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Chet Baker Fix, Comin' Up

Friday, May 12, 2006

But first, a word from our sponsor, Amazing Plants I Love: Under the heading of things that make us happy: The heirloom lilac has not yet thrown in the towel for the season. All the other lilac flowers I've seen around here are done, brown, dried up, kaputt--but this magnificent plant just smiles on through rain and sun. It perfumes the entire yard. The scent floats up to the top of our birding tower and sneaks around the corner of the house, surprising me as I grub around in the garden beds. I will miss it so when its blossoms finally fade. But what an incredible run it's had. Thank you, Lilac. You are appreciated.
All right. Phoebe had a rough day at school; nothing academic, just social pressure. By bedtime she was teary and needing a diversion, a dose of pure happiness. Enter Nurse Baker. First, he took her temperature, laying a gentle paw on her forehead. Then he laid one paw on her wrist and took her pulse (while checking his imaginary watch, and slowly shaking his head). By this time, she was giggling. He finished his exam by thoroughly washing her face.
Chet Baker was put on earth to make us laugh. When I call him, saying, "Baker, you have a job to do here!" he checks to see who looks sad, who's crying, and he does his best to make them smile. He rarely fails. His reward? A belly tickle.
So Chet's job description gets a little more detailed each day. He wakes Phoebe up with kisses every morning. He patrols for mice, chipmunks, rabbits, and deer. (Lke his grandmother, Maeve Bean, and his mother, Chili Bean, Chet has a zero tolerance policy on chipmunks.) He listens for delivery trucks and announces them. He gets the bed all warm for me. He deposits a fine layer of hair evenly over the house, spring and fall. He sits upon the laps of guests and charms them. He updates his skunk perfume periodically; when it fades, he goes and finds another skunk. He occasionally clears the room with a well-timed fart. And he lifts our spirits, and makes us laugh, the most important work he does.

Thank you, Baker. You are appreciated, too.


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