,LOVE ,LOVE the title .If there was a mudder around I think that killing would have been intentions.