Oola and the Hose Monster

Oola and the Hose Monster

Our dog really liked drinking from the hose, but she hated having it splash her in the face. So she worked and worked until she got it just right–the water flowing full force straight down her throat, no splash. Watching her arrive at that exact position was like watching her wrestle with some kind of splash monster until she’d won. And every time I watched her do it, I held my breath until she’d conquered  the Hose Monster...

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Release the Flying Monkeys

Release the Flying Monkeys

“It’s a good day when you don’t have to release the flying monkeys.” Love that quote. On second thought, I’m not sure what loving the quote says about me. Of course, everyone knows the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz movie. The movie and the story have become a staple of American culture. Sadly, in the end, good, sweet Dorothy melts the wicked witch with the flying monkeys. I know, I’ve got the story...

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The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

Because the last passenger pigeon, named “Martha,” died a hundred years ago, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of commentary about passenger pigeons. In an 1808 journal, quoted in the New Yorker, a woman recalls the “gayety” of pigeon hunting. This was when there were still something like five billion birds left. Yet already she worries that future generations will not know the euphoria that accompanied raising a gun at a...

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Peeing, Pissing, Urinating or Laughing–Which Story?

Peeing, Pissing, Urinating or Laughing–Which Story?

We have a new puppy who is peeing, pissing, and urinating on the living room rug, which can get old before the dog does, so I’m kinda sorta glad I could still laugh when I saw Richard Jackson’s sculpture adorning the Orange County Museum. Puppies will be puppies. Ours is a Great Dane. Jackson’s is a Labrador. Plenty of labradors walk their owners by my house and stop at the corner of my neighbor’s fence. When we first...

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Have A Hoop Snake Day–Great American Story

Have A Hoop Snake Day–Great American Story

When God created the snake without legs, the hoop snake was having none of it. Taking tail in mouth, he rolled away. A story told in two sentences is worth noting. Actually there are many stories of hoop snakes. It’s a legendary creature in American folklore often associated with Pecos Bill stories, but it’s origins might be older. A similar snake in Greek mythology, the ouroboros, was a symbol of eternal return. In Japanese...

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Origin of All Fairy Tales

Origin of All Fairy Tales

Learned today that some scholars think the Panchatantra is the origin of all fairy tales. That’s probably not entirely true, but it is one of the oldest sources. It was written in Sanskrit in the 3rd Century BCE by Vishna Sharma who gathered his material from even older versions. Tales from the Panchatantra have spread widely. Today they can be found from Java to Iceland. The enduring/endearing power of folk tales is the subject of a...

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