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Friday, December 12, 2003

New Housemates!

Teddy: With peoples, Teddy Bears, stuffed doggies, bunnies, a raccoon and a Jersey Devil, dolls, Grover, the Philly Phanatic, and a couple of Christmas ornaments that are also stuffed animals, we have a rather large collection of creatures in this house. Spaulding: We don't all live together though. Teddy: Nah, like the dolls, Grover, the Philly Phantatic, and the Jersey Devil live on the first floor, and all the Need-to-Be-Adopted Teddies and Rocky Raccoon live in the basement. Spaulding: And, to make it easier on Mommy and Daddy--not having to deal with the stairs so often--we live on the second floor. Teddy: With all of us under one roof though, you would think it must be impossible to add to our group. Spaulding: Certainly, we didn't think the group could get any larger, even if Mommy can hear all those stuffed animals in the stores calling her and asking her to take them home, but we just can't take on any more! Teddy: And then we heard a sound! Spaulding: It came from the wall right next to Mommy's chair. Teddy: Our house is a rowhome, so we have neighbors on either sides of those walls... Spaulding: ...but with finances going whacky around here in the last few years, Mommy and Daddy know they need to "point" the outside bricks, but can't afford to do that. Teddy: Mommy says that "pointing" means to put more goop between the bricks as wind, rain and snow slowly steals what was in there. Spaulding: You would think it would be called "gooping" or "stuffing," but, once again, people decide to use a strange word that doesn't belong and forces it to belong! :::::::::Both shrug their shoulders as a sign of giving up trying to understand peoples' language:::::::::::: Teddy: Anyway, at first Mommy thought it was the outside wall falling apart, but the noise kept up for too long for it to be that! Spaulding: Daddy's sofa is farther away from the wall then Mommy's chair, so, when the noise first started happening, even with the TV off, Daddy couldn't here it but Mommy could. Teddy: Daddy thought it was "the neighbors getting frisky," whatever that means?! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both shrug their shoulders::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: At first we only heard the sound at night when it was raining or snowing out, but when it happened on a sunny day, Mommy knew it wasn't the goop falling out of the bricks and knew the neighbors were working, so not getting frisky. Teddy: We found out what it was before they did though, but, because we didn't know about such things, we couldn't tell Mommy and Daddy who it was. Spaulding: We heard him singing our bestest work song one night. Both: ~~Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work we go!~~~ :::::::::::::::::::::Both get carried away and after singing, whistling and dancing to the song for a few minutes, Mommy reminds them about finishing the story again::::::::::::: Teddy: Sorry, sometimes bears just want to have funn-un!!~~~ ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Off on another frolicing binge as they sing their theme song adapted from Cyndi Lauper's Song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!", Mommy again must quiet them to continue. Looking very sheepish, they know better then to say they are sorry, since they weren't sorry at all:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Well, anyway, when we heard him whistling when Mommy and Daddy were napping, we climbed off our sofa quietly, climbed down off the desk our sofa sits on, and peeked behind the bookcase next to Mommy's chair. Teddy: He was beary small! Spaulding: Even Dee and Dign towered over him! Teddy: He was dark brown and furry. Spaulding: Almost the color of dark chocolate. Teddy: He had whiskers sticking way out on either side of his pointy little nose, not to be confused with putting goop between bricks! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: And we're pretty sure he has had way too much coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee because he was quick and perky! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: The problem was, we didn't know what he was, never having seen anything like him before! Spaulding: We scared him terribly and he would have run away, hadn't it been that the kids were on the other side of the bookcase! Teddy: Lady and Valentine were more scared of him then he was of us, and they jumped so high they landed on top of our sofa all the way up on top of Mommy's desk before they even got their first screech out! Spaulding: We don't understand why, other then Mommy since telling us what it was and how it particularly scares womenz! Teddy: We did that which comes naturally to Teddy Bears--we smiled and said, "Hi, don't be scared, we won't hurt you." Spaulding: Because he moves so fast anyway, it was hard to tell if he was moving that fast out of fear or just because he likes to move fast. Teddy: We asked him his name and he said, "Mickey Mouse." Spaulding: Of course, being stuffed animals, we KNOW Mickey Mouse and he was no Mickey Mouse! Teddy: BUT, he said just because there is one famous "Mickey Mouse" doesn't mean that no one else can ever be named "Mickey Mouse" again. In fact, he was Mickey Mouse IV, so, named after his father, his father's father and his grandfather's father. Spaulding: Apparently, being named Mickey Mouse is kinda like being named Teddy Bear. There are more then one Teddy Bears! Teddy (feeling strangely defensive): Yes, but none like me! Spaulding (with a great big smile of understanding): Exactly! