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September 1, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Kiss. Don’t tell.

Cinderella always held special meaning for her.

Not that she sat on the kitchen hearth – or wore rags.

No, there was always polite kindness. The sort given to those not true sisters.

She was theirs, but a half-note different. Felt.

No permission granted. All rights reserved. Copy righted

Dreams, like prism rainbows, are real. ©

She dreamed. Dreamed of a warmer smile and tighter embrace. The one without thought given to their own.

Cinderella. Or perhaps Snow White?

That one bloomed where planted and endeared herself by her thoughts and deeds to those not her own.

So she, too, was determined to do  – in hopes that someday…

The day had been dreary.

She carefully avoided being underfoot.

Came immediately when called.

Oh, too fast.

Princess in hallway. 1920 Princess and the Goblin.Jessie Wilcox

Oh, no! Will this ruin everything? (1920Jessie Wilcox Smith/

She’d intruded. Frozen. Hardly daring to breathe.

A mistake.

No summons would have given.

Now standing like a black sheep among the snowy.

Afraid to even shiver.

Then, she was noticed. A slight stir of uncertainty swept the room.

Fairy tale illustration old woman and child.1920. Princess and the Goblin. Jessie Willcox Smith.1863-1935/ life+75/

You think We did not notice your efforts, child? (1920.JW Smith/

The Dowager, with cat-like grace, glided to stand directly in front of her.

There, in front of the entire court of the Realm, the Regent leaned over and softly planted a kiss – then another – directly on her nose before settling her Great Self regally down.

Stunned silence held the room.

Dare she risk breaking the spell by expressing thanks? What was the protocol? She leaned forward -

“Close enough!” Accompanied by RC Cat’s half raised paw. “Do not, my dear Molly. Take care that you do not overreach. You now have Our permission to withdraw.”

Hardly able to contain her delight, the Molly cautiously backed out of the room and scampered down the hall to the couch.

It HAD happened. It was Not a dream.

Molly stared cross-eyed at a spot on her nose that was still slightly moist and breathed in deeply – sighing over the remembered soft warmth of that feline Kiss of Recognition.

Was it wrong to be kissed and tell? 

After all, finally, all in the family.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(While it would be delightful to see pictures of the recent Kiss of Recognition, Staff has been warned by RC Cat that to publicize such private honors would  mar their significance.)

It was real. Dare I hope it will happen again?

It was real. It did happen. Does this signal the cease of hostilities? Time to “Tear down those door gates!” (Nice of everyone to call a holiday in honor of this great event.) ©


August 29, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Summer wraps up wide bodies

Wide bodies. Prairies and beaches have that in common.

Giddy sunny days too encouraging of free spirits and freewheeling.

Big uncovered and discovered.

Vintage beach scene.1920 Woman in towel at Southport beach./John Oxley Library, Queensland/

Never know what the sea will see.(1920.John Oxley Library,Queensland/

By August roasted tourist stuff themselves back into their cars, then, disappear on down the roads as the clouds roll in to erase any trace of their visits.

Like anxious children rushing through chores, the winds attempt to sweep the plastic and paper into corners for easy pick up or under grassy mats. Good enough.

Loud sighs from waves of grain and foaming surf as they massage the tired earth offering assurances, “It’s OK now. It’s just us. Relax.”

Harvest, 1942.Devon England/ Wilderman Shaw?/ Imperial War Museum/PD:reprod of PD photo/

Grainy but, good lookin’. (1942.Wilderman Shaw/Imperial War Museum/

Big sky, vast ocean, and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see fields stretch out full length in contentment with a long sigh of relief. “Finally.”

(Remember what it’s like when visitors who stayed too long finally back out the drive?)

The long summer parties for the noisy human children are certainly entertaining – and the creatures do look forward to them so much it would be a shame to disappoint – but…

The constant motion is exhausting.

And they hardly notice all the decorations placed with care across land, water, and sky.

So busy with their temporary gadgets and their own selves, all the elaborate entertainment efforts often unnoticed.

no permission granted. All rights reserved. copyright

Get out the oil paints. Storm clouds worthy of Turner or Constable. ©

Another sigh.

Hardly appreciation or “Thank you” given.

And all effort and energy used to toss that mass of seaweed to grow those sandy beaches. And only thing heard was complaints about smell and clutter.

