Hi, Everyone! Sorry I’m running late with posts. And don’t worry…I’m not going to hand you some lame excuse about the Toddler being highly allergic to sleep and having five-hour flare-ups that left her mother exhausted and rendered unconscious two nights running.
Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.
See…it all began a few days ago. I first noticed it on the side of the front lawn as I was pulling in the driveway from running errands.
“What the hell is that?” I asked the Toddler.
“Wha-bah hell izzat?” she replied. (She’s going through a repeat-everything-especially-the-words-that-make-Momma-look-like-a-bad-momma phase.)
I groaned. Yep. Sure enough, there was some kind of animal part on my lawn. Crap. I mean, bone. Anyway, it looked like the head of a very large femur, from a baby mastodon perhaps. How it got here, I have no clue.
All I know is that ever since Fat Cat left for the Army, all manner of things icky and unsavory have shown up on my property.
Now, one thing you should know about me, I have no problems working outside (I can lay sod like a machine!) and I believe in equal pay for women in the workplace (actually, I believe women should get paid more because we can multitask, wear pantyhose without acting like a dog trapped in a plastic cone — even though that’s what it feels like — and, ya know, we’re pretty), but here at the Pink House, there’s a clear dividing line between things Indoor and Outdoor.
I am The Momma, and I am responsible for Indoor things…like the Toddler…and whatever else I can fit in after I’m done with said Toddler duties (Hahaha!). The Great Outdoors is Fat Cat’s purview. That includes picking up dead animal parts that find their way onto our property.
So I sat in the car in the driveway and stared at the thing.
“I miss Dada,” I said, gripping the steering wheel.
“Miss Dada!” said the Toddler.
“Why do these things always end up in our yard?” I asked the Toddler. “Why?!”
“Why?!” she said agreeably.
Well, as you might imagine, I did what any hot-blooded American woman would do…I ignored it and waited for it to go away.
“Did it?” you ask. “Go away, that is?”
[Bitter, ironic chuckle] Sure. Do you think we’d be talking about a knee joint on my lawn if it had been considerate enough to go away before it came down to me blogging about it? Nooooo.
Not only did the thing not go away, it started migrating around the front lawn, like it was looking for a nice place to snooze…or hunting for something to eat. It’s a good thing I read Nadia Bulkin’s excellent story “Pugelbone,” just this past Sunday, so I knew that I might be dealing with something dangerous.
Fortunately, however, I had an ace in my pocket: The Gardeners…a pack of dusty, behatted men who arrive with engines roaring once every two weeks and blast the yard into some semblance of order in 15 minutes flat!
And The Gardeners come on Thursdays…today. Yay! There’s no way they’re going to mow around that thing. They’re men. They’ll take care of that for me. Sure, they will. They’re men. Oh, I see what you’re saying.
Anyhoo, after The Gardeners left, I bundled up the Toddler for a visit to Grandma. And sure as all things Murphy and worse, that stupid thing was still out there, tucked beneath the sapling. At first, I thought the gardeners just kicked it over there, but now I know the damn thing escaped the wrath of the lawnmowers by pretending to be a gross rock.
I decided my first course of action would be to get a better look at it. That was a mistake.
But looking on the bright side of life, there were no bits of rotting flesh clinging to it, and I thought — mistakenly — that this might be something I could actually Deal With.
My intention was to grab it real quickly — to minimize exposure to cooties, of course — and toss it in the trash can, mitigating the stress of the situation with a series of, “Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!”
But as I reached out for it, it opened its eyes!
That’s when I hightailed it back to the car screaming, “Pugelbone! Pugelbone!”
I jumped in the car and locked the doors lest the thing come hurdling across the grass and find a sweet, drain-worthy treat strapped conveniently in a child’s seat.
But it must have just eaten because it promptly went back to sleep…and it’s been there ever since. I don’t know what to do. I called Animal Control, and discovered that (a) they don’t come out to pick up just a knee joint (it’s gotta be a whole carcass — bless my lucky stars…); and (b) they don’t believe in pugelbones, something about them being just a story to scare little children.
Sure, just a story.
In the meantime, I will keep the Toddler indoors and see what happens when the mailman crosses the yard tomorrow.
Maybe it will just go away.