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: We found out from Mickey that he used to live outside all the time, but when the snow came, he was so short that he needed to find some place to live that was warmer and snow free! Spaulding: He told us where the hole was that he came in, but since everything is so much bigger to him then even to us, we have no idea what huge caverneous system he was talking about?! Teddy: It hs something to do with our walls. Apparently, there is some space between our room walls and the brick walls between the neighbors. Spaulding: He's a jumpy little guy, so he couldn't talk long. Teddy: We think he said something about making a home for his family, but he doesn't speak English nor Teddy Bear beary well, so it was hard to understand him. Spaulding: Since we've met him, we've seen him about once a day, but he is always scurrying from one place to the next. Teddy: We didn't even realize that we forgot to ask him what he was, until the first time Daddy saw him! Spaulding: Since Daddy is always tired and falling asleep, we were quite surprised to see him jump so fast that first time! Teddy: He didn't jump up on the sofa and scream like Lady and Valentine did, but Mickey did startle him! Spaulding: He did something wierd right away. He moved his box of crackers off the floor. It wasn't until Mommy came back upstairs, before we found out why he did that. Teddy: Even Mommy didn't act like Valentine and Lady did though! Spaulding: Well, she didn't actually see him until later. Teddy: But when Daddy told Mommy that they've probably been unwittingly feeding a mouse, Mommy got all jitterly, like Mickey! Spaulding: The way she was acting, you'd think a roach fell out of her menu again, like when Mommy and Daddy were dating! Teddy: Ah, now, roaches are disgusting creatures! They give me the HeeBeeGeeBee's too! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both shudder::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: At first she told Daddy that he shouldn't have told her that there was a mouse in our house, but a few minutes later, she changed her mind. Teddy: As if Mickey understood the conversation and realized he might not be in any danger with the peoples, he decided to run across the floor right in front of the TV! Spaulding: Now we have enough trouble figuring out how people are, but the reaction from Mommy is nothing short of impossible to understand by anyone--human, stuffed or animal! Teddy: She said, "awwwwwwwwwww," as if she were seeing a Teddy Bear.... Spaulding: ...BUT her feet went up into the chair with the rest of her body?! Teddy: They decided that Mickey was still a baby mouse, and even sorta cute! Spaulding: BUT, Mommy wasn't at all sure she wanted to share the house with a mouse! Teddy: They spoke of "getting rid of it," until we told them that his name was Mickey. Spaulding: Mommy once told me of a story from when Mommy and Daddy were first married. They bought a couple of live lobsters, and, out of a joke, Mommy decided to name her's George! Teddy: Apparently, people should never name dinner, because once it has a name, it's that much harder to kill! Spaulding: Their immediate reaction was to KILL MICKEY!!!!! Teddy: And we always thought they were nice peoples?! Spaulding: They ARE nice peoples! Instantly, Mommy stopped wanting to kill Mickey. Teddy: But she didn't want Mickey to stay either! Spaulding: I dunno. Until the next thing happened, I think I was watching something develop in her mind about keping Mickey as a free range pet! Teddy: Yeah, I caught that too, but she didn't like the idea of having free range mouse poopies either! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: She put a cracker in a pretty steep bowl that first night. Teddy: And was surprised to find the bowl in the same position without a cracker the next morning! Spaulding (in his loud whisper): NICE OF MICKEY TO SHARE WITH US! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: She came back from the store upset that the only two choices for getting rid of mice were to poison them or trap them! Spaulding: There are traps to catch mice and then you can release outside, but they cost money and Mommy and Daddy are trying to keep as much money as they can right now. Teddy: She did come home from shopping for getting rid of Mickey with nothing! Spaulding: I think they sorta decided to let Mickey live until they could figure out how to get rid of him without killing him, until Daddy heard him in Daddy's bedroom! Teddy: I think they were leaning towards getting rid of him by then, but then....you know what happened! You tell the story. I wasn't there and it was beary funny! Spaulding: Peoples have a weekly event called "Trash Night," where they gather up all their trash from the last week and take it to the curb so it can be collected. Teddy: Our trash night is Tuesday night, and it was the Tuesday night right after our special Thanksgiving, so had more then the usual amount of trash. Spaulding: Yeah, it was just a few days ago. Anyway, Daddy had enough energy that night to make a chicken stir fry for dinner! Teddy: It had chicken and carrots and celery and broccilli and pineapples!!! I love pineapples in my dinner! Even better then a hotdog stir fry without pineapples! Spaulding: But, stir fries require lots of cutting up on vegetables and chicken and stuff, so the kitchen was beary messy afterwards! Teddy: Mommy and Daddy tend to try to be the first one to take out the trash so the other one won't have to do it! Spaulding: Like usual, neither one of them felt too good after dinner, so Mommy decided to gather up the trash in one trip and take it out in another. Teddy: Since she wasn't actually going to put on a coat and take the trash out, she decided to take you downstairs with her! Spaulding: She likes to put me in her shirt with my head and arms popping out of the top, so I can see everything she sees without getting in the way much! I can help her beary well that way! Teddy: Mommy calls you her little back seat cook, when you go down to help her with dinner, sit on the counter and keep telling her what to do. When she puts you in her shirt, you can actually control what she does, so you don't always have to tell her what to do! Spaulding: