I was a big help in the aviary this morning. The Farm Manager was scurrying around doing useless things, as usual. I herded the cats, sniffed the chicken butts, examined the treat bowls. Wow! Cantaloupe! I won’t touch it in my own bowl, of course, but once it migrates to the chicken bowls, it’s very appetizing. Their lettuce is better than mine, too.
So, the big deal around here is my new swimming pool. I want to make it perfectly clear that I did not eat Swimming Pool #6. That was the finest swimming pool I have ever had. For a tiny little handicapped rodent, the gigantic pool #6, with its fathomless depths, rickety exit ladder, and daunting straw bale steps . . . well, let’s say I had not ventured into it since maybe a year ago. The Farm Manager let the steps rot and collapse, and some fresh straw bales were placed to replicate my favorite basking area. Why are some areas sunnier than others?
The Bartender sadly disassembled Swimming Pool #6 and neatly stacked the supports. The pool itself was neatly folded onto a wagon, covered with a tarp, and laid to rest in the forbidden storage area. I’ll probably never see it again.
The good news is that Swimming Pool #7 was assembled about five minutes after #6 bit the dust. The flock was very interested, and could hardly wait to get in there and scritch apart the flat sandy under-pool pancake. There were a couple old tarps buried under there that had to come out, anyway, because the Farm Manager wanted to plant me some pasture.
The bad news is that five minutes is a very, very long time to wait. It started to look like a pool right away. A delicious, bite-sized pool. All of that exposed vinyl, the tantalizing top rail, the flimsy little corners . . . What more could a hungry capybara ask for?
I must admit that the Bartender and the Farm Manager have learned a thing or two about building swimming pools. As the little pool was filling with water, the top rails were outfitted with drainline reinforcement, and a vinyl-coated poultry netting skirt was snugged up around the exterior wall. Extra reinforcement was fitted to the vulnerable armpit areas at the corners of the pool. That part is hard to explain, but The Bartender said some naughty words while he was doing it. That’s all you need to know. I can’t be expected to explain everything.
I was very intrigued by the concept of Swimming Pool #7, but I am not as brave as I look. The only fish-like thing in #7 was the large black manatee corpse tethered in the pool where there ought to be an exit step.
Actually, it was my old bedroom step, shifting ominously with the brisk underwater currents of the tiny pool.
I posed and teased, scrambling up and down the modified straw bale steps, checking for alligators and piranhas.
Two days later, when I was certain no one was watching, I slipped into Swimming Pool #7 for the first time. It was glorious. I greeted my old familiar pool toys, swirling, splashing, and barking.
Then I mounted the manatee carcass, hauled up to the straw-bale step, and ambled down the stairs. I shook myself pouffy, and that was that.
I swim all the time and Swimming Pool #7 is filling up with toys. I even got some brand new bite-free noodles!
Some days it is too hot to climb up all those steps. If I pretend to be dead, sometimes the Farm Manager will splash a little water on me. Other times she puts a sprinkler on, and I have been noticing that little green grass seedlings are sprouting through the straw mulch where poor neglected Swimming Pool #6 used to be.
I still have my Front Yard mud hole, too. It hasn’t dried up at all this summer. I march straight into it until I am submerged in black smelly pudding. Then I stand around at the front door for a while. Eventually I take a dip in Swimming Pool #7 which is slowly turning a familiar shade of green.
If you come over to visit, you should check out the lettuce by the front door. It’s delicious!
For a while we had a badminton net in the front yard, left over from a barbecue. In the picture below you can see the white edge of the net stretched horizontally over my head. It’s “over” now because the Farm Manager folded the bottom up when she noticed some bites at the bottom white edge. I bet badminton nets with capybara bites are worth more on eBay than boring intact nets.
The pasture in the front yard is at its peak. I still like it best when The Bartender feeds me dandelions one-by-one.
There’s lots more going on around here, but most of it involves ducks and hens and things that aren’t me. In the me category, my book became a Kickstarter! The Farm Manager prudently selected a low goal to ensure that we would make it and we met that goal in the first week! Start-up costs add up quickly and we’ll need a lot more than that pessimistic goal to break even on this project. Buying your book on Kickstarter is like a pre-sale. We hope to accumulate enough profit (after mailing out all the reward books!) to offset the publishing costs. In other words: break even.
Of course, you can always buy the book after the Kickstarter ends. The plan is to offer print-on-demand paperback books in October 2017, and eBooks shortly after. There is a tab up there ^ that says “dobby book” and there will be information and links on that page. If you have questions, ask Dobby!