Feed the banana slug


I walked to the barn this morning a misty and chilly Fall Saturday.  Its time to feed the banana slug.  And while I was there I fed Tony the mule, Roxie our young paint horse and old Chief, who eats two flakes of grass to fill his big warm barrel of a belly.  Slug has been slipping in under the back barn door to visit the dry powdered dirt floor and suck at grass hay and floor droppings for over a year.  You and I feed her kitty kibble and horse chow. Today I carefully placed a pellet of chow at her front (the place with the snail-like feelers…the other end was pushing out a dark mass; clearly not the eating side.)  When you come with me on these morning feeding trips, you set a kibble too close to her bony yellow mouth and frighten her feelers back in.  But after a few seconds she dares to check what you delivered.  She must be able to smell it (see it?).  Then you flatten yourself and lie close to listen.  Munch, munch.  Yes, we hear her chewing. (really, try it) She grates at the tiny kibble and slides slowly toward it as her beak pushes it away with each bite.  She can eat the whole thing and travel as far as six or ten feet to finish it.  She’s grown quite large and I hope is healthy eating these occasional treats. Cholesterol a concern?  I’ll ck to see if there is a research project going at UC on the topic.

A few weeks ago CPS was here to visit after receiving a complaint.  I was off working that evening, but Grandpa was here. You showed them your paining easel, your tent and the food hoop.  Your mommy was worried and daddy was angry.  This is hard stuff.  I’m glad that your grandpa could hold you while the officer and social worker talked to your mom and dad.  I wish you could have show her your pet slug.  And described to her which end eats and show her the sound they make with their jaws. You have support here.  People love you and some of us know how to take care of you.

While auntie Robin is away we have been visiting with Grammie every week.  We went to the beach where you confidently jumped in the waves, keeping your eyes toward the sea for rogue waves.  I tried to use surf language and we laughed as I made up terms.  Hey, that’s a tunnel curl, cool.  Here comes the surge, swell and spill, you said as we left.  We are too cool for our own board shorts!

Then this week, in the cold and chilly weather, we visited a pumpkin patch.  Grammie pulled Ellie over the bumpy rows and you sought the perfect fairy house pumpkins.  We loaded a few white, orange and one green squash into the car and went to the park.You came home and reconstructed the patch, but added a train going around the fenced patch and a construction site playground in the middle. Liza kept crashing through it making you so mad that I put her in the tub to play for awhile. She sure loves everything you do, buddy.  She watches you all the time; and just began calling your name. (sounds a little like Ori)

Today is Saturday, you are home with mommy for the first morning in 5 days.  Nice in your snuggly little tent.  I’ll see you later.  Today we’ll write a book.  I have the pictures all ready for you, building site, sluggy, Tony, pumpkin patch and a horse that can crack eggs!  I’ll write what you say. Love gma

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