So, before we went down, Daddy asked for some coffee. She had to clear out the sink to get the water for the coffee, and she caught something move out of the corner of her eye. Teddy: When she looked over to the counter left of the sink, she saw the end of a scallion that Daddy used in his stir fry. Spaulding: It was behind a can, but it wasn't until she heard noise, like something falling off the counter that she realized there was no scallions in dinner! Teddy: She looked behind that same can again, but there was nothing there that she could have mistaken for that scallion. Spaulding: She leaned over, even further, so we could see the floor next to the counter, and saw something run across the back doorway to the corner. Teddy: They are quick little creatures! Spaulding: She saw it run under some plastic bags leftover from shopping that day, and picked up the bag. The mouse ran across the bottom of the counters on the outside wall and zoomed out of the kitchen! Two things happened then, exactly at the same time! Teddy: Oh, tell Mommy's reaction first! Spaulding: Well, gotta tell what she saw first to give her that reaction! Teddy: Go on! Tell the story! Spaulding: It was like watching a Road Runner cartoon. You know how the Road Runner looks like a dust bowl zooming across the desert, until the camera stops his actions enough to show what it really is and to name him?! Teddy (suppressing a giggle): Yeah?! Spaulding: Seeing the mouse was just like that! At first, he was just a blur speeding by, but Mommy mentally stopped him in mid stride, so his front feet were past his head and his back feet were out straight behind him! In that moment, she realized this mouse was bigger then Mickey AND he was light grey! We had more then one mouse in the house! Teddy: That's bad because it means they can get together and make more mice! Spaulding: BUT, Mommy's reaction is something I'll always remember! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: She screamed for a good two seconds, but hit four different octaves, and, if any neighbors heard her.... Teddy: And we could easily hear her upstairs too! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: ...they would have thought she was a boy going through the voice change all in two seconds! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both are laughing so hard that they are rolling around on the floor, holding on to their aching sides. Just as they start to settle down, they need Mommy to lift them back up on her lap to finish telling the story, but when they look at her, they burst out laughing again. Finally, several minutes later...:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: The moment Mommy realized the noise she had just made, even she burst out laughing! Teddy: Her beary best, funniest laugh! It was good to hear it again! Spaulding: She did clean up enough to get the trash basket ready to be thrown out, but she was too nervous with the mouse around to move the basket! Teddy: When Daddy went down later to take the trash out, the mouse did run out from behind the basket too! Spaulding: Mommy started worrying about their bread... Teddy: When she was feeding the mouse, she did discover it liked crackers and bread, but not peanutbutter or raw vegetables. Spaulding (with a silly grin): Not like Mommy would get carried away trying to take care of Mickey or anything! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: The first thing she did the next day was run... Spaulding: Mommy run?! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: ..was WALK to the store and buy mouse traps! Spaulding: We prefer pretending that these traps just catch the mice, so Mommy or Daddy can take them outside. Teddy: We hate to think of what might become of Mickey! Spaulding: Daddy almost hurt his fingers more then once trying to set up the traps and, despite it saying that no bait was needed... Teddy: As if that doll house size piece of plastic swiss cheese could fool anything! Spaulding: ...put crackers on them, and set them carefully in the corner of the kitchen where both Mommy and Daddy saw and one along the bottom of the cabinets that it ran down when it was caught. Teddy: That evening, Daddy found the traps still set, minus the crackers! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding (trying to keep serious): Mommy and Daddy didn't find that amusing! Teddy: Daddy read the directions on the traps and discovered it had a more sensitive setting. Spaulding: It was already so sensitive that he had to set them after putting them where he wanted them, or they would snap before he set them down! Teddy: The following morning, the crackers were gone again, but the traps stayed set! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both muffle a Ho Ho Ho::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Daddy was NOT happy! He threw out the traps and kept the package to complain to the manufacturer. Teddy: He also told Mommy that he would get the mouse traps next time. Spaulding: He's becoming an expert on mouse traps! Teddy: Since he's sick though, it might be a while. Spaulding: We haven't seen either mouse since that first night, but I can't think of them leaving this nice warm house to face the cold, yucky weather outside! Teddy: I think they know we are the enemy now. I feel beary badly for them, but then again, I don't want mouse poopy all over the house either! Spaulding: I wonder if they could stay if they learned to use the potty?! :::::::::::::::Both look up at Mommy, who shakes her head in a stern NO::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: I just think Mommy doesn't like sharing her kitchen counters with a wild creature! Spaulding: She shares it with me?! Teddy: You're not wild! Spaulding: I can try! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Oh, well, back to getting ready for Christmas! Spaulding: Sooooooooo, until next time....

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