Such contrarians with their “Please let it rain, the yard is so dry – but not during the beach party and not until after the hay is cut and in.” Like it’s a water faucet: easy to turn off and on as the whim strikes.

all rights reserved. no permission granted. copyright hay bales in field

Ok to rain now? Hay baled in an East Texas pasture. See the big rolls? Galveston Island had piles of seaweed baled up and staked along the beaches. The sand is settling in/over them to make new dunes. With luck there won’t be any tropical storms and floods that break them loose and let them roll out to sea….although the crabs, turtles, and seagulls might enjoy some floating islands. ©

Gather up some clouds and rumbles. Encourage them leave early. Let them mull over the Labor Day Weekend in their rooms.

Allow the land, water, and sky a chance to stretch out wide and sing full song without worrying about bumping into the delicate creatures…

Always feel some remorse about unintentionally harming them…but they are so small and don’t take a hint.

Reaching wide.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more about Galveston beaches and the good seaweed:

all rights reserved. no permission granted. copyrighted palm scene

Unusual August sky. The winds were oddly from N/NE during a windy concert last week.©

August 27, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

History: Dust covers it, Clio.

An old joke: “Is it true,” the kid asks, “that people come from dust and end up as dust? If so there’s either someone coming or going under my bed.”

Things do crumble and fall upon the mercy of the winds’ and the environment’s whims.

What else traveled with the Saharan dust cloud that recently arrived?

Particles of events long done?

Prism rainbow on floor.No permissions granted. all rights reserved. Copyright

Written in stone. Not all it’s cracked up to be. ©

Charlie Brown thought about that when defending his disheveled friend Pig-Pen’s dust cloud.

Don’t think of it as dust. Just think of it as the dirt and dust of far-off lands blowing over here and settling on “Pig-Pen”! It staggers the imagination! He may be carrying the soil that was trod upon by Solomon or Nebuchadnezzar or Genghis Khan! (from A Charlie Brown Christmas)

Ideas like that could make one walk softly and ponder rather than complain.

Could tiny organisms, microscopic hitchhikers, be nestled in all that dust?

The tiniest immigrants carrying, like all other immigrants, pieces of pasts ready to plant and grow into a present and future perfect?

Will these find a place. Serve some vital purpose so become accepted?

Plants quickly nod in affirmation welcoming the dust’s baggage of iron and nutrients which replaces what the rain steals.

tree shadow on wall. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

Reality? Perception is all that matters.

Who knows. Perhaps a wall of dusty clay bricks actually contains a library of the world’s history.

Maybe the Tree of Knowledge lives there in a shadowy sheltered existence.

Safe. Unrecognized. Undisturbed.

Curated by Clio?

Out of reach of humans and time.

After all it’s just dust.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

NASA image of Sahara dust storm, 2014

Odd. What does this dust cloud look like to you? Squint a bit. Clio? (NASA image)


August 25, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gasping Screamers. Muse or Dunderheads?

Never did horror squeal with more fervor. Never wider eyes piecing. Never did more terrors loom.

End of summer moanables: Hallmark stalks again. Mom doesn’t know best. Scream for pay.

Houston actor turns ghoul for ScreamWorld. (Michael Stravato:HBJ screenshot)

It’s ghoulish already. (Michael Stravato/HBJ)

The grocery store seemed like the perfect refuge from the frantic Back to School rush, but no. (Just detour around the toothy pumpkins. Pretend. Did not see it. Mirage from heat. Did not see it….)

There were squads of them: the ones fond of  too many TV Morning Shows. 

Moms determined to use a soft guiding touch with their overly tired, overly stimulated broods. Suggestions in hand.

“Let pick out some stuff for your lunchbox. How about some little organic tomatoes? Almonds or pecans? Put the Cheetos back. Pita chips and your choice of flavor humus?”

Always starts out well. But before you can say, “Mom where’s my lunch the school bus is here?”, all those newspaper clippings for healthy lunches slip quietly over the back walls of kitchen drawers and are forgotten. Lunchables and Twinkies for everyone.

Palace dance.1912 Grimm's fairy tale "Cat-skin"Bell-illustr/,artist life/

Don’t you hate those people who get all dressed up to go to the grocery store? (1912 Grimm’s fairy tale/Bell/

Surprisingly there were high school girls gliding down the aisles with boy friends attached.

Collecting adorable little cheese wedges and small designer bags of kale chips. Gourmet this and that.

Uncool Mom is probably expecting change back. Realistically, each week’s lunch shopping trip bill will grow as delicacies are “discovered” and shared at the lunch tables. (Until appetites wane from high school heartaches.)

But today, hurried through the store not looking left or right.

Worried the ghosts and bats behind the toothy pumpkins are foreshadowing.

