Monday, May 12, 2014

The Gift

Gregg and I had just sat down on the front porch to enjoy the stellar mother's day weather when Ray went off.
The hound, who had been in the backyard, was now in the house, yelling. Gregg rose from his barely-sat-in chair with an exasperated sigh and went to investigate.
"What was he yelling at?" I asked my lovely husband when he returned.
"I don't know," replied Gregg, "Harvey was in there too."
Gregg sat. A minute later, the hound went off again, this time using his "I found something" voice.
Concerned that Ray was harassing Harvey, I went to intervene. Ray was standing in front of the mostly-closed, front hall closet bi-fold doors, his head down, his legs somewhat splayed, his ears deployed in ultra-Dumbo mode, his whole body tense with the thrill of the hunt. His nose was working furiously.
A quick glance around revealed no Harvey but I heard a faint 'mew' when I called his name.
Ray gave another innards-disolving yell then returned to snuffling along the bottom of the left-hand door. I folded open the right-hand door and watched Harvey trot out and into the dining room. I grabbed Ray's collar thinking he might try to run after the little cat but Ray totally ignored Harvey. The big dog sniffed again at the bottom of the left-hand door. Ray was still on high-alert, tail up, ears deployed; the nose was working overtime.
Wary now, I looked along the bottom of the door wondering why Harvey had been in the closet and why the dog was ignoring the cat. Ray's nose had settled at the bottom left corner of the door. In the dim light of the hallway, I peered at the spot indicated.
"Gregg!" I yelled doing my best impression of Ray's "I found something" voice. "GREGG!"
"What's wrong?" Gregg asked as he hurried into the house at my panicked call.
"Grab a flashlight," I said, still holding Ray by the collar and pointing to the bottom corner of the door.
Gregg grabbed the take-the-dog-out-at-night flashlight conveniently located on the kitchen counter and came to point its light at the tiny little paw that I had seen poking from between the edge of the bifold and the wall.
"It's a vole," said Gregg, "I'll get my gloves."
"Is it smushed?" I asked Gregg, looking at the flattened body of the rodent jammed into the incredibly small gap between door and wall and thinking perhaps that Gregg had closed the closet door on the tiny visitor when Gregg had come into the house to check on the dog.
"I don't know," said Gregg.
He pushed open the bi-fold and bent over to access the flattened vole. The mouse-sized digger dropped from his hiding place and scurried. Years of experience made Gregg faster. He grabbed it up between two gloved hands and carried the born-under-a-lucky-star rodent from the house to set it free.
I let go of Ray's collar. He snuffled a bit at the bottom of the door then morosely settled down in front of it waiting to see if his new friend was going to return.
I looked at Harvey, still watching us from the dining room.
"You did this, didn't you?" I said to the little cat accusingly.
Harvey flopped over and rolled back and forth in the ecstasy that comes from knowing he had brought me a lovely present for mother's day.
I sighed and went to rejoin Gregg on the porch.


  1. Little Harvey brought you a Mother's Day gift, awww. I guess Ray ruined the surprise. Oh well, it is the thought that counts. Did Dumpling bring you anything?

    1. Juno gave me an even better gift by NOT bringing me something. She's an avid bug hunter and I will be eternally grateful that I didn't get a bee for mother's day.

  2. Tell Harvey next year you'll give him a list of appropriate Mother's Day gifts (hopefully "vole" won't be on there). ;)

    Good old Ray - if it weren't for him, how would you have ever known about Mr. Vole? How amazing is it that the vole actually survived all of that? In a way, Ray saved him! Of course, your husband was pretty handy in this situation too. :)

    1. I thought the same thing about how we wouldn't have known about the vole without the blind dog in the house. It sure is handy to have him around. (Gregg too.)