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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Back to normal

The last two days were an aberration. Today was much more typical.

First thing this morning, S noticed that Jack, G's hedgehog, had tipped his food bowl over in the night and began straightening up the cage. It dawned on me that I hadn't noticed the scritch-scratch noises he usually makes in the middle of the night and, half-joking, asked S to check and make sure he was still alive...

(Jack had come with a friend, Fred, who unfortunately perished shortly after arriving on the island. He was S's pet and she had been over on the other coast with her dad for a few days, hysterically insisting we not bury him until she could return and bid Fred farewell in person. Fred was temporarily interred in the freezer until my husband could properly dispose of him. I sure didn't want a repeat of that.)

So when S called Jack, and his snuffling little snout did not immediately pop out, we got nervous. She shoved her hand inside the curved PVC pipe he uses for a den, and shrieked.

Oh, God, here it comes...

"He's gone!"

"WHAT?!" Clearly not what I was expecting to hear. She turned the pipe vertically and stuck her hand all the way through, like a bad magic trick. TA DA! Gone. We launched a search party and found him a short time later, curled up inside an old number chart that had been lying forgotten behind a trunk.


The girls are excitedly training for a local 5k race scheduled in late February and spend every spare minute outside with their stopwatch, recording various statistics. They are at this moment, trying to get most of tomorrow's schoolwork done tonight, so as not to interfere with their workout.

Two years ago, in the same race, S and G came in first and second, respectively, in their division. The funny part was that right at the start, S bumped G, who fell down and tore up her knee pretty badly (well, that's not exactly the funny part...) S went on ahead, but G wanted to quit. I convinced her to keep going, she whined and cried pretty much the whole way, but we ultimately completed the course. Dead last. But because mine were the only two kids registered in their age group, she still received a trophy for second place.

With that taste of victory, they're ready to do it again!

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