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This is a Metaphor. A Gross, Upsetting Metaphor

So you know the tale of An A Bunnies, circa 2008. And you know that here in 2015, just minutes before 12 people showed up at my house for dinner, Bagel-Dog discovered a skunk living under the garden shed and took a big blast of Smell right in his face.

Here is what you do not know: Between 2008 and 2010, Bagel enthusiastically caught and held 3 or maybe 4 more An A Bunnies. We would hear Ansley trumpeting out triumphant barkings, and we would run to the yard to see Bagel standing mystified and weirded out with a rabbit in his mouth.

The rabbits were to a Lapin all fainted and damp and sure they were dead. We would go peel the moistened little fellows out of his face, and they would blink and drunkenly hop away, not understanding how they were alive. They were like the rabbit versions of THIS guy:

But. Alas. Then. One day. During the “snatching up An a Bunnies in his maw” part. The Inevitable happened. Bagel accidentally…pierced one a little.

Now, Bagel is literally the stupidest animal alive. Inside his head is white noise and joy, and that is all. He is like moss with feet.

But when he accidentally pierced the an a bunnies, he came to understand that the running thing he’d felt so compelled to chase and grab was actually a form of very fast food.

This was just a TERRIBLE discovery. TERRIBLE.

I remember the first time Ansley came panting and foaming and capering and leaping to the back door, barking and wagging, SO PROUD. In dog whole body language she was saying: I PROCLAIM THE MIGHT AND WISDOM OF MY ALPHA! FOR HE HATH CAUGHT THE RUNNING FOOD, AND LO, IT IS FOR EATING! SOON IT WILL BE MY TURN! COME AND SEE THE GLORY, THE GLORY OF BAGEL.

So we went out to see what had Ansley all lathery and smug, and the scene the flashlight picked out of the darkness was of course very terrible. One bad part was the dear and stupid worried face of Bagel. He was absolutely PANICKING. And GUILT SOAKED.

HELP ME, his desperate face said. HELP ME I CAN’T STOP EATING THIS AND SOMEHOW I KNOW IT IS WRONG TO BE EATING IT HELP ME I CANNOT STOP. All the while, Ansley capered and gibbered around him OUT OF HER TINY MIND with delight, completely unrepentant and eager for a go. I shall draw a veil over this and simply tell you that I went inside. Scott helped him stop eating it.

Now I will provide you with some information, mercifully using NO imagery, with NO attempt to paint a word picture. It is simply a single sentenceworth of information that you someday may find useful, though I hope for your sake and the sake of small furry innocents everywhere that you never need it. Ready? Here it is:

IF your dog eats the better part of a yard rabbit, then right around three am, you can expect to see said rabbit—or parts of it, anyway—appear IN YOUR BED and ON YOUR PERSON in a new and horrifying form. Here endeth the information. Do with it what you will.

I never TOLD you this for a very simple reason—It’s awful. This story begins with dismemberment and ends in SPECTACULAR diarrhea. Who wants to read that?

Worse, once Bagel learned that the an a bunnies was A FOOD – well. He understood that ALL yard animals are for eating. Rabbits, squirrels, deflated little moles, he has caught and killed and eaten UMPTY of them. A month or so ago, I watched him dash across the yard, take a twisting leap, and EAT A WHOLE SMALL BIRD right out of the air. It was like the dog version of THIS:

But—other than making sure his shots are VERY up to date—what can I do? It is his nature. He can’t NEVER GO OUTSIDE. Outside is where he poops, best case scenario. And, on nights when he eats a fat yard rabbit, the yard is ALSO where he sleeps.

I tell you this awful story now for two reasons.

First, so that you know how the skunk story ended. I solicited your advice, and indeed, we were going to call a skunk whisperer to relocate the fellow. But. Well.

Bagel— who is too stupid to have learned anything from having his face near-blasted off by foul gland fluids in his first skunk-encounter—relocated a goodly portion of the skunk to his belly and the rest of the skunk to various locations in and around the yard. It was terrible! Terrible! Terrible! on MANY level, not the least of which was that the skunk managed to thoroughly re-soak the dog in Smell as a protest.

