“Only Lazy Gods make snakes”. I’ve liked this as a title ever since I watched children using Play-Doh.’

For my big brother – a wonderful Grandad. 

 

Harry sat in the middle of a grassy lawn.  He was surrounded by beautiful flowers and fantastic insects.

He frowned with concentration as he picked out the colours and shapes.

Every object had to be different, and he smiled as he placed them on the grass and watched them come to life.

Other small gods occupied the lawn, each intent on their own marvellous creations.

The Big Benevolent One smiled as he wandered past looking at their labours.

His fingertips touched Harry’s head.

Harry looked up and smiled back.  He was very happy.

“Good job Harry.  You can move on to something bigger now.  Some animals and birds perhaps?”

Flushed with pride at such a compliment, Harry collected more materials and set to work.

He started small; a mouse and then a brightly coloured lizard.

Placed carefully on the grass, the mouse shook his whiskers and scurried off to make a home.

The lizard took his time. He stretched and let the sunshine warm his shimmering skin.

“Time for something bigger now.  I shall call it Dog and it will be my friend.” Harry said to himself and was just putting together the items he needed when he heard an unfamiliar sound.

The Big Benevolent One was standing in the corner of the lawn staring down at Milo; a slightly larger god who had put together some especially clumsy-looking cactus plants.

There was an ominous rumbling.

“You can do better than this Milo.  Look around you. Look at the colours and the shapes. Move on to something beautiful or you’ll have to spend time making rocks.”

Milo frowned. He hated making rocks. It was boring, hot and the other larger gods shouted at him.  They had only a few more days to finish the Earth after all. and everyone was working as hard as they could.

Except Milo, who just wanted to lie under the trees and watch everyone else working.

The Big Benevolent One moved on to admire someone else’s work and Milo sulkily picked up some brown clay.

He rolled it idly between his hands, then on a piece of flat stone until it grew longer and thinner.

He started another, and another until the stone was covered with a number of long thin brown snakes of varying sizes.

Harry glanced over at the snakes; all blind and hungry and dull.

He got to his feet, picked up a handful of pieces left over from the lizard and walked over to Milo who felt that he had done enough and had fallen asleep.

The snakes were given jewel-bright eyes and long forked tongues.  Harry striped their brown skin with green and white, red  and blue for the big ones, and for the last he covered the brown with yellow and white stripes.

Stroking the warm skin as it came to life, Harry smiled.

“You will be a corn snake and your name will be Dave.'”

Hearing the sound of the Big Benevolent One approaching, Harry got up and returned to creating Dog.

Milo woke and looked at the fabulous snakes slithering around happily in front of him.

“Well done Milo!  Take a little break now.  Usually only lazy gods make snakes but you have done well. ” The Big Benevolent One patted Milo’s head but looked across at Harry and winked.

Harry was happy, especially when Dog came to life, wagged his tail and licked Harry’s face.

Milo snored in the sunshine.

corn snake

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Birds do it, Bees do it …..

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Whilst I am loving the sunshine  and the opportunity to loll in the garden, there are some disadvantages to the outdoor life.

The year of the cat has come and gone, so the birds have returned to our garden with a vengeance.

We have – according to my Dad who knows these things – pigeons, blackbirds, starlings, dunnocks and sparrows in the side garden, and a variety of tits in the front garden – steady – I am a dog and I don’t do innuendos.  The blackbirds have got a nest in the back courtyard and the pigeons are getting through the fatballs at a rate of knots.  My Mum has been a bit sneaky and hung a container of fatballs on a very wobbly branch so that only the lightest of birds can land there.

Talking of balls – she has sown these seedballs all over the garden – little clay balls that contain flower seeds. Part of the strategy to bring back the bees and other insects.

I can cope with most of the birds but those blackbirds keeping hopping about behind me when I’m trying to kip under my very own sunshade.  They swoop down over my head in order to tease me and they even had the cheek to grab a lump of my discarded fur after my Mum had brushed me. OI!  MY FUR!

The seedballs worked and we know have bees in abundance.  They are even more annoying than the birds and far more dangerous.

There I was, innocently chasing a bee and snapping my jaws at it, when it turned round, stuck its bum up my nose and stung me.

Unfortunately the incident happened so quickly that no one else saw.

That afternoon the nice man came to see how my annoying habits were shaping up.

Still pulling.  Still whoofing.  Still randomly growling. Lovely with it though.

We did some more work – the de-stressing was very nice but the bad noise when I woofed was not.  I am learning – slowly. Then I got treats and more de-stressing so all was good.

Except for the fact that I kept licking the air and sneezing – the humans around me came up with various hypotheses to explain my strange behaviour but it wasn’t till the next morning that my Boy and my Mum (with the aid of a torch) looked up my nostril and discovered that the inside was bright red and swollen where the bee’s bum had left its mark.  I was washing everything in sight in order to stop the pain.  Wet sofa, wet cushions, well-washed Mum (my Boy doesn’t like it when I lick him but my Mum doesn’t mind – she keeps baby wipes in the bathrooms still).

Got lots of fuss, Wonky Chomps (Yay! My favourite), treats and a handheld ice cube to ease the swelling (love, love love these doting humans).

They booked me into the vets so that my Dad could take us when he got back from work.  I was doing my best to look pathetic when my Dad came home and it worked because he made a BIG fuss of me.

To the vets – in the CAR.  I love the CAR!  Only a short trip though as the vet is just round the corner.  It was a lady vet this time and I did all the charming head-on-one-side-with-a-slight-tail-wag stuff.  It worked.  She was smitten.  I had a steroid injection but they didn’t charge me for the anti-histamines – did you know that dogs can take 4mg Piriton for insect bites? I was a very GOOD dog (that’s if you ignore the ominous growling at the other smaller dogs who were at the vets as well).

Went home.  Still lickyand a bit dopey from the drugs but oh, the attention I got from all of them – it was worth it.

There have been various other pieces of excitement darting around the house this week.

The Big Boy who lives away has done well in his exams and will be coming home next week.

My Boy has been invited to a wedding in America – so all else has to take second place whilst he holds forth about it. The next two months are going to be horrendous.

My Dad has a very posh new suitcase thing for keeping all his paintball stuff in.

My Mum has been to mysterious meetings that make her alternately mad and sad.

Although I don’t like to see her sad, it does  mean that I get the best cuddles from her when we fall asleep on the sofa together.  When she is tappity-tapping on her laptop I am at her feet to stop the bad people from coming in.

My Dad takes us up to the Monument.  He and I run up and down the hill whilst my Mum puts things back into perspective, says hello to her favourite tree (I’m not allowed to wee on it) and smiles again.

My Dad will be home in half an hour and that should mean walkies if he isn’t too tired from looking at planes and stopping them bumping into each other.  At the very least my Mum will take me outside to the front garden for a late night pitstop and some treats.  There is a bolshy looking Hebe bush that I am slowly subduing with the power of wee.

Our friend Paddy Pickles has an iPee app for his phone – it shows your where you last sprinkled.  My Dad says there is no need for us to get an iPoo for me – scented nappy sacks remove all trace of my whereabouts.

That was a bit of fantasy – Paddy Pickles is a canine chum and doesn’t have a mobile. I am a dog and I don’t do jokes either.

It’s going to be a nice day again tomorrow – takes me back to my days in the Spanish sunshine.  My Boy will be unlikely to surface till lunchtime as he has been running around in heavy boots, camouflage and shooting things with small plastic balls all day today. My Dad will be spending the day shooting people with larger balls of paint and coming home with brightly coloured bruises.  Hope he takes me out for a walk first then.

Sunshine in the garden, cuddles with my Mum, Wonky Chomps and doggy treats.  It’s a dog’s life alright.

Adios amigos.

Oh! Dad’s HOME!