I saw the neighbors’ woodchuck shuffling around in our backyard in an amble that also caused every sparrow in the world to fly away from our bird feeder. Also, if you’re missing a sparrow, it’s probably flying back to you after visiting our bird feeder this afternoon.
Saw they’ve got the kid-size car righted and standing on the edge of the patio, so it looks like they had no trouble getting things sorted out with the Kiddie Car Insurance people and finding a reliable Kiddie Mechanic. I wonder if they went to the place on the corner with the quietly despairing signs. Well, it’s still good to see they have that fixed. I hope they’re having fun.
Their woodchuck was unavailable for comment.
I do not envy the neighbors today, because I see that the kiddie-size car was flipped over on its back. I don’t know how it happened, but I know how stressful and exhausting it is to deal with the Kiddie Car Insurance Agency. I hope they can get through the trouble all right. I feel like I should offer them a hug or bake them a cake or something.
They’ve got a woodchuck living in their yard! An actual woodchuck, all ready to come over and chuck some wood if they would. On top of all the other stuff they’ve got going on, they’re also going to be able to run their very own early-end-of-winter forecasts? That’s just too much, right? Why can’t we have a woodchuck living in our yard? We’ve got a great yard, it’s got a fence that really annoyed the other neighbors, and we’ve got this squirrel feeder that we found a real live worried mouse in the other day, and a goldfish pond, and a bunch of perennials that I can’t tell apart but that have names that sound like the butler in some low-effort 1930s cozy mystery movie series starring a reformed cat burglar, like, “Astilbe” and “Yarrow” and “Fescue” and stuff. And they get a woodchuck. I just can’t.
Like, I guess, everybody except the people at the end of the world we have neighbors. One set of ours has some fun stuff in the backyard. One of those trampolines like you see as one-bid prizes on The Price Is Right. A little canvas tent to make sunny summer afternoons pleasant to lounge in. A bunch of kid toys, little plastic slides, child-size cars, tetherballs, you know, stuff. Apart from the days each of these pieces were brought in, though, they’ve never used them. Now, I’ve told you all about how much I don’t how to have fun myself. But I can recognize signs of fun in other people. And now it’s got me worried that the fun that I’m not having is of a lower quality than the fun that the neighbors are not having. I don’t see any way out of this unless they have another trampoline party.
The rich man has his motor-car
His country and his town estate
He smokes a fifty-cent cigar
And jeers at fate.
He frivols through the livelong day,
He knows not Poverty her pinch.
His lot seems light, his heart seems gay,
He has a cinch.
Yet though my lamp burns low and dim,
Though I must slave for livelihood —
Think you that I would change with him?
You bet I would!