Sunday, 19 April 2009

Charlotte, is that a pile of bear droppings?

sunny, gorgeous day, temps 11

Not, perhaps, as warm as some days but again the wind is calm - so it feels like a perfect spring day.

Took Trudy for a walk this morning..she got halfway into the field and took off for our front lawn - quite a distance away. I watched her, then decided if she was there I might as well feed the birds.

The first sign of trouble came when I noticed the large open birdfeeder had been ripped apart. I thought - raccoon. Then I noticed that the tubular birdfeeder that is attached to the house by a metal rod was missing completely and the metal rod was bent.

Then I saw a huge pile of steaming you-know-what on the lawn, about the size of Billy Crystal. I immediately called - 'Michaaaael!'

He was in the kitchen and came running out, in his slippers, sweats and sweater. I pointed to what had been our birdfeeders - then the pile.

Bears. Big bears. Then we looked at the metal garbage can we keep the birdseed in. It was over on its side, dented and the top torn off. Oddly, the bad of seed was still in it.

This was very exciting. I don't mind bears at all - though I don't think I'll be sleeping on the screen porch anytime soon...and we made sure we locked the case this was a bear of considerable brain. What surprised us was that we heard nothing...and our bedroom look out over the front lawn.

We called Tony who confirmed it was a bear...and when asked about the crushed metal garbage can and why we didn't hear it he said that bears are very, very quiet.

We let that be.

I used to think it must be quite glamourous to be a writer. Now I know it's mostly sitting around in flannels and the most exciting conversation is about piles of crap in the front yard. I think Emily Bronte must have found the same thing.

The good news is the crap is now on the front lawn and no longer on the page. But it seems a karmic thing with me. If I'm not dreaming of toilets I'm afraid my book is crap, or I'm actually finding not effete little deer droppings, but massive mountains of it on the lawn.

Saved a frog out of the pool this morning too. I'd like to see the Bronte's beat that.

As an addendum to this post, Tony just dropped by - to look at the dropping (yup, bear)and put the battery back in the tractor. He was also going to pick up the poop and toss it into the woods but decided to leave it there.

Why, Tony? I asked.

As a conversation piece, he said.

Obviously Tony knows just how sparkling our conversation normally is, that it can be helped along by a pile of crap on the lawn.


hilary said...

I can't let your second reference to dreaming of toilets pass by without comment. I do too. It's always somewhere like Walmart or Zellers and their system has backed up and I'm wading through it.

What does it mean? Is it as obvious as it appears?

In the meantime, I'm writing along with you -- 45 thousand words into my Book Two, while the first languishes in the hands of a publisher and an agent, both of whom sent me into raptures when they asked to see the full manuscript. Raptures wear off with the wait, though....persistence, plugging along on the next one is a bit of an antidote, but there are those moments when courage fails...

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

You make me feel so much better...sisters in crap. I'm certain it means we're self confident, spiritual, evolved and lovely.

Congratulations on the manuscript in the hands of clearly brilliant editor and agent!!! I know that long wait...sorry you have to go through it...but quite right about getting into action and not stewing. 45-thousand words! Marvelous. Well done.

Ovidia said...

Loved the crap on your lawn image

(sorry but it was really hilarious esp visualising Emily conveying news of their new conversation piece... why tell? She asks. Anne: "I would not send a poor girl into the world . . . ignorant of the bear snares that beset her path")


Ovidia said...

Oh--and the reason I posted: yes--you're definitely strong, spiritual, evolved & lovely & there are people out here waiting for your next book!

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Ovidia,

You're a riot. A little known chapter in the lives of the Brontes.

Hope you're thriving!

Anonymous said...

Made me wonder how Jane Austen would have used it-perhaps she'd have had Lady Catherine step in a pile of bear crap as she alit from her carriage at the Bennett's house?

Jo B. said...

Just one little bitty chipmunk is the only thing exciting we have in our birdfeeders besides birds! You must win the prize for strange night time visitors! Would these be black bears or grizzlies?

Bobbie said...

Oh Louise, we all know the silly "LOL" acronym, and we probably all use it often...but honest to goodness, your post today truly makes me Laugh Out Loud! Still grinning as I compose this blogpost...what a story! And I loved the references comparing writers' lives...not glamorous at all, just flannels and sometimes crap...oh gosh I am laughing again!

And yes, the massive pile on your lawn, of course means that now your massive crap-feeling about your writing has been transferred, big time, to the front yard and that you ARE a massively (is that a word?-well you know what I mean), hugely wonderful writer! Go Louise!! :-)

And yes, what a wonderful conversation piece for your home place! I am still snortling and chuckling, as I read your last sentence here.

Thank you for bringing humour and joy, from something...uh...very basically ugly. Good life lesson!

Enjoy writing! You are very good at telling a gripping and fun and scary and lovely story!


Tammy said...

I wanna see a picture. (giggle)

Tammy in MO

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Janet,

Oh, can't you just see the dainty foot? Perfect.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Jo B,

thankfully these are black bears. Nothing to be afraid of, but best to be wary, especially in spring. Cubs around, and they're hungry - especially, apparently, for birdfeeders.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Bobbie,

and you've made me smile, yet again! Thank you.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Tammy,

think of a brown, soft, billy Crystal, lying down.