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November 30, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Certified Free Spirit.

The whirling and dancing started early in the kitchen.

Give up on the attention span. Forget the redirecting. No way.

After weeks of rushing to arrive on time and in ready position.

The quickly hushing of excited little voices.

The comical intensity of their faces while listening and trying what to remember to practice at home

(NO! THIS is the way she said. No, mom. I was there. I heard! THIS way.)

(I hear you muttering, young lady. Enough.)

Ballet lessons. Degas.1878 (Public domain. Yorck

Even the TV shows jingle and tease with Nutcracker notes.

Better practice.

Everyone will be watching.

All good intentions over.

Time to perform.

And in addition, there would be a Cer-tif-i-cate!

With her name on it: Hand signed in elegant script – none of that printer stick letter stuff.

With swirls and flourishes.

All her own.

Suitable for framing.

Her first.

Oh, the joy!


The car ride, an eternity.

Seat belt?

I am sitting quietly.

 Why not make faces at them? They were staring.

I am not bouncing around.

Can you please get in the other lane? That car is going too slow.

There. There. Park there. We can walk.

No it’s not muddy. Oh, I’ll hop across.

I will not get my feet dirty feet.

No, You do not need to straighten my collar. It is not crooked.

Oh, hurry.

Practice over.

Time to prance a little heart out: reveal the passion and dedication.

4 Ballerinas painting by Degas (1885-1890. Public domain image in US as copyright

The line formed.

Each a study of concentration – alternating with quick glances for reassurance.

Ready. The tiny toes carefully placed.

The steps, a few hours ago done with confidence, would pressure make them hesitate: timid and unsure?

Then, they flowed like streamers in the wind: across and around.

The patterns remembered.

Oh, the pride!

Finally the release. The sighs of relief.

Happy grins at what comes next: the awarding of the Cer-tif-i-cates.

One by one: An individual time to shine. Beaming in front of all others.

This is it: The culmination of weeks of work

Oh, no. Pay attention! It’s time for the Cer-tif-i-cate!

Ballerina with flowers. Degas, 1877 (Public domain. Yorck

She missed her name.

She’s focused on the table full of treats – and how many steps it will take…

Oh, OK. The instructor just walked over.

Careful. Don’t want it smudged or rumpled.

We’ll just put it over here.

Whew. That went well.

Nooooo, Molly. Nooooo!


The others want theirs without punctures and tooth marks.

Release. NOW. Noooooo, Molly. Nooooo! Let go!

Sorry. Here.

A few dents, but not torn.

Yes, she is fast.

Guess we could use a few more manners classes.

The sign up sheet?

You have her name already on it?

In elegant hand written script.

So, she made a name for herself. 

(She looked just like the one on the certificate right?)


Embracing the free spirit,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge


  1. robstroud / Nov 30 2012 8:57 pm

    It’s wonderful to see a young lady so excited about her education!


  2. Beth / Nov 30 2012 9:03 pm

    Congratulations, Molly!!! High-paw!


  3. Robin / Nov 30 2012 9:12 pm

    Congratulations, Molly! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2012 9:53 pm

      Bouncing Molly will be hard to live with now. She’s feeling so smart. Thanks for the woof!


  4. Sunshine / Nov 30 2012 9:14 pm

    Way to go Molly! Yay!!!!;)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2012 9:55 pm

      And of course, now Molly thinks she knows it all. Well, almost as much as the service dog in training that was there just for socializing practice – now that’s a serious dog! Thanks for bounding over


  5. katecrimmins / Nov 30 2012 9:14 pm

    Big purrs from this house!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2012 9:56 pm

      Even RC seems proud of her…but staff has been giving her extra mousies recently. Thanks for the paw waves!


  6. PiedType / Nov 30 2012 9:34 pm

    LOL! I was so getting into the little ballerinas, the Nutcracker, thinking about my granddaughter’s dance recitals, etc. And then … Molly! Way to go, Molly!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2012 9:58 pm

      There are Nutcracker ads all over down here for the Houston Ballet performances – all the little girls are dreaming of tutus. Molly no doubt is ready to dance with them, too. Glad you swirled along


  7. My Ox is a Moron / Nov 30 2012 10:42 pm

    Way to go Molly! That is a huge accomplishment. I need to practice more with my pup.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 3:02 am

      It’s still some days better than others….she’s only eaten 1 leash and 2 collars. Thanks for dog trotting over


  8. jmmcdowell / Dec 1 2012 12:32 am

    Congratulations to Molly! I wonder how long she was planning that little escapade with the certificates?!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 3:07 am

      She’s definitely always plotting something. Maybe she was trying to impress Gunther the retired military bomb sniffing dog. I didn’t realize they don’t train bomb dogs to leash walk, sit, and stuff….He’s beginning to figure it all out and bond with the lady that adopted him. He’s a shepherd – and you could watch his face and see him trying to figure out exactly what the desired outcome was. Molly was the party girl of the class…even if not blond. (We are really sorry about the tooth indentations in the certificates, really) Thanks for slipping the leash to chat


  9. cult of otis / Dec 1 2012 1:52 am

    I’ve got my eye on you Molly! Congratulations though. 🙂

    – Brother Henry


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 3:14 am

      RC Cat: “Welcome Brother Henry! This Molly still is not quite as calm as We wish for Our realm. Earlier We had to give a 2 paw reprimand to her snoot – We do not appreciate wet dog noses on Our back! We shall insist on additional manner practice for her. A cheery paw wave awarded for your kind words.”


