Please do your best to read this slice of documentary narration in Morgan Freeman’s or Sir David Attenborough’s voice.
Hey! It’s a choose your own narrator slice! How might you narrate a part of your summer?
“Upstairs in his private den, the new baby practices his hunting skills. Watch as he perseveres against all odds.”
“As Clyde rests in his den, the cats and dog go about their daily routines, perhaps sensing a shift in the wind.”
“Soon it is time to introduce the animals to each other. In the wilds of the first floor, the cats and dog work to create their own social order.”
“The young kitten is brave. Maybe braver than he should be.”
“While wary of the newcomer, the fluffiest member of the family instinctively watches out for the baby. He even puts himself between the dog and the kitten when necessary. His sister is not so quick to protect. She wants to live her own life and starts lowly growling if Clyde comes too close.
The older cats will share their food, but, so that nobody is confused, they will still guard their sleeping habitat with all their heart.”
“The cats are working it out, but over here you see this 55 pound dog who is trying hard, but still unsure of what to do. He knows he isn’t supposed to fixate on the new kitten, but he’s curious. He wants to play, but he’s also afraid. Only time will tell. Will they will become friends, or simply creatures that cohabitate?”
“Listen for the sounds of the social order being created: The low growl of warning from a cat high up in their tree; the warning hiss from one cat to the another; the frightened hiss of a young tailless kitten; the whine of confused dog; the wagging of a tail; the crunching of food shared among the felines.”
“These sounds tell the real tale of this non-traditional animal family. We can only be but silent observers of the majestic dance of these household pets.”
it’s been raining, and it’s about to rain again but even dogs who don’t like rain, need walks so Finn and I walk down, around, through the park, back up and around he sniffs the rain-green grass, I sniff the air the smell of the wood burning stove from the house on the corner is my favorite
we cross the quiet street on a diagonal avoid a Prius silently coming closer finn loves the sound of a Prius it’s the sound of someone coming home he stops at the corner, head turned wags his tail sits at perfect attention won’t budge when I ask him to I don’t have the heart to force him, show him I’m boss
the Prius parks the man stares at us Finn’s tail keeps wagging expectantly I want to explain to the man my dog thinks you’re his dad he doesn’t understand that our Prius doesn’t come home anymore that is why we are standing on the corner staring at you and the rain-green grass
Theodore Snuggling is his favorite. He thinks that wherever I am, he should be.
Sometimes he sneaks up, investigating the couch, slowly walking towards where I am reading. This is a familiar dance. He knows he needs to be careful.
He isn’t the only one who thinks that wherever I am, he should be.
Finn Snuggling is his favorite He thinks that wherever I am, he should be.
Each time Theodore tries to sneak on the couch, he must think that this time I’ll be alone. But then he takes one more step and realizes, it’s not his lucky chance for snuggles. Finn thinks the couch belongs to him. He’s pretty sure I belong to him too.
But, when Finn is away, the couch belongs to the cats.
Talula Playing is her favorite. She can catch a pipe cleaner and loves to play fetch. She’ll snuggle nearby and on her terms
She’s one smart kitty. She waits until Finn is distracted to get her couch time.
Then, when she’s sure he’s occupied, she jumps on the couch to hang out nearby.
The truth about these cats and dogs is that they would be bestest of friends if they stopped being so possessive about snuggling me. They’ll touch noses sometimes, and I’ve seen Finn bring over a toy and ask Theodore to play. He’s usually not in the mood, but I’ve also seen him play with Finn’s tail. They have so much in common. I think maybe they hang out while I’m at work.
Addicted I wrote a limerick example as one way To help teachers who write find a slice today But now I’m conflicted Am I addicted? Or, is it maybe okay?
Teacher Writers This March there are some teachers For writing, they don’t sit in the bleachers They know there’s a way To Slice every day They’re part of our schools’ best features
Speaking of School There once was a year so academic You couldn’t tell there’d been a pandemic I’m kidding you know It does totally show Because the trauma is systemic!
