Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Last Days of Mon Patou, Part iii

I finally got my answer to how Riley's dog was faring among the trampling cows at his new home. Turned out, he’d never reached it. While Riley was still on her own, she’d gotten new chicks for her chicken house. Mon Patou had guarded the chickens stoutly, but something about those chicks -- perhaps their squeakiness -- set him off. He’d chewed through the lot of them, leaving the yard littered with wistful feathers. Riley went on Craigslist, and that same night, Mon Patou was taken away. A man came from Halifax, bringing a satin cushion for Mon Patou’s ride.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Last Days of Mon Patou, Part ii

Riley was writing happy emails about moving in with her beau. But she never answered when I asked how her dog, Mon Patou, was doing. I tried to imagine a happy story for him. But the new home had cows, and I couldn’t imagine Mon Patou, with his dodgy hips, managing a barn's worth of cows instead of three goats, one sheep, and a chicken house. It would kill him to be a failure. I imagined him trampled by cows, made a fool of by that wild-eyed sheep, depressed, not eating, and finally put to a querulous sleep.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Last Days of Mon Patou, Part i

I adored Mon Patou. We’d taken to each other instantly, lunging and feinting as we played in the new snow. He’d used to work with a whole herd of sheep, but the hip trouble that made him bunnyhop through the snow put an end to his farm days. My friend Riley took him in. She brushed the mats out of his hair and gave him a manageable fiefdom: three goats, one sheep, and a chicken house. When someone walked down the road, Mon Patou would bark his head off; when the sheep went for his food, he’d snap her away.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Your report on the subway

I saw your report on the subway. The one from the SickKids Neuroscopy Department. You’re sitting sleepy in your parka, between a man and a woman with hair dyed the same brown as her purse. Your report has three pages. No, the man turns to a fourth; the woman’s purse strap is laced through a gold chain. The man draws his finger down a column of numbers. Maybe the words beside them are the same width as the word “normal”? The woman looks too, quickly, pursing her lips differently. You all get off at Glencairn. I really hope you’re okay.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What We Remember Depends

Nola’s kindergarten class made felt poppies on Friday to teach them about Remembrance Day, and to wear to the concert put on by the older kids.
     I don’t know what she knows about war and sacrifice, but she was so proud of the thing she insisted on wearing it to dance class on Saturday, which really was Remembrance Day, and so did a whole lot more than her father did, perhaps because he thinks too much about the foolish wars we’re fighting now.
      “What are we supposed to remember on Remembrance Day?” I asked her.
      “Remember to wear our poppies!”
Image based on a post by SheKnows.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Men of Tin, Take Pity

In fields of Oz the poppies blew, succumbing the blood of beast and man to luscious slumber. Dorothy slept, and Toto too, and their burly lion companion. The poppies’ charms could be resisted only by men of tin and straw. They rescued Dorothy, and Toto too, but it seemed they’d have to break faith with their burly friend. Yet... the lion was rescued nonetheless. Taking pity on a fieldmouse that was fleeing a wildcat, the man of tin chopped off the wildcat’s head. The grateful fieldmouse, revealed to be a queen, rallied her subjects to lug friend lion to sanctuary

Image: Jane Long.
For other posts inspired by this image, see Magpie Tales.

Monday, September 21, 2015

More Reasons to Throw Them Out

Won’t meet with premiers. Won’t meet with chiefs. Stifle dissent, vilify opponents, exploit anxiety. Leave a vacuum then excoriate those filling it. Little ideas, petty moves, lists of enemy stakeholders.
     Control freaks. Parliament prorogued. The destruction of science records. “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” splashed everywhere, 24 Seven on YouTube. The CBC’s death by a thousand cuts. False dichotomies: “You’re either with us or you’re with the child pornographers.” “No brainers.” An all-powerful PMO. Royal Canadian Anything. Mandatory minimums. On message, right or wrong. Paul Calendra and Dean del Mastro. A seventy-eight day election campaign, longest in 143 years. Pierre Poilievre.

(Note: This is Part 2 of a summary that began 10 days into this interminable campaign. For the original, adorned by @cartogeek's fantastic Mother Canada in the Tar Sands, click here.)

Image: Bruce MacKinnon, The Chronical Herald.

AddThis Widget (for sharing)

Crazy Egg (Analytics)