Figments of My Imagination

The Taxidermist and the Coyote

An eccentric, one-eyed taxidermist hummed a song while pulling the innards out of the forty-five pound carcass. He cleaned the skin with a salt solution and tanned the hide with oil. The old man molded the form with straw, string and clay as he had done a hundred times before.

The brown coyote was killed with a bow and arrow a few days before far from its usual habitat in the mountains north of town. Newlyweds found it in the shed the day they moved into the old Rathbone house on the hill outside of town. A house long on folklore and short on facts. The young Scottish master’s name was Stewart meaning “animal steward.” He expressed to the old taxidermist that finding the coyote was believed to be an omen. It would be a guard inside his new home on the hill to ward off evil doers. The townsfolk thought the house to be haunted.

The taxidermist’s wife interrupted his work with a call for dinner. His patient was iced, and the trimmings were jarred in formaldehyde. The following day he finished the final stuffing and stitches. Another work of art. So real to the human eye it might bite the one who gazed too long.

The young homeowners on the hill were astonished how alive the coyote appeared. They gave it a place of honor between the master’s cozy chair and the hearth. On Halloween night, the lady tired of scary stories and retreated to the chambers. Master fell asleep in his chair as usual but woke up to a loud, slow beating sound nearby.

He sent word to the taxidermist that the sound seemed to come from the mounted animal. It was driving him mad!

The taxidermist ran downstairs to his workshop and dumped the jar of organs. One by one he counted and named them. Exhaustion collapsed his legs as he fell to his bench. He forgot to remove the coyote’s heart! His sweaty brow arched and a devilish grin formed on his lips as he turned out the light. He would tell the customer that the beating sound could not possibly be from the mount because it was dead…or maybe not!

© 2019 princess2ears

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Simply Sentimental

Angel shop

Every year I spend the Thanksgiving holiday week with my son. A favorite excursion of mine has been to browse the angel shop in Ventura. A narrow suite lined with heavenly figures.

At the end of the long hallway, there was a shrine with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The owner explained that people had been coming for a long time and posting notes of their prayer requests. Many had come back to say their prayers were answered.

He enjoyed talking with customers from everywhere about angels. His sweet wife wrapped and gift boxed the angels I bought. She always had a kind word for me.

Upon our final visit, she took my son and I behind the stockroom curtain and told us they were retiring soon to move away and enjoy the grandchildren more. We both hugged them and thanked them for their shop.

The last angel I bought was Sophia – Guardian Angel of Knowledge.

HeartSpeak

Cranes and Butterflies

Kimono prints on delicate paper folded with my hands
Have made beautiful cranes and butterflies for thirty years

I fold paper squares into art on the bus to work
And on airplanes while soaring through the sky

I have folded and given away a hundred in my time
To the surprise of each person I have never met before

You may wonder why I would do such a thing for others
I do it for the smiles it brings my way

© 2019 princess2ears

HeartSpeak, Simply Sentimental

Flowers on Monday

A tray of Queen Anne’s Lace was delivered. The card said, “This plant means sanctuary. You always loved my bushes, and I took snapshots of all the butterflies for you.”

A bouquet of pink carnations tied with a big white bow came with a card. I will never forget you and the dance. I wore a white sport coat, and each of us wore a pink carnation.

A large green vase with two dozen red roses arrived. The card read, “Two dozen means I am devoted to you.”

Pretty daisies were delivered to my front door. The card said they represent the innocence of our youth. We met when you were eight, and I was nine.”

Purple pansies came with a note explaining thoughtfulness and remembrance. “We were always thoughtful to buy each other little gifts we liked.”

Lavender plants for an herb garden arrived. The card told me they represent devotion. “Your devotion to me has always been appreciated. Use the flowers in your homemade soap.

One big clay pot of zinnias came two weeks later. I found the note and the meaning said never forget absent friends.

Magenta lilacs were sent to me on another Monday. The note described our love and passion. “Just conjure up any distant Sunday morning from your memory.”

