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gracie's world 2002


gracie's world <p>August 2002 gracie's world <p>August 2002 gracie's world <p>August 2002

gracie's world <p>August 2002

August 1



August 3


August 5


August 7


I am so bored!

Also I think there is a tick in my ear.

August 9


August 11

Dear Muffin,

How are you I am bored.


August 13

Today Pia is mowing the lawn.

I am so bored on account of I have been listening to the lawn mower since the Dawn of Time.

I wish Pia would run into the anvil again with the lawnmower.

August 14, 2002

Dear Muffin,

How are you I am still bored.

Yesterday Pia ran into the anvil again with the lawnmower. This time that anvil was setting in a clump of white daisies and there was a votary candle burning on it and a little pitcher of a saint with very tall hairy pointed ears.

Dad wants to know how a 3oo pound anvil keeps ending up in the yard. I bet I know.

Anyways, please write back soon as I am bored.



August 15


August 16


August 17


August 18

I am so bored! Summer Camp is a thousand years off somewheres! I will probably become ancient and mindless and leak pee everywhere before it is time for summer camp!

And then it won't be worth the effort!

August 19
1o a.m.

Well, here we are at Summer Camp!

I am setting around with a bunch of other kids under some nettle pines. A bunch of little kids are oooohing over Chessie's new Walk Cat with purple ear phones and bows on them. It is tinkling and tinkling that new version of RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD which is played on drinking water glasses. Soon we will walk a little ways and pitch some tents.

Mom and Dad sped away so fast after they dropped us off that I forgot my PawPilot on the dash board. So now I don't have a PawPilot. There it will most likely bake all the rest of summer and turn into a blob.

Thank goodness we were given little camp notebooks.

11:o7 a.m.
The camp leader guy, his name is Pete Moss.

We are standing in a row wearing these backpacks that weigh eight tons apiece. Pete Moss, he is marching up and down in front of us with a clipboard. He is wearing large and chunky leather boots which look like armadilloes. They have big steel claws on the foots. We have to holler out our names when he hollers out our names. Then he crosses off our names on his list.

Like we are already dead or something.

11:32 a.m.
Even though I am at Summer Camp, I am not elated as expected. That is because this particular summer camp, it is lame.

Whos idea was it anyways to go to a camp with a numbnuts name like OUTWARD BOUND FOR SPOILED HOUSE CATS.

I know who.

Pia, she wanted to go to Rifle Shooting Camp. Chickenloaf wanted to go to Horse Back Riding Camp, and Ben wanted to go to Prayer and Meditation Camp, and Chessie wanted to go Golf Camp. Me, I was in the mood for something Western and Rugged!

Nini said no matter, whatever camp we go to we must wear our winter coats as it would be chilly. Nini is always all over us about wearing our winter coats even when it's hot enough to fry bees.

Dad, he wanted to send all of us to Lawn Mower Camp. I think on account of he is still angry at Snooples and Chessie for dragging that 3oo pound anvil all around the yard.

But Snooples. SNOOPLES wanted to go to OUTWARD BOUND FOR SPOILED HOUSE CATS. On account of it would be good training for when she becomes a nun whatever that is.

Anyways, then SnoopLes wanders off somewheres to say her Vespas or Novellas or whatever, and the rest of us get into a big fight.

Then Mom throws all the Summer Camp brochures into the toilet and says, well that settles it you're all going to OUTWARD BOUND FOR SPOILED HOUSE CATS.

I have to stop writing now as they are handing out folded up tents that look like little biscuits. I guess we are going to take our walk pretty soon.

1o p.m.
must. lie. down. hiked 57 miles. am hallucinating. toes impailed with twigs. backpack seems to be part of body now.

camp leader guy just said OKAY EVERYBODY PITCH YOUR TENTS.

well here goes.

August 2o
5:36 a.m.

freezing cold. eeerie fogs are blowing around in shreds in the trees. small brown bird keeps yelling ZERO.

have one eye and one ear outside sleeping bag that is all.

got in trouble yesterday for pitching tent over cliff. why did they tell me to pitch the tent anyways if they didn't want me to pitch tent? now have to share tent with snooples and with chessie the latter who wanders around in her sleep like a lunatic.

6:o1 a.m.
Sweater is snaggled mess. Can't find underwears.

