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gracie's world 2000


gracie's summer camp notebook

Gracie's World

September 2000


How I Spent My Summer
by Chickenloaf Toedancer
Composition 1

This summer I learned to swim a camp we went swimmin' swimming all the time. It was so fun. Also excellent exercise. It is so fun everything looks Vastly Different under the water and it sounds like some manner of blooping and sometime you can see Ben's orange legs paddlin' plus some big fishes that are commun commonly known as Caraway Seeds and it was so fun! Also trouts.

Caraway Seeds are these fishes that live only in the water they live on cigarette buts and things that fall into lakes and they give birth to live eggs! The eggs then hatch and become food for toads and fish. This is called some kind of big round thing of life. It was pretty fun.

Camp was fun when Ben found a big bote that somebody lost so that's pretty good! The boat it was full of irons so I guess there was a lot of winkled pinafores and pantywaists for a long while after that bote was lost! It was a big bote but not the TITANIC. Pia she got a splintered foot.

When I got home from camp Mom she bought me this nice red wagon called a American Beauty on account of it was my birthday also Gracie's birthday. Gracie she got a PawPilot.

Also I almost forgot we have two new little sisters that Ben calls Poor Lost Lambs. But they are not lambs but are small cats. They have names. Snooples and Chessie. When Dad comes home from Ben's Naive Lane he will cut the scrivvels out of everybodys fur.

Also Gracie she found this toad at Summer Camp and now he lives in a plastic food container with a stone and some crinkled leaves his name is Bufo Woodhouse and she feeds that toad sausage bits.

Mom does not know about that toad.

A PawPilot is like a EtchaSketch of Olden Times. Gracie she writes on it with her claw. She is so smart. She has a scrivvel problem on her hind legs. Charlie he pulls us around in the wagon sometimes when he is not studying for the Medical Boreds. The wheels creak but not bad.

This summer we got to go to Ani Difranco and Pia she wore some old bibbed overhauls and some red barrettes in her ears and she looked extremely cute with those red barrettes in her ears and Ben he wore a long dress. We asked him Ben why are you wearing a long dress anyhow? Ben he says it is Very Freeing but me I like tights and jumpers.

Whatever, anyways mostly this summer was swimming. Some tennis but not much. Also I rode a horse a little bit one time. I know a fact: some cats in other countries hunt mice on horseback. I went swimmin' and a-swimmin' swimming and swimming every day because I joined the Swimming Team and I got a big golden medal that has a picture of a cat with wings on it and a rubber head. I was the only cat who could swimm all the ways across the pond except for the Turkish Vans with rubber heads and no ears.

Anyways that was my summer and it was nice except for 1 irate skunk.



How I Spent My Summer
by Buffalo Ben Carhartt
Composition 1

This summer, although somewhat more illustrious than, say, last summer, yet does not match the poignancy of the Summer of '29, which is, as history has seen fit to merely footnote in its ponderous tomes, the Summer of Self-Imposed Exile from my Very Own Native Land. Heralded as that Summer of the Many Near-Deaths has been as the pivotal event in the appreciation of Cat Poets Everywhere, no mildewed passage prattling of that Great Diaspora of One shelved high in the Dewey Decimal section can match the Maxfield Parrish-painted memories Gutenberged and saddle-stitched into my tiny brain.

It rushes back to me on the evening songs of crickets. The bittersweet bouquet of blueberry waffles with whipped cream...the thunderous staccato of hundreds of LP Maracas...the All-Little Lady Harmonica Orchestra playing my grade-school Alma Mater...those dancing bears haberdashered in oversized pantywaists with big red buttons...

Afterwards, the endless trek across the deserts and glaciers with only a small lime-green beaded purse.

But that is a tale to be told another time, to wide-eyed kittens around bowls of fresh milk.

This summer was marked by my happenstance discovery of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald at the bottom of the Camp Wannabee pond.

Under the ministrations of the Camp Wannabee swimming instructor, an English Bulldog with a somewhat insensitive though admirably bracing attitude toward the salutary properties of chill and brackish dips at dawn, I forthwith leaped ere I looked, executing a Dantesque descent into the world of hulking, and inappropriately named, Catfish.

In short, I sank like a beer can.

I can tell you that there are more car tires at the bottoms of ponds than could be understood in anyone's philosophy. The deeper the descent, the more ancient the watermark did bear these cast-off shoes of progress. Nearing the end of my leaden journey, slender vintage rubber artifacts of the era of Henry Ford gave way to rusted wagon wheels and ox shoes.