Gentle peonies were delivered in a tray for planting. Attached was a card saying they represent romance.

Violets in a variety of purples were found on my porch. The card told me they mean loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. “Think of all the times I took you violet shopping. I would have bought them all for you if you just asked.”

Pink Camellia to plant in the yard arrived again on a Monday. This time the note said they are given to someone you miss.

Iris in a box filled with bulbs to plant for spring. They meant wisdom and respect. “You once talked about the irises you grew up with and how your father planted them.”

A bucket of fresh cut sunflowers came, and I began to cry. These represent happiness, adoration and loyalty the card explained. “I remember your excitement when I described how sunflowers face the sun. You made me drive you back by later to prove it. I took a picture of you hiding among the sunflowers.”

I decided to reach out to him and called the nursing home. They said he passed away peacefully on Monday.

© 2019 princess2ears

Simply Sentimental

Mrs. Callier

“Fourth row, second seat in alphabetical order.
All lunch boxes are to be placed under your desk.”
“Yes m’am,” we say in unison as if we practiced.

“Pay attention and say ‘present’
When your name is called.
Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
Raise your hand to go to the bathroom.”
Five hands go up, three boys, two girls.

“Sally, you will be my class helper.
Please give out paper and pencil to everyone.
After the spelling test, you will take up the papers.
At the end of the day, I need you to erase the blackboard.
Clean the eraser and lay out a new stick of chalk.”

“Did your mother make your dress, Sally?
It is clean and starched, and your hair in brushed.
I will call you Miss Spic and Span.”

Hmm…I guess no one told her I got into trouble in second grade.
Sent to the office for lying about my crayons and fighting with Judy.
Or…perhaps she knows and likes me anyway.

I love Mrs. Callier!

© 2019 princess2ears

Written about my third grade teacher and how this was a turning point for me at school.

HeartSpeak, Simply Sentimental

Mud pies

Playtime with my childhood friends
Was spent on the front porch many days
With Parcheesi, Sorry, Monopoly, Cootie
Or pretending I was their older teacher

On rainy days I would play there alone
Preparing my lesson for their next class
And as the sun came through the clouds
I waved at them on their porches to come

I walked squishing my toes through the mud
Squatting down on the dirt and gravel road
Making a row of hearty mud pies with grass
Baking them in the sun for hungry students

Four little boys and one lone girl were neighbors
Who were given a pretend treat after the rain
And the boys willingly took one bite of mud pie
But the little girl nibbled and spit it out

I loved making muddy messes and pretending it was food
But most of all I loved being teacher to my neighbors
Smiling at the boys pulling grass from their teeth
Who felt braver than the girl for swallowing dirt

© 2019 princess2ears

Simply Sentimental

Beach Morning

A calm, overcast morning greeted me as I opened the sliding glass door and stepped outside. My sleepy eyes scanned the horizon and view eleven floors below.

A golden retriever jumping waves near the shoreline,
a lady standing in ankle deep water,
a man trying to capture the vast ocean with his camera,
a couple picking up shells,

and me on my top floor balcony drinking coffee, eating an apple
and reading the daily devotional “Clouds of Blessings”.

My friend set up the ironing board and asked if I wanted to iron anything. I told her I don’t do that at the beach.

Patti even made up her bed, and I smiled, “At least, I’ll know which bed is mine.”

She looked amused and turned toward the kitchenette. “I’m going to brew a cup of chamomile. Would you like for me to bring you another cup of coffee?”

“Thanks. I’ll wash the dishes later,” I offered as I covered my legs with the beach towel.

Sweet Patti came out to the balcony with our cups on a cookie sheet and a waitress towel draped over her arm. “If you’re expecting a tip, I spent my money last night at the gift shop.”

“No worries. I’m keeping up with your tab, and I know where you live.” We both laughed again.

Settled down in our chairs, we glanced at the ocean and quietly read our books. Real friends who enjoy being together even in silence.

© 2019 princess2ears