As you may remember, I've been training Bella's Rat Terrier, Cindy Lou Who, to hunt rats, which are the scourge of our barn.
And not so long ago, she caught her first....
The night before, she was hell-bent on getting at something in the heat baseboards. She was going at it, scratching and clawing and just going nuts, but to no avail.
The next morning, my Dad and stepmother (Granny C) were sitting at the dinner table, talking over a cup of coffee. They were visiting with us from Kentucky, a wonderful treat that doesn't happen often enough.
Granny C is an accountant by trade, and is a very mannerly, button-down gentlewoman.
I'm sure you can tell where this is going.
Yeah. Cindy Lou once again started going berserk over something in the baseboards. Only this time? She got it. A mouse. Or maybe a small rat? It was in that in-between place that it's hard to tell.
But she got it out from under the baseboards and carried it with head held high and legs a-prancing, making a bee-line for you-know-who.
She walked right under the table with it and dropped it at her feet. Granny C was a model of deportment. She shut her eyes and tensed up, but remained where she was with an "I never did mind about the little things" smile on her face.
As I was getting a paper towel to scoop the rodent up with, my youngest child, 12 year old Daniel, began a running commentary on the events:
"Look, Cindy dropped the rat right next to Granny C's feet!"
"Awesome, there's blood on the floor!"
"Oh my gosh, it's still moving!"
With each exclamation, Granny C's body tensed tighter and tighter, her eyes squeezed closed just a little more, and her smile grew slightly wider across her face. But never once did she yelp, never once did she jump up onto her chair and scream in holy terror, never once did she race across the room like the hounds of hell were on her heels.
I don't know if Miss Manners has ever handled the question:
How does one behave if one's host's dog drops a partially dead rodent at one's feet?
But I just know she would have been proud of Granny C's reaction.
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