Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hush Puppies, the Original

Earlier this week, I had quite a scare! As I was sitting in our family room folding freshly laundered towels, I was startled by a scratching and thumping on the window pane directly behind me. Curiosity pried me from my laundry duties to see what the commotion was about. As I peered out our backdoor, I saw what appeared to be a young squirrel, crawling on the window screen. I proceeded out the backdoor onto the deck to shoe shoo it away. Apparently, it was not frightened by me, but only scurried over to the water spout. I walked off the deck in the direction of the spout for it only to run under the blooming in pink Indian Hawthorne bushes.

At least he was off of the screen, scratching, thumping, and distracting me from my laundry...a distraction from laundry is always welcome. Walking back onto the deck, I realized that the backdoor was slightly open and as I walked inside, I saw....

a rascally, rabbit squirrel staring me in the our game room. From the picture you can see some of the games in that room...sewing machine and ironing board. I jumped (my heart is jumping now just writing about it) and screamed, causing him to run for shelter. Leaving the backdoor ajar, I quickly returned to the family room shutting the glass door that separates the two rooms to keep him from entering the rest of the house. I even stuffed a kitchen towel from the laundry basket in the crack below the door...could he squeeze his tiny body through such a small space? What was a girl to do? Call the husband!

After much laughter, my husband assured me that it would be found and returned outside when he got home from glad that he was not in Russia, Saudi, Singapore, or some other far away land. Did I need to watch until he came home to see if the squirrel left on his own accord?

Heart, be still! I must conquer fear! I circled the house and entered that room from the deck with a handy dandy walking stick, in case, I needed some sort of weapon. Weak in the knees, I entered the room and rattled a few things around hoping he would make a run for it. That rascal was hiding behind an antique trunk. I was able to shoe shoo him from behind it, but he ran behind the sewing machine. I was on the attack again. He ran under the couch, across the floor, and out the door. Mission accomplished. Squirrel gone...fear faced!

Fear was a part of my identity for many years. I was the object of many pranks when "friends" found out the reaction I would have when faced with a furry animal...real or not. Kids People can be so cruel sometimes. I spent over 40 years, literally, scared, out of my wits, of dogs....or just about any living creature that had fur. My childhood memory fails me, but I'm told that my dad gave me a wind up toy puppy that barked, jumped, and turned flips. It is suspected that was the beginning of my fear of furry animals.

When my youngest son turned 11 years old, there was nothing he wanted more for his birthday than a puppy. I had ignored the request for quite a while. I just couldn't face my fear knowing that I would need to help him with the care of a puppy. What was I going to do while he was at school? How would I teach him to care for a furry puppy? Why would I want to do this to myself?

What was a girl to do? I gave in, out of love, but I have to tell you... I was scared. My fear was real! This cute, little, furry puppy quickly became the object of every one's affection except me. I could not face it! I could not touch it! I could not! I would not!

Cookies 'n Cream...Cookie, for short...was a black and white beagle that never howled but she sure knew how to get underfoot. One morning as my husband was giving me an embrace before leaving for work, Cookie got under my feet, quickly sending me to my husband's feet on his shoulders. He didn't know that I could move that fast nor climb that high. He could feel my heart beating. He could see that my fear was real. It wasn't a joke, it was no longer funny. He felt my fear. He understood. He knew. Miraculously, my fear was taken away. Really! No one had ever really understood how fear consumed me. Fear of furry animals is no longer a part of my identity. I am free!

Except momentarily when I saw....

after all, that furry animal is wild, could carry rabies, could bite, could...but I faced my fear rationally. Later that evening, when I was washing my face....would you call that laundry?...I pulled the towel from my face to see my husband with a squirrel sitting on his shoulder...a Beanie Baby squirrel. Once again I jumped and he laughed...and, yes, I laughed, too!

There are other fears in my life that have been hushed, but I reserve the right to revisit Hush Puppies another time. One fear at a time, one post at a time.

What are your fears? We all have them. Do you need to Hush Puppies face your fears, too?

If the shoe fits, wear it well!


Amber said...

Tell that rascally squirrel to stay away from my new (slightly used) Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer!!!!!

Brittany said...

That's hilarious! Oh, to be a fly on the wall! haha!

So glad Todd wasn't out of town, otherwise you probably would have had a short term roommate :)