  10. littlesundog / Dec 1 2012 2:19 am

    Tori, Zoe, and Bear are doing chin spins in your honor, Molly! Daisy deer has disappeared the past couple of days, but I know she’d do a little leap in celebration!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 3:17 am

      Molly is thrilled with all the attention. It’s a start – we may drop her nickname Molly, the Mauler” as she is more considerate about not running into us at full speed now. One step at a time. Darn that Daisy – so glad the neighbors watch out for her, too!


  11. Ally Bean / Dec 1 2012 11:51 am

    As a human free spirit I applaud Molly on what must of been a difficult course of study for her. All that focus and doing what she was told! Oy vey, the stress. But she persevered and now has something with which to decorate her home. That was the point of the class, right? Home decor.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 2:25 pm

      Exactly – and she suddenly decided if 1 is good, several is better! THanks for lighting here for a woof


  12. shelleyburbank / Dec 1 2012 1:50 pm

    You had me going right up to the surprise ending. Now all I can picture is a puppy in a tutu, thank you very much:)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 2:26 pm

      It’s the time of year for surprises. Glad you found something to tickle your brain. Thanks for joining the pack


  13. Snoring Dog Studio / Dec 1 2012 2:04 pm

    Ah, a well-behaved pup! Wonderful. The world needs more of them. It really is annoying to walk a dog who’s leaning away from the leash and pulling. But so many of us put up with it!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2012 2:28 pm

      Molly will work for food…no snack, well, she’ll have to think about it. But most of the time she’ll walk comfortably…unless it’s cool. Santa better bring me some new running shoes. Thanks for barking along


  14. cecilia / Dec 1 2012 3:44 pm

    Loud laughter.. you had me!! Good dog!! c


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 2 2012 4:01 pm

      It’s the time of year for surprises! Wishing you a smooth journey. Thanks for dancing over


  15. The Hook / Dec 1 2012 3:59 pm

    From start to finish, you consistently craft a unique and fun product, my friend. Nicely done once more.


  16. writingfeemail / Dec 1 2012 4:48 pm

    Paws-itively excited for you and Molly. Actually, this is a gift for the entire family. Well done.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 2 2012 4:05 pm

      Now to see if the lesson hold once cold weather comes…it’s easy to walk slow in 80 degrees! But so far, so good. Thanks for celebrating along with the pack


  17. rumpydog / Dec 1 2012 7:29 pm

    Oh Molly! Way to go girlfriend! I flunked out of charm school ya know…. *sigh*


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 2 2012 4:11 pm

      Molly: “Woo Woo! Great event Rumpy. The extra large giant chocolate Labs was so excited he had to go to doggie time out behind the wall. It was a riot! I looked mild mannered in comparison. You would have loved it! Hope your day if full of high bounces!”


  18. jannatwrites / Dec 2 2012 4:16 am

    Hahaha! The certificate said nothing about not chewing certificates, so that must be covered in the next course?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 2 2012 4:14 pm

      Molly: “My person says they gave us a cer-tif-i-cate to get us to leave. Ha. So not true. Why pay attention if person is out of treats? Bouncing holiday greetings to you…now on my way to taste, uh help carry the Christmas light strings…. Thanks fro pawsing!”


  19. shoreacres / Dec 2 2012 5:11 pm

    What fun! And close to home, too. Really, I don’t care what kind of creature it is, a dog or a human pre-schooler, a college student or a creaky oldster with access to google – learning is fun, and skill acquisition is, too.

    Congrats to Molly. Maybe next, we can get her into a different kind of classroom!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 3 2012 2:57 pm

      Staff will be printing out that image and taping it above Molly’s food as inspiration.
      I think she has been watching Bart on the Simpson’s a little too much. But having to go to a structured class seems to have helped…although “heel” designation is a bit amusing at this point. THanks for heading to class over here


  20. ivonprefontaine / Dec 5 2012 1:25 am

    Thank you for stopping and liking today’s post. I look forward to following a blog that involves a mouse who is a philosopher. I was lured into the trap when I saw the title and was unable to escape when I realized there might be a cat involved. I look forward to your insightful commentary.

    Take care,



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 5 2012 3:13 am

      Enjoyed touring your blog – lots of interesting stuff there – thanks for visiting here.


  21. EllaDee / Dec 6 2012 12:49 am

    Way to go Molly-Star 🙂 Life is so much easier if you know the rules, even if from time to time just to be able to flaunt them…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 6 2012 4:02 pm

      Molly: “And if you have a cer-tif-i-cate people look at you differently!…and get less annoyed when you want to have fun and be wild…they just shake their heads and go “she does know what to do, she just doesn’t feel like it?” Thanks for bouncing along



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