Masks All the learners in school wear a mask It’s not really a whole lot to ask But on Monday, it’s true It’ll be optional for you I hope the teachers are up for the task
Lunchbreak Thought I’d come home for a quick little walk Take the dog once or twice ‘round the block But the cat dragged his butt And there was poop in his strut So I mopped and kept checking the clock
Leadership I was happy to run a teacher-writers meeting We were writing and talking, I was happily leading Until I couldn’t unmute That was really a hoot My leadership? Unfortunately was fleeting!
Slice I could just use the limericks I’ve already written Imperfect, I know but still, I am smitten I’m hooked for sure And I’ve looked, there’s no cure So I hope my limerick slices will still fit in!
My house is quieter now-
unless the boys are wrestling or yelling at each other or singing loudly for all to hear,
unless the dog is barking
When they were babies, toddlers, preschoolers, I used to tell myself "you'll miss this noise."
I was wrong
I don't miss the noise.
well, sometimes I do
I do miss the cuddles, the chatter, the little hands, the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder
the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder
A quiet early morning
I remember when mornings started this early but with crying, or drumming, or a Super Friends DVD so I could sit with my coffee
I sneak downstairs early this morning, trying not to wake the dog
I tripped on a boot on the steps, and heard his doggy yoga stretch begin
I used to be scared of the dark
But somehow after betrayal, the dark isn't so scary
Outside, I breathe in the quiet and watch the dog sniff around
Until a strange noise comes from the darkness of the streetI watch my dog become more interested in the noise, and quickly bring him in
I've been expecting an owl
That was not an owl
I wait until the sun is up to try going outside again
The house is quieter
In this moment I am thankful for this mindful time to write
I miss the cuddles, the chatter, the little hands, the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder
It’s cold in the morning I pull on slippers, and walk downstairs, still yawning My 2 cats meow. Luckily, the dog is still sleeping upstairs.
I want to give myself a prize for remembering to set the coffee timer last night I turn the heat up a few notches, choose a mug, pour my coffee, sit on the couch with just a few of my mom’s crocheted blankets.
There’s not actually time to be lonely Talula, the tabby, is content to sit near me for just a moment She allows me one or two quick scratches on her soft, soft head Theodore, the orange and white nudging fluff ball? He wants constant attention It’s harder than you think to balance coffee, a cat and a phone So I alternate: Sip coffee and pet the cat; Flip through emails and pet the cat; Sip coffee and pet the cat; Flip through Facebook and pet the cat. . .
I’m in love with quiet mornings on the couch, and time with my cats without my dog’s jealousy. (Is this betraying my dog? I don’t know…) It’s cozy here, but I have responsibilities Theodore purrs and settles in on my lap He doesn’t understand that I have to shovel, salt, shower, take the dog out, feed the dog… All before making sure my kids are up and ready for the bus
I look at Theodore, content and fluffy and I know. I know that it’s time to set some boundaries As I apologize and stand up, he runs away, disappointed A few minutes later he is back in his own bed, asleep
Setting boundaries for your cat must be a stepping stone to a life-time of healthy boundary setting – Right?
My dog won’t stop with the crazy barking tonight. I mean, the other dogs up the street won’t stop either, I think they started it. But it doesn’t matter. Every time someone walks by, or a bird lands too close, or someone is walking their dog on our street, or he thinks maybe a chipmunk is under the bush, Finnegan jumps off of his chair to leap into the yard and bark.
“He’s on a lead!” I yell. Mostly because I accidentally bought a clear lead. And invisible leads don’t instill much confidence in passerbys.
Maybe the dogs up the street are a bad influence.
Maybe I’m a bad dog mom.
Maybe he’s tired. He started with a new trainer today, and he had to learn new rules.
I’m annoyed, but I think there is probably a metaphor for life somewhere here: on my porch with my dog. (A porch pooch!)
I’m sure there’s meaning here because now that I’ve written it all out he has jumped back on his chair, given me a few weighty sighs, looked at me with droopy puppy dog eyes and he might, just might be falling asleep.