OMC! I’m sooo over Christmas already and it’s not even here yet! Why? Long story!

Remember how I started my carpentry apprenticeship with Dad back in the autumn? Well, we were doing great together, Dad with his drills and I with my chisel, and I was just beginning to get the hang of the saw (vicious things, saws; you have to watch your paws!) when suddenly Dad announced he and Mum were going off somewhere for the whole month of November.

Now, I’m not sure what the deal is with November or how long a month is, but this one seemed cold and endless, so I reckoned I could beat the boredom by doing some carpentry while they were away and make them some really special Christmas gifts. Brilliant idea, no?

Helping Dad keep his papers tidyI soon had the perfect gift idea for Dad. You see, he’s not the tidiest of humans, and when I assist him with his work at the computer, I have to lie on an awful lot of paper – thick, jagged piles of them all over the desk – enough to give me ergonomic nightmares. So I thought I’d make him a nice box into which I could flick all those papers before settling down to do my moral support bit.

You wouldn’t think a box was that hard to make, would you? Well…you should try! Especially when you’re all by yourself. You just haven’t got enough paws to hold on to all the bits to nail them together! How Dad manages with just two is a mystery to me, except he does of course have those long fingers that can grip so well. Anyway, I asked the house sitter to assist me, but she proved next to useless, just kept complaining how cold she was out there in the garage. Before long I was on my own again and working myself into a state of advanced despair.

In the end I decided to cut my losses, left the box and started instead on a small trellis for Mum. She’s always gardening and saying how useful trellises are. But – same thing: by day two a lamentable lack of paws caused me to abandon that project, too.

When Mum and Dad returned, tanned and relaxed, at the end of the most frustrating November month of my entire life, I had nothing to show for all my efforts but a small pile of sticks on the garage floor. Dad didn’t even realize they represented several days of hard labour: he collected them up and used them to start a fire in the wood burning stove!

Christmas BilboOnce I’d recovered my composure, I decided I would not pursue my carpentry career any further, but stick instead to what I do best and catch a fat mouse for Mum and Dad on Christmas Day. There’s bound to be one somewhere in the field next door, and I always go for an early morning walk there anyway. I’ll have one ready by the time they come downstairs for their breakfast. And because Mum was nice and didn’t burn my artwork, I helped her put up the decorations as a gesture of goodwill. That will have to do.

And now I’m going to try to relax and enjoy the holidays. Hope you will, too!

Till the next time,

Bilbo x


A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure