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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

Cinderella Muses About Quarantine Tasks and The Helpful Woodland Creatures

I was on a walk, putting off household chores, listening to a terrible Audible book and contemplating the ramifications of suing the daughter who recommended it. Ridley was pulling me through the high, weedy grass, in serious scavenger mode, sniffing and yanking, searching, I assumed, for the nasty bones dropped by turkey buzzards.

The funky birds feed him on the regular.

It's like a daily Easter egg hunt.

One time they dropped a crab (that I had to wrestle him for)

and another time, a lemon wedge to go with it.

Anyway, the awful reader of the awful book was droning on in my earphones and my attention wandered back to the housecleaning I've been avoiding since, um, March. I know I'm not alone in this procrastination. There's even a philosophical question that's gone viral since the beginning of the lockdown: If nobody sees it -- does it really need to be cleaned?

Obviously, the answer is no.


There was a pile of clothes that needed folding on the floor in front of the dryer, a questionable slime around the drain in the sink, and our hoovering stinkbug has been slowing down of late.

But the less I have to do, the harder it is to get anything done.

Rid came to a sudden stop and I almost tripped over my feet. Two big animals were standing right in front of us.

My first thought was coyotes.


Normally, there's only one lone wolf(ish animal) outside our door.

He's a handicapped solitarian who kangaroo hops through the pasture between 2-4pm daily. I find him less threatening than the average killer-canine and have had to talk myself out of providing him with a bed and his own bowl of Alpo Chop House to minimize his daily hunting needs. I even called the state wildlife folks to see if they could pick him up and take him to the vet and maybe arrange some physical therapy before rehoming him. There was a prolonged uncomfortable silence before the guy suggested I shoot the 'nuisance-animal'. (I'm a vegetarian. So.)

Still, bumping into a gang of them would not be cool.

I frantically reached for the airhorn in my pocket --a self-defense tool I feel more confident in aiming in the right direction than the bear-spray my husband ordered-- and realized the animals were missing bushy tails. And one had his own horns.

It took me a moment to mentally run through my mammal flash cards and then I recognized them.


They'd thoughtfully showed up out of the blue to help with exterior maintenance!

How nice is that? (Cue Disney theme music.)

Which gave me an idea. Why not invite them in and let them loose on the floors? They'd vacuum things up in a heartbeat. Maybe change the sheets. Before I could ask, though, Ridley pulled me towards another second-hand roadkill-treasure.

And I went back to mulling the lawsuit over the bad Audiobook. I'm leaning towards doing it.


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