April 3, 2015 – Today was a day to catch up on things I’ve been putting off. With the assistance of my magnifying glass, I started my long to-do list by hunting rare bugs in the little wedge of bark that clings to my thinking log. I was thrilled when I spotted the peculiar – and quite reclusive, squish-faced, smirking lantern beetle, partially camouflaged inside a decaying channel. A mere centimeter from him, I spied the magnificent Austrian cow-licking lizard with its goat-like iridescent eyes. These are not their official names, mind you. They’re the names I assigned the creepy crawlies when I drew their likeness and documented notes into my personal scientific journal of bug collecting. Someday, I may put together a field guide book on chicken yard bugs, but presently, I am far too busy.
I had come to the last blank page of my sketch pad, when a slithering Stink Willie came into view. I’d never seen one before! I rushed back to the coop to grab another drawing book, and slammed full speed into Peaches. She was dressed to travel, looking splendid in a pale pink, button-up coat and matching pillbox hat. In one wing hung a white pocketbook with a gold clasp. In the other, she carried a small gray suitcase with light pink trim.
“Where are you headed off to?” I asked surprised.
“I’m writing a story,” she replied cheerfully, walking up the driveway with purpose. I had to run to catch up with her.
“Wait a minute!” I hollered. “I don’t get it! Why are you all dressed up and carrying a suitcase?”
Peaches turned to regard me.
“I’m out of supplies,” she explained evenly. “I need more pencils.”
“Well, why didn’t you say so?” I laughed. “Hold on a minute and I’ll drive you to the store. I could use a new sketch pad, myself!”
“Oh, Happy!” Peaches hooted. “You have such a wonderful sense of humor! I don’t need to go to the store. I need to get pencils.”
Maybe I had been squinting into my magnifying glass too long, because my brain started to feel fuzzy.
“You need pencils, but you don’t need to go to the store.”
“You’re leaving with a suitcase… in your best traveling clothes.”
“Indeed I am.”
“No… of course, not! Francis Drake is accompanying me. He’s meeting me in a few minutes at the end of the driveway. That’s why I have to hurry. I’m so sorry to cut you short, Happy, but I have to get going.”
“Going where???” I pleaded, exasperated.
I had no sooner asked, when the handsome drake strolled up next to us. He looked dapper in his saddle brown suit and felt fedora.
“Why, to get pencils!” he answered good-naturedly. “Ready, Peaches?” he inquired, reaching to take her suitcase.
I couldn’t stand it another second.
“PLEASE, PEACHES! FOR THE LOVE OF STINK WILLIES, TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE HEADED TO PURCHASE PENCILS THAT WOULD REQUIRE A SUITCASE AND A DUCK ESCORT!!”
The two of them scowled, which is a difficult task for inherently optimistic poultry. They answered in unison…
Oh, brother. I called for reinforcements. Sawyer pulled up in the pickup truck with Addie and Charlotte. After a lengthy discussion over the many mercantile establishments within driving distance that sell sturdy and suitable writing implements, we drove Peaches and Frank to Walmart. She got a box of yellow Ticonderogas. He purchased a plastic swimming pool. I got a new sketch pad and Addie, Charlotte and Sawyer each bought a new potholder.
…and this is why I never catch up on my to-do list.