Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Lord Jimmy lives on
As I explained to my readers back in September the giant pumpkins were created by a mouse lord from long ago. The mouse Lord, named Jimmy, bred the giant pumpkins for geodesic home domes for his colony of mice, of which there were thousands. Mice workers would tunnel in and carve out the giant orb, creating a perfect winter home for a large family of rodents. Mice prefer round objects to anything with sharp angles, allowing them to pile together in a natural ball form. It was even thought that Lord Jimmy had lived out his final years in the Pacific Northwest.
At least this is the story I had heard from someone, or something, some time ago. And it's the story I told Paco back in September, to give him a sense of purpose in his Giant Pumpkin Guard Duties.
Well, I have been warning Paco that the time of releasing the Giant Pumpkins to their true purpose is nearing. I had anticipated that the Jimmy clan would wait until we had deeper frosts, so I was completely unprepared to come out to the pumpkin patch at the end of the day to find the obvious work of the Jimmy clans-mice. I had done barn chores at 8 am and the pumpkins were all fine. I put the donkeys out in the front fields as usual, leaving the pumpkins in the care of Ward the rooster. In all fairness to Ward, his gimpy leg has been bothering him again, and I'm afraid his pumpkin watch duties might have been a bit slack. When I returned to the barnyard at dusk, I was shocked.
I could see the giant pumpkins in the distance, and their deep orange exteriors had been skinned. I found a small mouse, dead, lying next to the giant orbs, and I gasped, "They've been here!". I then found several of the giant orbs with neatly carved out front doors, perfect for a mouse clan to shimmy in and hunker down for winter months. When one got hungry, one needed to just nibble on the wall of the pumpkin room.
I was amazed at that speed of the mice clan, that they could work this fast in 8 hours. I could see Paco in the distant field, and I knew he would require soothing over his giant pumpkin loss. Fortunately, I had grown some of the giant orbs behind a fence, to keep for our pleasure, and had placed a small sign on the fence stating "Not for mouse houses, please". I was grateful the Jimmy clan had followed my request, and left those pumpkins virginal. As I went to gather the donkeys, the five young yearling ewes I have separated out from the breeding ewes came a running. They did not run to their nightly stall, nor to me, but gathered around the giant orbs and bleated. They then began to neatly skim the giant orbs, while I stood watching."Audrey! Honey! Olive Oil! You, you did all this - not mice..." I was sort of disappointed. The fable of Lord Jimmy was just that, a fable, and I had believed it. What a fool I am. I walked away to do feedings. "Wait..." came a small, faint, tiny voice. I turned, and I kid you not, I saw a mouse run out of one of those pumpkins.
Do the Lord Jimmy mice really exist? Do they speak? Am I making all this up? Perhaps the Lord Jimmy clan had heard of Apifera, perhaps they knew there were sheep here. Being rodents, they opportunistically took advantage of a breed of animal with razor sharp grinding teeth [if you have never witnessed the sharpness of sheep teeth, they are flat and sharp like a razor, not to be messed with]. This was perfectly plausible to me. The mice were simply working within the system. And now, they have a wonderful village for winter.
Martyn has threatened to move the Lord Jimmy Village to the burn pile, or worse, cut it up into edible size pieces for all the sheep. This of course will not happen. You see, when I did bring the donkeys in that night from the field, I told Paco his Pumpkin Guard Duties had now evolved into more of a Home Security Duty for the mice sub development. As usual, Paco showed no excitement, he simply had a quick drink of water, and took his patrol position like a pro.
Back in my studio, it was almost dark and I looked out towards the barn and could see the faint glimpse of Paco's ear tips. And tiny little reading lights within those giant pumpkin houses.