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January 9, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The When and the Whistle

With whistles you have to mention the appropriate time and place.

No intention of causing trouble, but you know how it goes.

There are occasions when dogs are not encouraged – even if they have radar scoop ears and herding abilities.

Partly because of the inability to walk past a prairie dog burrow without stating an archeological dig. And then there’s the nosy curiosity if there’s a sluggish half awake snake on the ground trying to warm itself. Sometime man’s best friend gets left at home to snooze on the couch.

Actually, even guardian dogs of preschoolers secretly wish for a day off.

Worried German Shepherd curled up on couch. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted.)

“What, me worry? You betcha now that he’s up and running, running, running….” (© image)

Preschoolers are the original perpetual motion machine.

Faster than a speeding bullet. Able to leap tall boulders  – without a single look to see what is on the other side.

Totally throwing themselves full throttle into wherever they are (“Poison ivy. Leaves of 3. No that’s 2. Wait you don’t have to actually touch each leaflet as you count.”)

Kids really get into life.

And that’s the issue: a kid can get getting so far in, no one knows where they are.

So Santa brought a whistle: an official Jr. Park Ranger Adventure Whistle.

Perfect hiking coat accessory…we thought. Parents, oddly, less than enthusiastic.

Maybe we should have role played a couple of “OMG where’s the kid?” scenarios around the house. Practice sessions. Just to concrete the “give a little whistle if suddenly you can’t see mom on the trail” concept.

Ever seen a German Shepherd bolt from a dead sleep lump on the couch to startled wide awake, eyes wild, ears flung horizontal to full extent and standing on tippy toes? Really not fair to sneak up on a slumbering dog and blow a whistle right between the ears…especially between large ears.

stuffed dog toy with a terrified expression . Scooby-Doo (Amazon image)

Ella Bella can do a pretty good terrified Scooby-Doo imitation.  (Amazon image)

Whistle stop:

Official Jr Park Ranger Whistle is now in the probably permanent Time Out pile in the kitchen…along with the plastic fireman’s hatchet that came with Halloween’s fireman costume.

The worst was Ella’s sad eyes asking us with “How could you do this to me?”. (We swear she pleads “Take me, too” when we depart.)

WWSB do? Smokey the Bear.

He’d probably say hold off on the “Official Jr. Park Ranger 7-1 Adventure Tool” with the detachable magnifying glass. You know about boys, magnifying glasses, and dry foliage….

Maybe the official Jr Ranger vest. It has lots of pockets. Little kids like to pick up stuff….(If it’s moving leave it alone – it’s mommy would miss it! Rocks. Here’s a nice rock.)

Small boys are much like hawks. Heed the falconer’s or Shakespeare’s advice. Have courage and release them to whistle down the wind.

(But stay in sight – for just a little while. It flies so fast.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

“My mother would thump me sharply on the head with a thimble or a spoon if I became too noisy with the whistle when I was playing I was a steamboat captain. She had no sense of the dignity of command.” (Lincoln Steffens, American journalist…who knew how to be a kid.)

 Smokey the Bear "Only You" 1989 poster (USPD. by USDA agent/Nat. Ag. Lib, MD/

Only you can teach them how stuff works. And HA! Good luck with that. We’re leaving now. Karma. (Smokey the Bear 1989/USPD/



Leave a Comment
  1. easyweimaraner / Jan 9 2020 7:32 am

    whistles can be sneaky… if you really need them they are on strike (spit inside ugh) and you have to scream like a banshee by yourself what makes you a bad reputation if you use too much words with f…


  2. Kate Crimmins / Jan 9 2020 7:44 am

    This made me laugh. Yes you have to touch the leaves to count them! 🙂 I remember wanting to “rescue” tadpoles from a local stream only to be talked out of it. Something about it’s mommy. My mom did not allow whistles in the house (or drums or other noisy toys). This may be why parents embraced electronics. Mostly no noise! Hugs to Ella! She’s a trooper.


  3. Anne Mehrling / Jan 9 2020 8:25 am

    We don’t own a dog, but I might become ballistic around a shrill whistle.


  4. marina kanavaki / Jan 9 2020 8:41 am

    “….ears flung horizontal to full extent and standing on tippy toes” I know the image exactly!!!!!!!!!! 😂🤣😂🤣


  5. shoreacres / Jan 9 2020 4:13 pm

    I’d forgotten the thimble thump. On the back of the head, it was attention-getting: at least, for the moment. Everyone from the Coast Guard to the various through-hiking organizations suggest a good whistle as part of any survival gear; I’d never considered what a whistle like that could do between the ears of someone like Ella. Poor baby — I wonder what a magnifying glass would do to a patch of sunlit fur? (Shhhh… don’t even mention that one aloud.)


  6. Ally Bean / Jan 10 2020 7:19 am

    Oh what a picture you describe. A whistle is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands & mouth. But makes for a good story.


  7. susielindau / Jan 10 2020 9:53 am

    I bought myself a whistle for skiing and hiking. It includes a compass and a thermometer. I’m going to clip it onto my jacket. Every once in awhile, I’m in the trees and lose everyone.
    Happy New Year, Phil!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 12 2020 1:38 pm

      We always have whistles on the sailing life jackets …better than chunking’ stuff to scare the seagulls off the deck (and you hope that’s all they are ever used for.) Makes sense to tuck on in a pocket in so many environments.. sound might work better in forests than waves. May your New Year be filled with many paths!


      • susielindau / Jan 12 2020 7:39 pm

        Yes!! I plan to take it with me while skiing and hiking.

        Happy New Year to you!


  8. RKLikesReeses / Jan 10 2020 10:01 am

    OWWWW! Whistles!! 😡

    You told this so well that I winced!


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