it must be raindrops

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the first-rate purebred border collie, here to tell you about a great day in the garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Still More Weather” and “Gray Day, With Drays”, among so many other delights.

Before I show a picture of me, and there’s an excellent one of my nose again, I have to tell you that I swear what I am about to tell is one hundred percent completely true. Totally and absolutely true. Really.

Okay, so, I was thinking about what to post, and the guy I live with was raking up honey locust pods dropped by the squirrels, and said something about how tired he was of raking up these things.


So then he had the brilliant idea of lying down on the bench and taking pictures, and possibly even a movie, showing Earl, or Pearl (they were way up high in the tree), eating the beans out of the locust pods and dropping the pods down to the ground. You know, a sort of wildlife documentary. He thought about calling it “The Playful Squirrels of Our Neighborhood Trees”, or something like that.

The bench, by the way, is a vintage park bench that my mommy decided she had to have; she used to put a blanket down when she sat out here to read, so that one of us could climb onto the bench, just to be with her. My buddy Slipper was much bigger than I was, and so if he climbed up first the only thing I could do was climb into my mommy’s lap.

The bench isn’t very comfortable to lie down on, without a blanket, but the guy I live with had read all these stories of brave photographers risking everything for the ultimate picture, so he lay down on the bench and took pictures looking up into the tree.


I was inside, because this wasn’t very interesting, when all of a sudden I heard this cry of disgust. I came out to see what was going on. The guy I live with was sitting on the bench (those are his jeans, there), with an expression of revulsion and horror on his face.


He had felt a few raindrops on his face and arms. But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

I wondered what that smell was.


It didn’t take nearly as long for it to dawn on me as it did the guy I live with. Whew, that was quite a strong smell. Not raindrops at all.


It was pretty funny. I thought the guy I live with might climb up into the tree and try to strangle Earl (or it might have been Pearl), but instead he went inside and washed off his face and arms. I think I can still smell it.

Anyway, the pods are still there.


A movie was made despite everything.

Well, that’s what happened today. I wonder if the guy I live with learned a lesson about standing under trees when squirrels are above him. I bet not.

Until next time, then.



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16 Responses to it must be raindrops

  1. I believe Pearl and Earl passed their IQ test. Did such an event ever happen to your mommy? I think those squirrels have it out for your guy. And by “it” …
    Terrific nose pic (yes, a pun), as promised. Love the next photo, the glee in your expression capturing that moment, Chess, when you figured out what was going on.
    Your mommy was right to insist on the purchase of the bench. You could buy much brie with what that bench would bring at one of our oh-so-chic SoCal vintage shops. Which reminds me, I’ve been wondering whether you have a taste for Cheshire cheese. I should think a first-rate purebred border collie would like the flavor of onion and chive.

    • paridevita says:

      There was one time when my mommy was out weeding and my uncle Pooka walked up and accidentally tinkled on her. The guy I live with saw it, and thought it was hysterical. She didn’t think so, but the story was that my uncle Pooka was so apologetic (sorry sorry sorry), that any anger passed quickly.
      In a way, it’s karma, you know, because the guy I live with squirts Earl with a squirt gun when he’s being naughty, which is a lot.
      I’m not allowed to have onions. They’re supposedly bad for dogs, which is why he ate all the Cotswold by himself, saying that chives are like onions. I was very, very sad.

      The guy I live with still has Thomas’s Popular Atlas of Los Angeles, 1955. He himself is fairly vintage. (My mommy was six years younger.) If you Google street view 4701 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles, you’ll see The Dover. He says it looks the same. When he was little, a very long time ago, he would play in front of my grandparent’s shed out in the way back part of the garden (just like there’s a shed and a way back here ….go figure….) in the house on Oakwood Avenue (long gone), and there, looming over the shed, was The Dover.
      It was an old neighborhood with most of the houses built about 1900. Some of them, he says, were dark and scary and hidden by bushes and stuff. A few of the houses are still there, down the street to the west. The street was lined with trees then.

  2. I was looking forward to a new photo of Chess’s nose. Very cute indeed!

  3. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Squirrels are many things. Respectful is not one of them.

    • paridevita says:

      Definitely not. Though this was one of those things that’s funny if it happens to someone else. I wouldn’t want to be tinkled on, that’s for sure.

  4. Knicky Twigs says:

    I just about fell out of my chair!! And Chess looks amused!

  5. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    This makes me think of the time, maybe 15 years ago, when I was walking in my neighborhood and saw an older woman sweeping her sidewalk. When I got up to her, she looked at me and said (in a Natasha the spy from Rocky & Bullwinkle Russian accent), “Skvirls make terreebul mess.” Yes, squirrels make terrible mess — in Flint, MI . . . in westernmost Denver suburbs . . . wherever they go.

    I had a similar peeing squirrel incident, but I saw it coming and was able to get out of the way. No terrible mess that day.

    • paridevita says:

      Make terrible mess indeed. Guy I live with, is making even terribler mess. Plants flying in air, branches cut, dirt everywhere, much drilling and sawing. “Please to explain”, well, maybe in day or two. Big horticultural crisis (number 473) so says guy I live with.

  6. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    My grammy’s friend, who grew up in Mississippi, tells the story of Mama Kendall, who lived down the street from this friend’s childhood home. It was a small, sleepy town in the Deep South and the streets were lined with tall shade trees. Mama Kendall was often seen sitting in a rocking chair on her front porch with a 12 gauge shotgun resting across her lap, the lawn in front of her house splattered with squirrel carcasses. Forty five years later, there are new owners living in the house and while there is no longer anyone sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, the front lawn has a few fresh carcasses every week, as my grammy’s friend reported on her most recent visit back to her home town. You can’t go home again, as someone once so wisely penned. Nor, or so it seems to me in this case, should you.

  7. Vivian Swift says:

    I just got the Google Street View of 4701 Beverly. So cool. What I wouldn’t give to live next door to a Liquor & Food Mart and the Spa di Beverly.

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