A warning to avoid the Hallmark card aisle?  You know it must be lurking.

Back to School greeting cards for teachers, doting aunts and uncles, and perky, easily convinced parents.

No rumor. No longer a dark secret. Back to School Gifts for Teachers is mainstream.

Five O-clock new stories full of ideas.

Articles in magazines.

Pininterest stoking the trend. Proudly displayed suggestions everywhere.

1905-1910.Snow White. Franz Juttner 1865-1925. (US

Nooo! They told me it was organic and local grown! (1905.Snow White.Franz Juttner 1865-1925.(US PD:artist life+70/

Really? That old apple for the teacher won’t work anymore.

Don’t want your child to be scorned because he/she came with nothing as tribute.

Strong effort to give the teacher a positive impression associated with your child’s name.

Besides, apples? Too risky.

Organic or not? That shiny red could be showcase coating put on by the store.

And who knows if there’s a brown spot under that peel?

1921 family scene. "A Poor Relation".Goldwyn Pictures Corp/

“Mom! Everyone else is bringing presents not some lame note.”
(1921Goldwyn Pictures Corp/

Seems odd to me. Bet most teachers would thrilled with a simple note:

Dear Teacher,

I hope you are as happy and curious to meet me as I am to meet you. It’s a new year, and I promise to do my best each day, bring my books and work to class, and put on my listening ears when I walk in the door smiling. I’m a kid, though, so some days you know I may forget or be tired or distracted. Please don’t give up on me. I promise to not hold it against you when you are having a bad day – deal? 

Made even more wonderful if there was a P.S. added by parent/guardian/adult:

P.S. I promise to help by making sure this child gets enough sleep before school, has time to wake up before he/she arrives, and gets breakfast – even if it’s cold pizza – so he/she can think and learn as well as possible. Oh, also if there’s a problem, I promise not to get defensive and assume my kid is perfect and it’s not their fault. I will try to be fair to both of you and listen with an open mind. I am looking forward to meeting you (and the room mother who isn’t me this year) at Open House. And thank you for being a teacher and choosing our school.

But Hallmark probably wouldn’t agree.

Purchased always better.

(How dare people think they can create their own missives. See what freedom of expression leads to!)

Moms try. They do. Like this one. She’s very trying.

1901 Mother Goose.Book of Nursery Tales.Atwood/US

She definitely wasn’t Mother Goose. Different rides.(1901Atwood/

People were just screaming about it. At her performance or out of anger, it’s unclear.

The street drama was staged in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot on one of the hottest days so far.

The first act of over 20 minutes started without her: only concerned security guards and a small, very hot, baby boy in a really cute outfit.

Missed her cue? She was over 20 minutes late making her appearance. (Hey, it’s hard to juggle all those coupons, stuff in a cart, and a wiggly baby. And the lines at the register were so long. Their fault, not hers!)

Security managed to get the door open without breaking the window, then called the police and CPS.

Mom begs for baby rescued from car. screenshot:

Pleeeeease. Pleeeease. I promise. (

When the mom came out and realized what was going on, she went into full street drama mode:

Kneeling on the ground.

Waving arms high. Pleading.

Begging and promising if they would only give her baby back.

Such passion. Such award-winning emotion! 

Gabriel himself would surely have been moved.

But CPS? No.

Her impressive performance did get her some air time, but not really Memory Book worthy.

Might have been an audition winning performance in the right venue, though.

Many strive to create a first impressions that screams “notice me”.

Zombies.  (Scream Team members.ScreamWorld pub. image)

Will scream for pay or fun. (Scream Team members.ScreamWorld pub. image)

ScreamWorld has been holding local auditions for their Haunted Houses which open shortly.

(See those ghostly mirages in the grocery store were a sign!)

Actors must have skills as well as free time: the zombie walk must be mastered as well as a hair-raising scream. Competition during several auditions is tough. Applicants are paired for nose to nose staring contests.

Winning ghouls get a paycheck and make-up stations.

After 25 years, Screamworld haunts are big business

(Have been known to drop off a group of non-driving kids 2 blocks from the ticket booth so no one would see them arrive with parents….Caused a little wailing and screaming off stage until the negotiations were completed.)

Like the weather, seasonal events seem to be slipping into fall costumes earlier this year.

If an Early Warning System was ever needed….

Caution, image below is not for the squeamish or faint of heart….

Better to squelch screams as long as possible.

Oh, the horrors,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Early Christmas sales ads

Warned you not to look. (Newspaper Sunday.Aug 24, 2014)







August 24, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pawsome pool party attempt.

