Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Enjoy Summer (If You're Desperate)

You guys, it's hot.  I mean hawwwwwttttt

I know you know what I mean, too, because apparently our country is in the midst of the hottest summer on record (and I feel like I'm half-making that statement up...but I swear I heard it somewhere...anybody know the truth?), so chances are good that you're moaning miserably somewhere, too, even though that may be half a country away from me. 

It's occurring to me now just how lucky I am to be in my third trimester this July.  The July of the hottest summer on record.  (I'm sticking with it.) 

So what do I do in July, in my third trimester?  I take the kids outside, of course.  As long as it's before 9AM, I mean.  And only on the shaded side of the house.  And only to make myself feel better about the long, indoor afternoon we'll have ahead of us. 

Imagine us, if you will:

Three Heavenly Ladies -- two, little and sweet, if sweaty, and one, LARGE and round and drenched glowing. 

We traipse across the porcupine-esque landscape of our yard, maybe attending to our fairy house,

maybe looking with longing towards the scalding surface of the swingset.  (One of us looking with longing towards the air-conditioned house...)  We find things to keep us busy for a few measly, though suffocating, minutes. 

One day, it's a snakeskin curled up in an empty stump by the woods. 

This, I admit, is kind of cool.  Plus, it leads to some fun in the way of impromptu learning.  After telling them all I know about why snakes shed their skin, and contemplating where the snake is now, we get to go inside and do more research on the internet.  We get to call daddy and regale him with our discovery.

We get to decorate our fairy house with a garland of empty, papery skin.

Another day, we make the startling deduction that grasshoppers actually fly as well as hop.  Another day, we notice that the garden (the poor, nibbled, neglected garden) is overflowing with weeds.  But we can't stay out there long enough to clean it up.  (Plus, mama is somewhat convinced that the giant, skinless snake is lying there in wait, in the only growing vegetation for many yards.)

And then comes a day which will live in infamy. 

The day of the dead rabbit. 

It's not as startling to the children as I think it should be, which is why it takes me a second to remember that I should warn them not to touch the 'beautiful fur' of this poor, mangled fella.  They obey, but wonder why?  Why can't they touch it?  Well, more impromptu learning opportunities abound, and now they know that dead flesh is home to lots and lots of nastiness in the way of germs and bugs and lord only knows what else. 

Not to mention, HEY!  The bunny's been sitting in the hot summer sun for some untold number of hours, and mama might gag if you step any closer to deduce what's been eating the thing. 

Away we go, on our merry travels to the street, where surely we can walk without coming across any expired rodents.  The walk is good.  We are sufficiently melted when we call it a morning and ooze our way back to the house.

But the biggest girl -- the one who isn't afraid of real things, only imaginary things -- races around the house for one last glimpse at the carrion in our back yard.  I agree, as long as she promises not to touch it.  I wait in the shade for her return, thankful that hubby will arrive like a knight in shining armor to remove the carcass from our premises sometime in the coming hours.

Sadly, I do not suspect that the biggest girl's curiosity will allow her to do what happens next.

Which is --

the thing she does --

bending over the rabbit until her nose is mere centimeters away --

to sniff a giant whiff of Eau de Offal.

Well, she just wanted to know what it might smell like.  It's something I've never stopped to wonder, you know?  But now she knows: "That smelled disgusting.

Oh, summer.  You're a thing of wonder, indeed.


  1. She SMELLED it?! That girl... wow. I was actually gagging while reading all of this and... she SMELLED it! What a rockstar :)

  2. Oh man! Nothing like the smell of a dead, rotting animal to know you'll NEVER want to smell that again! Sounds like you've got a very interesting yard at this time! :-)

  3. Eew! Eew! GROSS! I'm doing that girly grossed-out dance thing right now!

    And yes the heat? Is killing me too. I thought I was used to Texas summers, but this is ridiculous!

  4. Marcos Mais TerraJuly 20, 2011 12:36 PM

    A small, little, tiny dead rabbit? When I was a kid we had a live horse wander into our yard and then promptly keel over DEAD. A bit harder to remove than a tiny rabit, but somehow my mom was convinced that removal was necessary. And that reminds me of the three dead horses, killed by a passing truck, that layed in the middle of our main street for about a month. It was a mare, a yearling and a foal. AND, the dead horse carcass that was our marker for the trail to the fishing hole during many months. It was quite the adventure to get our bearing in the woods by our sense of smell!

    Life here in the USA is starkly different for the lack of carrion and the abundance of live critters roaming at the sides of roads instead of in the roads. I rarely see any dead critter larger than a deer while traveling about the countryside in the USA.


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