Presently, the ghostly stern of a large ship came into view. Poignant, nondescript choral music began playing somewhere behind and to my left. My first notion was that this was the fabled Vasa. But no, that could not be. After all, Camp Wannabee Pond is only 100 yards in diameter and 13 feet deep at epicenter. This was indeed the fabled SS Edmund Fitzgerald full of little iron pellets.

The migration of this 729-foot freighter from the proximity of Whitefish Bay on the Canadian side of Lake Superior to a small fishpond in southwestern Pennsylvania is a modern-day geophysical wonder. I have written a book on it, and you are welcome to read it. Be forewarned however that it requires a thorough understanding of analytic geometry, as it contains many pages of equations containing symbols (along with corresponding values) that I have had to invent from scratch.

Other than that, this summer has passed as uneventfully as sunshine over a porchful of napping bassets, except for one disturbing revelation: I learned that although my adopted parents -- two rustic and well intentioned humans for the most part -- are capable of great violence. The sausage bits they sometimes toss at us, which I had supposed were made of a healthful bran and rice mix, it turns out are manufactured from the ground flesh of gentle woodland deer.



Is That a Spider Tattoo on Your Ankle or Do You Have Ringworm?
How I Spent My Summer (One Night of it, Anyway)
by Pia Clawsnlegs
Composition 1

It's one of those small-town August nights when the sky's lit up piss yellow by sodium lamps. Whitewall tires crackle over beer bottle chunks sticking up like sharks' teeth, and the heat and humidity are so thick your own fur clings to you like a cheap slicker. There's this carnival stink of stale cigarettes mixed with Tabu plus something sickening-sweet like glazed donuts.

Chickenloaf, Gracie, and I have pedaled our new bikes all the way into town to see the Ani Difranco concert. We're sweating like beagles. Gracie got a stick-on tattoo for the occasion but it's this big trout with the words "Take me to the river" under it, which makes no sense. These blood red barrettes I'm wearing pinch the hell out of my ears, but no way am I taking them out. My luck then here'd come Tuffy, gliding up on his excellent toepads.

We're hanging to the sidewalk with the animal crowd because these gigantic Dodge Ram pickups with front ends like freight trains keep roaring into the parking lot, one after the other, their rear-ends plastered with bumper stickers that say stuff like "FEAR HOLLY NEAR," and "I GO FROM ZERO TO BITCH IN EIGHT SECONDS." Some of the trucks are driven by big Rottweilers with harness-leather collars and shiny nametags shaped like bones.

Human females are milling around in Doc Martins and Boycuts, with spider tattoos on their ankles, which look kind of grimy. These college chicks' heads are cooking on some pretty good catnip from the looks of it. They're garbling feeble chants like "Are We READY??!!" I'm figuring whatever controlled substance they're on on must be a powerful debilitator of the human imagination, which isn't all its cracked up to be anyway, if you read some of the stuff the big-time literary magazines are printing these days. Poets writing about the swivel chairs in their offices.

We really have to pee. But when we get to the bathroom there's no litterbox in sight, and the place is swarming with college babes wearing black and purple and about eight tons of stainless steel collectively, which is fine with me except they're drunk as skunks, if you'll pardon the profanity.

I mean, let's clarify: Drunk and/or stoned humans, even all-sentimental nicey-poo drunk and/or stoned humans, are dangerous.

This big blonde totters over to us wearing a purple naugahide minidress with a Saranwrap shawl and these black combat boots with yellow smiley-face ribbons lacing them up. She bends down over us so the five pounds or so of clay axe medallions and goddess beads hanging around her neck dump right onto my head. She's breathing cherry Tequila and clove cigarette smoke in my face and slurring "Looga da sweeeeeet little tittie tats! Heeeeere tittie tittie titties! Hey loog over here, guys! Titties!"

This top-heavy looped human is about to fall over on us like a silo. We arch up and bush out our tails big as chimney brushes, and I make narrow pit viper eyes. I hiss "Fuuuuuck youuuuuu," like I've got Rabies From Hell.

"Woah 'scuse me!" she says. "Buncha uppity tittens!"

I spit "Bite! Me!" and the three of us get the hell out of there before we get mistaken for fur teddies. We sneak out to the lobby and pee behind the statue of the big nude guy throwing the discus.

Then we go looking for the stoats that are supposed to buy my extra tickets, and I'm hoping they don't weasel out of the deal. That's when we run into Ben. We smell him before we see him; he's got a paisley cloud of Patchouli fumes surrounding him thick enough to drop a six-horse hitch of Clydesdales in their traces. He's got pretty little Snooples with him, holding her tight by one paw, and he's just bought a bumper sticker, which he's clutching lovingly to his chest.