It looked bigger in the pictures.

dog examining wasding pool. No permissions granted all rights reserved. Copyrighted

Pictures online can be so deceiving or is Staff totally unclear on the concept? ©


No permissions granted dogs in wading pool all rights reserved. copyrighted

Giant water bowl? Nonsense. Obviously a foot bath and wallowing pond. Splash down in progress. ©

Get the car keys, we’ll trade it in on something more our size.

Staff should watch this instructional video before attempting another purchase.



August 22, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bob: Sixteen, not sweet. Dogs.

no permission granted. all rights reserved. copyright

Alert. Save yourself. I’m busy. ©

Advisory note.

Blanket statement: get one.

Terrible two romping and bumping. Dogs

Plot (verb):

RC Cat wary.

Plot (noun):

Ground paw-pounded.

no permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyright

Double Trouble: Molly and The German ©

Employ camouflage or fast shoes.

Distract and redirect.

Other notes from the ledge.

Recreation risky.




More Bob here.

More distraction, dawgs.



August 21, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Flat grass. Birds targeted.

Dear German,

Things here are pretty flat without you.

No permissions granted. all rights reserved. Copyrighted

Can you see me? It’s research. Really. ©

I’m staying busy. Being productive. Research as shown here.

RC Cat read about an Ohio airport adopting a new method  to discourage birds from visiting the runway areas.

Instead of shooting, poisoning, or shooting off fireworks to terrorize flocks, they are planting tall prairie grass.

The big birds like Canadian geese are suspicious that predators might be hiding in the grass.

Seems like a natural solution.

So here I am pretending to be …what a wolf? Feral cat? Why doesn’t RC do her own research?

Maybe this is some plot to see if RC herself could lurk and leap out at the birds when they visit the bird feeder.

I’ll not be party to that. It’s nominal participation – just to keep the peace.

all rights reserved. copyrighted. no permission granted

What if I curl up a bit? Can you see me now? ©

Prairie grass works for me.

The prairie grasses are tough plants. You can mush and crush them and they spring back for more.

Grasses don’t have to be trimmed much so people have more time to throw balls or land planes.

Plants soak up water and carbon dioxide.

RC says that’s lucky. It’s hot. No dog keep from panting. And I do, too, wipe my feet when I come in after playing in the sprinkler…or someone grabs me and towels them, so I don’t know what she means by that.

Prairie grass is a whole lot better than what Houston’s big airport was doing.

People got outraged when poison bait was feed to birds there. All those thrashing little birds dying long horrible deaths all over the sidewalk, parking garages and in full view of public.

Grim, cruel, and inhumane. They deserved to be called out by that TV station. (Disturbing video here)

German, people are so odd. Or self-centered.

The birds are just doing normal bird things like migrating with the seasons. Birds want to stop for a night’s rest just like people do.

The birds don’t realize people have evicted them from their favorite resort areas.

Airport guys better find some way to let the birds know.

No fair being mad because the birds aren’t cooperating.

Seems people are having the same problem after building some solar panel projects, too.

Did anyone ask for input from the birds?

Pretty rude. Birds are steaming.  In mid-air.

RC said something about birds striking.

But, German, how can they? How would they hold the signs?

Can’t imagine them walking around for long on those little toes when they have wings – then there’s the sign holding  problem again…signs won’t do much for bird aerodynamics.

German, just between you and me, should people consider creating a bird Bed and Breakfast in an alternative location?

A nice rice or grain field safely off to the side with a little water feature.

Airport guys need to remember tall prairie grasses can encourage little field mice to move in.

Some big birds have no self-control. Some must like diving into danger.

Impulse driven. Can’t stay out of trouble.

(Possibly comes from perching around people too much and picking up bad habits.)

Well, RC says that’s people’s business, and I’m to concentrate on  prairie grass research now.

Maybe you can help.

Not with the grass smushing or hiding in the flowerbed, but with that demanding cat.

She needs to be taken down a notch or two…

I have all sorts of hijinks planned for our sleepover.

I know where a frog lives – we can poke him out of there.

You’ll be so busy you won’t have time to miss your Person. (I promise not to bite your tail…so much)

Rest up now and get ready.

It’ll be flat-out fun.

Yours in paws

Molly, the Marvelous (More bounce per ounce!)

all rights reserved. No permissions granted. Coprighted

Just like a wolf waiting for geese. Easy. No I’m not waiting for that frog to come out from under the bush. That would be recreational smushing. This is research. ©


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