Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

The Beastie


The little yellow-green plums are ripe, and many have fallen to the ground.

I sit in my lawn chair, keeping the dogs company, but they want more. They want me to throw a glove to retrieve; anything to get my attention.

I’m too hot and tired to comply, so Emma goes over to eat a plum.

She looks over at me. “So aren’t you going to stop me?”

I’m too tired or lazy to care.

She runs to get another plum and takes it across the yard to be sure I notice her.

“Aren’t you going to stop me? I’m eating your plums….”

I just don’t care.

Emma repeats this attention-getting plum eating thing, and I lazily count how many times she runs back and forth from the tree to the “grassy eating place.”

At FOURTEEN plums, I think I’d better haul myself out of the lawn chair before she has an accident. I imagine her little belly full of pits. I’ve checked on this before, and they do pass right through. But FOURTEEN of them? And she’s a small dog.

I walk around the yard telling deaf old Ruby the springer spaniel to please hurry up and pee so we can go in. Emma has no interest in doing anything. She’s taken off into the shrubbery around the backyard.

It’s starting to get dusky. Time to go in.  Ruby is already at the door, but where is Emma?

I call her.

No Emma.

I call again.

No Emma.

I wonder if she has slipped out through the gate somehow, but she’s really too big for that.

I imagine her lying in the bushes writhing with gut pain from eating too many plums.

Finally she appears, but she’s not running to me. I have to call her over. She has her head down and comes reluctantly.

Then I see a feather in her mouth – or wait – no, it’s a tail. OMG! Does she have a rat in her mouth? No. Too small. A mouse then? Or is it a baby rat? I have mixed feelings. If it’s a rat, kill it (and I don’t want to touch it – actually I don’t want her to eat it either). If it’s a mouse, please let the poor thing go.

But she has her jaws clamped shut. Just the tail of the poor little creature is hanging down the side of her jaws like half of a Fu Manchu moustache.

I want her to give it up, but do I want this (possibly) rat in my hand?

Gingerly, I take hold of the tail and say the magic words that make her give up whatever is in her mouth. (It’s not, “Drop it,” or “Dead bird,” or “GIVE-IT-TO-ME-RIGHT-NOW!”) I have to be polite, and say, the way I’ve taught her, “Thank you!”

She opens her mouth and I pull out a

“Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!” (Thank you, Robbie Burns.)

The poor thing is a bit wet and scruffy, but still able to run, if only it knew which way to go. I hold back the Hound of the Baskervilles and give the poor wee beastie time to escape.



Then we come inside where Emma tells me she’s eaten too many plums and didn’t have room for a mouse anyway, and that, by the way, she’ll be getting me out of bed at 12:30 in the morning to go out the dark and deal with the plums once they’ve done their work.


*Please check out my web page http://www.anneli-purchase.com

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

20 thoughts on “The Beastie

  1. Oh my goodness! Never a dull moment with those pups of yours. Love the photo of Emma stretching out on her posh bed. So sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m laughing, although I really shouldn’t. Emma sounds like our cats in Mexico. They find “beasties” and bring them into the house where they proceed to play with them. “Exterminate!” we tell them, but do they listen? No. It’s clamp down with a paw. Release. Clamp down as the critters – mice, frog,s crabs – vainly scamper/hop away in futile efforts to escape. And we are forced to acknowledge that it’s time for human intervention.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same as Bella,
    she likes to catch all thing running, keep them in their mouth and brings the to me alive, then we watch them run away 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So much action! I’m totally smitten by Emma. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma is just such a sweet dog. You won´t need a cat to catch the mice either!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whew! I think you were brave, Anneli. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dogs are fun, aren’t they??!! 😀


  8. A good thing for the mouse that Emma had eaten so many plums. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bet the little thing was terrified. It was its unlucky day at first but turned out to be its lucky day when it was rescued. I’m wondering if it bit Emma’s mouth because she winced when I brushed her teeth that night. Would serve her right, but she was only doing what any dog would do. And yes I’m glad she was full of plums.


  9. That’s a lot of plums for one small dog! I hope she’s OK!

    Liked by 1 person

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