Snooples is already dressed up for the day. She is in little kaki shorts and a pink hooded Captain Mouser sweatshirt. Also pink socks and new white Kits. I did not know she had new Kits.

Snooples has bandaids on all four knees.

7:o8 a.m.
Wearing a pair of Bens underwear which has a little door in front.

Still cold and drizzly but had corn brittles with bacon crumbles for breakfast so is bearable.

Today we were supposed to go climb a tree called a Segovia somewheres about 1,ooo miles from here but I am sure this will be postponed, as it would be inhumane. On account of the blowing fogs plus it is colder than bejeezlers.

We will probably set around and make 'smores or something.

7:16 a.m.
We are standing in a row with our backpacks and mess kits and tents on our backs and beads of half frozen fog clinging to our whiskers. We are off on that damned hike.

Ben is wearing a red kerchief called a banana. It is rolled up and tied around his head like a dead snake. It makes his ears point straight up.

Ben is looking very solemn and meditative and in touch with nature. He is clutching one of Snooples haiku books against his heart. The three Silver Persians with expensive collars and microchips in their armpits in case they get lost are having Ben autograph their camp notebooks.


Can't feel toes.

9 a.m.
At Foot of Segovia Tree
So anyways there we are hiking along and Pia is cursing under her breath and stopping everybody each mile or so to dab Noxema on the blisters on her foots and empty the gravels out of her kitten heel slippers.

Then we stop hiking. On acount of there is this big wall in front of us made out of tree barks. It's weird.

Snooples points up and we all look up. We are standing under the Biggest Damned Tree in the Universe. Pete Moss, he says, OKAY EVERYBODY SHARPEN YOUR CLAWS AND GET READY FOR THE BIG CLIMB.

So we all get out our emery boards. But my emery board has this foam Easter Chick munged all over it.

So I have to go find a old lump of rock with which to sharpen my claws. I pick up this lump of rock. Clinging underneath there is this spider. It is exceedingly hairy, like one of Chessies Teddy Bears. Only with 8 spraddled, multijointed, hairy, spraggly legs.

Also it is the size of a Volkswagen.

It rampages up my arm! It is heading straight for my throat! "Bwaaaaah!!!" I throw that rock about 85o yards! This squirrel drops the acorn he is clutching and falls unconscious out of a hornworm tree.

Snooples says I may use her emery board, as she sharpened her claws already this morning. So I go digging around in Snooples little shiny blue backpack.

There is a spider the size of a Hugo crouched next to Snooples manicure set. It has pink fangs. It lunges at me with a glare of vituperative malevolence! It latches onto my paw!

"Yaaaaagh!" I hurtle that spider 5o yards and it lands smack against the side of Pete Mosses head as he is lecturing on proper belaying techniques.

Pete Moss wants to know who threw a teddy bear with a pink bow tie at his head. But anyways, I am busy sharpening my claws with Snooples emery board.

All the sudden a LIVE THING lands on my arm. It is disturbingly warm. It is a pudgy, hairy, sickeningly ugly albino spider.

"Ghaaaaagh!" I rocket 6 feet into the air!

It was Snooples paw on my arm. On account of she wanted to show me two little spotty fawns playing under the pinworm oaks.

Now it is time to climb the tree.

sometime late afternoon
have been climbing tree for 5 hours straight. halfway to top. taking break for vittles. paws feel like hamburgs.

chickenloaf just trundled up past leading small team singing THE MERRY BINDLE STIFF.

somewhat later
just passed another owl home stuffed with baby owls. ogled at us. have passed 18 owl homes stuffed with ogling baby owls so far. am getting feeling going in circles.

baby owls are dumb. have useless beaks. are glum.

baby eagles also are dumb. have no fur or feathers whatsoever. only pinch of fuzz over each ear. except they have no ears. huddle in nests with mangled rabbit scraps. are glum in manner of baby owls.

why are all baby Birds of Prey glum I do not know.

also, just thought of something. HOW THE HELL WILL WE GET DOWN FROM THIS TREE.

large group of kids still singing around camp fire. are singing MY HORSE HOKEY. now are singing SAND CRABS ARE A-DANCIN' ON MY TRUE LOVE'S GRAVE. now are singing LEAVE IT TO THE EAGER BEAK. now are singing MARZY DOATS.

me, am trying to stuff the corners of my sleeping bag into my ears.

am still nauseous from leaping out of 3oo-foot Segovia Tree on sproinging bungee cord.

tomorrow: white water rafting. has to do with milk.

chessie says nauseated not nauseous.