Second, it’s a metaphor for why the blog has been so quiet thepast few years. As you have gathered, my life has been a little fraught with skunk stories. I have had more skunk stories than miraculous An A Bunnies stories, that’s for sure. I feel like in some ways I have lost the voice of the blog. There is a giddiness, an optimism, an odd certainty in the older FTK entries that I think may well be over now.

I am not sure how to find that voice again, or even if I should. Maybe the blog needs to evolve? Maybe it’s okay for the voice to change? Or maybe it should be a less frequent blog that I write when I CAN find that old voice, to try and preserve it? I am not sure, but I am open to responses.

I can tell you that I miss being here. I miss hearing from you, Oh my Best Beloveds.

32 comments to This is a Metaphor. A Gross, Upsetting Metaphor

  • Becky

    The voice can change – that seems like a necessary part of life. I’m not in favor of the “less frequent” option, though – I miss you!

  • Klint Demetrio


  • kathy

    We miss you too! Voice changing is a part of life I think. It is constantly evolving.

  • Jen the Goddess in Virginia

    The voice is YOU, Joss, in whatever shape your brain happens to be in right now. Even full of skunk stories. We will commiserate and lift and roll around in skunk stories with you. Our lives have skunk stories too. And we misses you.

  • Holly Gault

    Evolution is life. We will grow and change with you.

  • Mittnay

    Your blog is the little window of you that you let us share. You’ve changed over the years, we’ve changed over the years. Pretty please don’t let the blog stagnate. Let it grow – help us grow (and find laughter in skunk stories) – and reminisce (pink socks?) and let the kudzu of your mind run amok here 🙂

  • Amy-Go

    Tell the skunk stories, Tulip. Life is full of them for everyone. Sharing is how you find out you’re not alone.

  • Jill W.

    Wait… by evolve, you don’t mean grow as a person do you? ; )

    I would love to see you post more, and I have no preconceived notions of what your voice should sound like here. I will gladly show up for the a bunnies and skunks, alike.

    I agree with Amy-Go 100%.

  • Who-you-are-at-one-moment-in-time is far less interesting than who you are throughout several moments.

    Otherwise, you’d only write short stories, right? This is just a newer moment.

    It’s scary to let the darker voice come in. It might get comfortable and start taking over the place. Getting grime on all the pink socks and getting the couch all skunky.

    But I think that unless you let the darker voice come in, the brighter voice is going to be too busy keeping it out to do anything else.

    Try it out. You can always evict it, but it seems worth the darker voice to be around if the brighter voice can work on other things, too.

  • J Myers

    We will take you (and your blog) in whatever flavor may be manifesting itself in your life on any given day, and we’ll be grateful for it and for you. Meanwhile, if you or anyone else on the dog-loving planet has missed out on the joy that is ‘Dogs In Elk,’ here is a link to it (with the warning that it can induce dangerous levels of there-but-for-fortune-go-I laughter: http://web.mit.edu/munch/Public/humor/elk

  • Brigitte

    It’s like your innocent and beautiful childhood was torn away from you in one horrible, blood-soaked moment!

    I, like Alix, think it might be interesting for your writing to explore the dark side. You still love Bagel, even though he is now slaughterer-of-bunnies-et-al, so I think you may well have yet more growing as a person happening. Whether or not you want to. 🙁

  • Brigitte

    J. Myers, that link is hilarious!

  • JenniferG

    Oh Ms. Jackson…we will take FTK anyway we can – dark, evolved (gasp!), occasional little bits. Well, as long as it doesn’t interfere with novel-writing.

    OMG J Myers….can’t stop laughing at that link!

  • CindyS

    Anything by you….anything!….is better than nothing from you!!

  • Chris of the Woodwork

    Oh my. Poor Bagel. Poor you. *patpatpat*

    Evolve the blog however you wish, m’dear. We will be here for both the dark and the light, waiting for words.

    But do write. Please do.

  • I can say it no better than Mittnay up there in the top 10, as I have my own proverbial skunk stories, though in the form of lower backs and stressors, and being cussed by 14 year olds more than I care to admit. Please don’t go. I face no face books, and your voice reminds me that I am not alone either. Here’s my hand. You can high five it, knuckle bump it, or hang on to it.

  • Dogs in elk is amazingly hilarious. We only had Deer, and if Daddy got an elk he was in Colorado while we and our dogs were safely tucked away in an elk-less Louisiana.

