Our children inevitably do things that upset us.
When we have tried so hard to shape their behavior toward gentility, wiping up after their spills, reminding them not to just drop food on the floor and leave it, picking up when we find their stuff lying around the house ...
Occasionally they still can shock us. And today is one of those days.
Bucky, my beloved Groenendahl shepherd/Labrador retriever, is a stone killer.
We live in the north part of Seattle, a major urban area, in a working class neighborhood. Lawns are mowed, flowers are planted, vegetables are grown and SUVs are parked where they should be.
One does not expect to be confronted with dead vermin. Especially dead vermin presented to you -- as a gift -- in the mouth of the sweet dog you call your own.
And yet. This has happened.
I am flinging a duvet over the clothesline in one of my sporadic fits of airing-outness. Bucky has been antsy all morning walking back and forth in the ivied back garden and nosing the shed. Pacing. I had noticed as I walked out that he was particularly interested in one corner of the garden ...
Then. Mid-duvet-fling, out of the corner of my eye, I see him walking toward me. Jauntily. With something hanging out of his mouth.
"What is that?" He drops it at my feet.
A bundle of gray fur accessorized with red, and a grimacing smile, not a smile, rictus.
"JIM!!!! JIM!!! COME HERE!!! JIM!!! JIM!!!! "
Fortunately, the division of labor in our household stipulates males do the rat disposal. Since one male killed it, the other one gets to get rid of it.
Oh, God. And you can forget about ever kissing me again, Bucky.