August 21
7:o2 a.m.

Things looking up, as sun is shining and had french crimpets for breakfast and found underwears stuffed in rain boot.

9:o1 a.m.
This morning's lecture was Fragile Wildlife All Around Us. Now we are supposed to list in our camp note books all the Fragile Wildlife we saw yesterday.


1. Glum baby owls (approx. 6 dozen)
2. Glum baby eagles (3 diff. nests)
3. Glum baby peregrine falcons (1 nest) (knew some good swear words)
4. Huge nightmarish pale spherical spiders wearing fish net stockings with switchblades on each toe.
5. Fat beetles which looked exactly like Mr. French on FAMILY AFFAIR except they were rolling around large balls of dung.
6. Tiny green frogs which live in water droplets that collect on a certain kind of moss which only grows on these particular trees and eat only one kind of lichen called owls ears.
7. Gigantic slugs the color of Bens head. If you put your paw on one of these slugs your paw will stick to the slug and you will never ever get your paw back again.
8. Ladybugs. Ate some as was starving.
9. 1 chicklets box
1o. bag worm

Now we will go white water rafting! Also fishing for salmons!

Snooples and Chessie are tying terrible discombobulated knots in the laces of their new beaded water moccasins which they purchased at the tourist store, and they are singing ATTA KATTA NOOBA. They have got the words all wrong.

Atta katta NOOPA!
Atta katta NOOPA!
Hey! Miss a day!
Miss a DOLLAR! Miss a DAY!

1 p.m.
am bobbing around in rubber raft with Bumpkins and Pickles and Gail Force the river guide.

Gail Force is muscle bound human. somewhat scary.


Don't! Use! Claws!


No! Dangling! Over! Edge!


Paws on pattles at all times!


Never squabble!


now we are floating down the creek. was under impression we were going to go rafting on treacherous Yahoo River and catch some salmons but this is a little piddly creek.

the name of this creek is bigger than the creek. it is Youghiosusquecaguadoah. which means Wolf Who Lifts Leg At Moon.

it is a boring creek. there are only knuckle cracking mud skippers with white T-shirts and girly-mudskipper tattoos and crawdads which keep making obscene gestures. also no salmons what is that roaring noise

9 p.m.
must write with care as camp notebook is soggy pulp.

nobody told me Youghiosusquecaguadoah made sharp left turn into River From Hell.

there was this loud roar and i thought perhaps it was my stomach on account of the clabbered beef sandwiches. then we were ripping along at a 45 degree angle and dodging jagged rocks with shreds of old rubber rafts hanging off them and Bumpkins and Pickles were yelling Yay! and i dropped my pattle.

then we rushed through this crowd of ducks bobbing along the bank and they looked at us with big sad eyes. then we were spinning in this giant whirl pool and i was getting woozy, then the raft was pointing Straight Down and salmons were leaping up at us yelling GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY and we were bouncing off the walls of a small canyon and Gail Force was yelling WHACK YOUR PATTLES! and i was getting flopped all over the raft and gigantic bolders loomed. so i put my paws over my eyes.

next we were airborne.

don't recall exactly what came about then except bumpkins and pickles yelled Abandon Ship and at that point i think i may actually have used my claws.

then i was treading the waters with the pink life jacket bunched up around my ears. there was this floating object which kept rolling over and over. it was a Elvis The Pine Siskin thermos bottle. i was spinning down the river clinging to this thermos bottle. i remember a bleeched human skeleton wearing a expensive l.l. bean outfit sprawled on a big rock.

anyways Chickenloaf caught 18 salmons and got another damned camp medal.

August 22
9:o2 p.m.

Tonight for supper we had porklets. They were pretty good.

Dried out camp notebook on hot dog tongs over fire. Camp notebook rumpled, fat.

Now everybody is singing GOIN' BACK TO CORN TOWN around the campfire except for Pia whom I know is furiously writing a letter home on account of I can hear the pen scritching and the three Silver Persians who are blow drying their fur and setting it in rollers, and Snooples and Chessie who are sound asleep and me on account of I am half dead.