  • rams

    Write the blog. Post the blog. Happy-mask not required.

  • Debra

    Oh Mademoiselle Joss is Boss, dark/light, day/night, black/white, 50 shades of gross, it’s all a peek inside the marvelous working of your pretty, pretty brain and I believe we, your best beloveds, will take what we can get and be pleased for any output. We heartses you!!

  • Blogs evolve, authors evolve, it’s just part of life. As for me, I’ll never be the same person I was 5 or 10 years ago. And that’s okay 🙂

    Cheers to you for being real. Laura

  • Jennifer

    It’s funny that you posted this today. Within the last 24 hours, I was thinking about how much I miss the blog, and I wondered whether the reason you weren’t blogging as much was because your kids are older, so there are fewer “aw, cute,” stories (plus, they might object now), or because you are in a place in life where there are fewer hilarious things to say and you aren’t that into saying the non-hilarious things (which is yours to choose). And then, this. Well, it all depends on what you want to accomplish right now with the blog. It sounds as though you want to continue it. Must it always have one tone? Only if that’s what you want it to be. But if it isn’t genuine, I’m afraid we’ll sense it. So…you can see that everyone so far is interested in you telling us the genuine things that you want to tell us. But we are all aware that you aren’t our best girlfriend (sniff), and have a right to save intimacy for your intimates. We’ll love what you write, no matter what, because you are just such a dolgarn good writer.

  • michelle

    I like skunks…and dogs…and you too…write what’s real.

  • Linda J

    You have been missed! You are loved! And FTK is missed! Life happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly it happens to all of us. I’m glad you are posting again. This reminds me when you were at an event and the picture of you was from younger years not the most current one. We change and evolve thats just who we are. It doesn’t erase who we were it just shows us how far we have come. Please share, post what ever you like! You will be well received! Someone Else’s Love Story in paperback was released and it was sad for me that there was no post. A new novel finished and no post about soaring mental health numbers. Your writing friends have had books published and there have been no rave reviews from my favorite author. These are the events that have usually made FTK posts appear but your silence within these has been concerning. Please post. How else can we anticipate novel releases for 6 months? And besides who can resist your critter stories! Love you!

  • Jessica (the celt)

    You’ve already preserved the voice via the archives, which is part of what blogging is for. You’re supposed to shift voices if it means remaining true to yourself, and what we like best is that you are just that: yourself. It’s YOU we come here for, not sunshine and bluebirds, and we’ll come if you write about skunks or the An A Bunnies.

    We miss hearing from you…

  • Jabberwocky

    I miss your posts. I’ll read regardless of what your voice has evolved into; it is still _your_ writing and that is what I come here for. You’re a damn good writer and that will always shine through.

  • edj

    Evolution is inevitable. I vote for less frequent. But you have to do what works for you.

  • Sue Sume

    You write, I read, the world unfolds as it will. Embrace the good, the bad and the skunky—well, maybe not the skunky…

  • angeliptonicedtea

    ‘Take the pen in your uncertain fingers….’everything kills…let it flow let it flow let it flow…
    Humour saves us and allows us this ‘living arrangement’ with death…at the end of every path…lets all laugh our heads off to our graves or charnel grounds… irreverent reverence…

  • I makes me crazy jealous that you can write such a gross blog post that I so thoroughly enjoy. Your voice is wonderful in all stages of its evolution. From pink socks to relocated skunks… I have enjoyed every word.

  • Oh how I have missed your blog! Fellow pet owners all have our own skunk stories, and we never get tired of telling them either, so go ahead, share the gross. Your storytelling makes it fun to read, no matter how your voice will grow and change.

  • L Lillian

    Just write when you feel like writing, do not overthink it. Nor dwell upon the tone.

    Like a farm in a beautiful valley some times it will be pretty, some times cold, sometimes dark, some times simply hard work, yet the very differences of each season yields a richness, and without dark and cold one could never delight in the surreal magic of walking upon fresh snow in brilliant starlight.

  • Embrace the change. Change can be beautiful and is a necessary component of living. Please don’t stop! I love your words and phrases and however joyous or dark; however funny or moving, you’re blog is a wonderful place to be.