He's wearing a dress.

I can't beleive it. It's a limp muslin mumu kind of thing, tie-dyed butter yellow and peach. It goes all the way down to his ankles. He's also barefoot. Barefoot in town!

"What gives with the dress?" I say.

"Oh, I find it very freeing."


He's got that ultra-happy look on his face like what he gets when he's Poo Dung and not Ben. Snooples is clinging to his side with her soggy little thumb in her mouth.

"Well, it was a gift from the artist," he said.

"What artist?" Chickenloaf chirps. She actually seems interested in this. Gracie's wandered off to stare at a heavily tattooed shirtless human male swaggering through the crowd in a red velour miniskirt and matching spike heels.

"Why, Ms. Difranco, of course. She's always appreciated me in butter yellow."

"Your fur is butter yellow and Difranco does not know you from a country ham." I'm thinking, which basically is what you are.

"It's been several years, true, and time can do so much! But I did give her her start." His eyes have got this beatific twinkle that I associate with elderly hippies selling organic carrots. He gives Snooples' paw an affectionate pat.

"My anal glands you gave her a start."

But just then, wouldn't you know it, this sleek Bluepoint Siamese oozes out of some side door and straight up to ole Ben standing there in his damned flimsy dress. She's wearing little black go-go boots; her scrawny tail is dancing around; and she's purring at Ben in this whispery little voice like her words are being sketched in front of her with a pencil. "I'm Mizzz Deefrannnnnco's cat, Buttons. Ms. Deefranco is interested in chattttttting with you after the concert, Meester Carharrrrrrrrrttttttt."

Chickenloaf's eyes are these big round-edged rectangles. She is so impressed her whiskers point forward.

But to me, something about the situation stinks like an old dog bed. Last I saw one, Bluepoint Siamese didn't have zippers running up their backs.

Three hours later when we're leaving on our bikes, I catch sight of this Chiauaua running frenzied laps around the Difranco bus, squeak-toy voice yapping and yapping.



How I spent My Summer
by Grace De La Rue
Composition 1

This summer I learned how to make waffles! No kidding!

Also I got a PawPilot! You write on it with your claws. This is called E-Nails. When I am not using my PawPilot I leave it in the care of Bufo Woodhouse my toad.

Also now I have a snake! Mom doesn't know about the snake.

This snake is is a Shy Woodland Creature. He now lives in a Rubbermaid sandwich container underneath my bed. He is a very common snake. He ranges all over the eastern United States.

This snake's name is Fang on account of he has these really cute little fangs just like Snoople's little fangs. Fang has a nice pile of leaves and some grass and a busted clay flower pot to hide in and I feed him little pieces of sausage just like Bufo. One time I sneaked a glass of nice red wine into the sleeping room so Bufo and Fang could have some wine with their sausages. But they could not have been less interested. Later somebody else drank the wine I don't know who.

The way I got my snake Fang is this. It was the last day at Camp Wannabee and we were having our Morning Prayer before Breakfast. I was daydreaming and watching this little greenish white butterfly loopin' around outside and then I heard Pia go psssssst! Pia, she was peering around the doorjam and she was motioning for me to come outside to the Herb Demonstration Garden.

I don't like that Herb Demonstration Garden.

But Pia, she had this little bitty snake pinned down with her foot! He was grinning he was so cute. Pia said Let's eat him.

But he was so cute! Also, I wanted to save room for waffles!

I had to think fast! I said, Let's fatten him up first!

Good thinking! Pia said. Then we stuffed that snake into my napsack.

Then that night after we got home we unpacked and we piled all our camp clothes in the laundry room and there was this humungus leaning tower of camp clothes in the laundry room and Mom was cussing and sorting through all of those camp clothes and pulling prickly seeds off of Chickenloaf's 15 pairs of tights. I was in the kitchen washing everybody's mess kits and Pia, she shows up while I'm in the kitchen and she's shaping her claws with this emery board. Pia says Let's eat that snake.

I told Pia it got away! She threw down her emery board and called me a pill bug! She said See if I catch any more snakes for you.

But I don't care, this snake is safe!

I have looked up my snake in the GOLDEN BOOK OF REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS book and he is a Black Rat Snake. The book says that this snake eats rats, mice, and other small vermins. The book says this snake is VERY BENEFICIAL TO MANKIND.

Just like cats!!!

When Fang gets older I will catch mice and feed him the mice. I might as well since Mom and Dad won't let me eat mice.



how i spent my summer
by snooples
compostion i

this summer i did not do much being so little i am the size of a sparro except i was borned.

i guess that is something.


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