If Chickenloaf leads the group in singing ROW ROW YOUR ROWING MACHINE one more time I will go out there in my pajamas and stamp out the campfire with my foots.

August 23
3 a.m.

Oh it is Ben leaking.

7:o8 a.m.
Free-climbing El Capitan today.

Snooples and Chessie are polishing their Mountain Climbing Gears. They are dressed in new little mountain climbing boots with steel claws on the foots and green smiley faces all up and down the bright yellow boot laces and they have little blue backpacks and they have folded up their tents into perfect biscuits.

9:16 a.m.
Riding in back of lumpy Humvee. Chickenloaf is showing everybody her Tree Climbing, Bungee Jumping, Hiking, Campfire Singing, Salmon Fishing and I Am A Good Sport! medals.

However I got a nice silver medal for finding the most different kinds of Fragile Wildlife and not eating all of them.

Snooples and Chessie have removed their climbing boots. they are setting side by side and they are stretching out their feets and spreading their toes wide.

What are you doing Snooples and Chessie.

We're roasting chickens.

11:2o a.m.
am wedged between sheer granite wall and 1 scraggly spruce. approximately 3,ooo feet above blood curdling gordge.

refuse to move. they will have to send helicopters.

weird small lizards with gold eyes bulging out of heads are lounging all over the teeny shelf next to my foots. they are gazing up at me expectantly and turning different designer patterns. now they are purple paisley on pale pink. now they are yellow polka dots on gray herringbone. now they are red and white checkers like table cloths. now they are green tartan plaid.

somewheres about a mile overhead i can hear chickenloaf yodeling THE LITTLE MILK STOOL.

i did not know chickenloaf could yodel.

2:o4 p.m.
wouldn't you know it there is a nest of glum eagle chicks about 8 feet to the left. they have been staring at me with their beaks propped over the edge of the nest for the past 2 1/2 hours.


they just stare.

5:47 p.m.
big eagle has been bringing mangled prey to chicks for hours. mostly rabbits with fur still on. but also 4 bags of corn chips, 4 italian hoagies, and 1 rotissery chicken.

this time big eagle has brought take out chinese food plus baseball caps for everyone. it is hilarious to watch eagle chicks attempting to eat their dinner with chop sticks.

now big eagle is gone off somewheres and those glum baby eagles are wearing their baseball caps and staring at me again with their beaks propped over the edge of the nest.

hope helicopters arrive soon as am hungry.

9:o2 p.m.
still awaiting helicopters.

very quiet. toes cramped so cannot fully appreciate lovely sunset.

lizards sound asleep with claws splayed, eyes pinched. have settled into tasteful beige.

had no idea noisy frogs and crickets lived at this high elevation. also wolfs all over the place singing mornful hank williams songs.

uh oh wildlife just got silent.

August 1o, 2oo2

Greetings, Friend Gracie!

The monsoons stopped mail delivery for a time, and so have received all 14 installments of The Boredom Series this afternoon. Am casting about for amusing stories and entertaining bits to alleviate your most painful condition of boredom!

I confess to you that I have never been quite clear on what this Boredom entails, having never experienced the misfortune, and there is no direct translation in our ancient and cobbled patois. Perhaps the French ennui arrives closest?

No matter! You are bored! It is a calamity.

Yet even in the throes of Boredom, always your missives convey the most arresting of mysteries. What is a lawnmower?? I can only guess that it is an enormous machine used to hack iron and steel into small bits. There must be anvils scattered like the stools of toads all about your countryside. No doubt remnants of the age of blacksmithing. What a grand time in U.S. history.

However I am prattling and forgetting to tell you this entertaining story which will amuse you. Two evenings ago, I stood in the millet field with Old Auntie. We were eating a pumpkin and resting from gathering stray seeds left by the threshers. Tiny rumple-nosed bats looped in the air above us, skimming moths from the sunset sky. Just then a small, putzing sort of airplane flew over.

I pointed, excitedly. "Look, Old Auntie! A mail plane!"

Auntie squinted up at the little plane until it buzzed out of sight beyond the forest rim. "I think you are mistaken, my dear. Those are its wheels hanging down."

Until next time, I remain:

Faithful as George Washington's Steed,

Your Friend Muffin

August 24

Crossed Grand Canyon today on tiny wire. Have pinchy headache. Tenseness in paws.

Some kids kept goofing around making wire bounce. Chickenloaf lost pink beaded purse.

August 25

Fished for trouts today in quiet mountain rill. Very relaxing.

Then had big fish fry with stuffed wild rice logs for supper.

Handsome Forest Ranger showed up on dazzling white horse as we were pitching tents. Returned Chickenloafs purse. Gave Chickenloaf ride on horse.

August 26

Kids singing POOR OLD GOSLING NECK around campfire. Now singing CALVES A BLATTING.

Deep fried cheese nabbers for supper. Dessert was caramel dipped scuppernongs. Ate all my cheese nabbers plus part of Chickenloaf's.

Feeling a little bloaty.

Went big game hunting today. Goudy and Garamond the gerbils stayed at camp, as they are Conscientious Objectors. Also seed eaters.

But no guns so was no fun. Also, Catch and Release. Pia was furious.

Had to use teeth and claws which is weird. Whoever heard of using teeth and claws for hunting? Nobody bagged any game except those three Silver Persians who it turns out have black belts. Teemed up against large big horn sheep and wrestled to ground.

Now they are singing KOOM BAAAH YAAAAH. I love that song.

August 27

Survival Day.

See, you get this partner who your Life Depends Upon. Then you wander off with no backpacks or tents or Walk Cats, and you blunder around in the woods for 24 hours and get mixed up and lost and live on snails and moss and similar items. You have to build huts made out of leg bones of old dead mountain goats.

I ended up with Pia as my partner. Soon as we were out of sight Pia got out her cell phone and pretty soon we were in a fairly nice motel ordering a 100-anchovie pizza and watching Blair Witch Project on pay purview.

TV romote did not work however. Had to walk across floor to adjust volume. So was survival situation after all.

August 28

Oat smootles for breakfast. Then leaped out of airplane.

No parachutes. Had to point feets straight down, extend claws, and spin tails like helicopters. Well, armadilloes got to wear parachutes otherwise would have dropped like stones.

11 cats, 5 armaddilloes with parachutes, 2 gerbils, and 1 small stoat floating down over desert with tails spinning.

Was lovely sight.

August 29
wristwatch still full of green water

Last day of camp. Wonder if PawPilot is still on dashboard or has been stolen by hoe boes and turned into harmonica.

Those roasted corn crimplets with melted lard this morning, they were very good. I will try to get recipe for Nini.

mid morning
Preparing for Spelunking Expidition.

Bumpkins + Pickles are still behaving huffily due to the rubber raft incident. Expensive wristwatches are dead. My good alpacka sweater which was once Moms and then shrank to cat size shranked again and is now hampster size.

Am unclear as to what exactly spelunking entails but probably has to do with deep frying potatoes.

Maybe we will go spelunking after we visit the cave.

Chicken Loaf for lunch. Had no idea was name of type of meat product. Now hiking across crabbled stones.

Wonder if there will be a rope tied to each of our waists when we go inside the cave so that nobody wanders off and becomes a skeleton.

Also just thought of something. Hope it is not dark in cave. Am terrified of dark.

ninish p.m.
spent 4 1/2 hours wedged in limestone hole. on account of all the porklets, oat smootles, corn brittles and whatnot eaten I guess.

somewhat embarrassing.

was next to last in line. could hear Chickenloaf leading everybody singing SNOWMEN OF THE FROSTY DOOM as they pattered off into the cold and infinite darkness.

then spider size of Geo Metro skuttled across the stones. then the little headlight on my hard hat sputtered and went out.

last in line was Gladstone the gerbil who jumped up and down somewhere in the vicintity of my ankles and shrieked for help. Then Gladstone sat down and wrang his paws. Then fell to weeping. Then resorted to poetry.

Do not go gentle into that good night!
Rage! Rage!


Couple of hours later Pia was first to crawl out of that hole, brushing off the cobwebs and muttering something about dumbass albino blind cave armadilloes. Halted and gave us a flat-eyed look.

Gladstone was propped against a limestone pressing a silk handkerchief to his brow.

I was humming a very efficient sounding little tune while wrapping a large bandaid around Gladstone's leg.





August 3o


August 31



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