january | february | march | april | may | june | july | august | september | october | november | december
gracie's world 2004



A Day in the Life of Snooples

july 4, 2004
5 a.m.

here it is morning and the grass is wet and early morning spider webs spangle all over everything!

it is the 4th day of july, which is the the nicest day of the year. on account of all the sousa marches!


5:30 a.m.
here is ben. ben is sleeping off a zen hangover.

Ben sleeping off a Zen hangover

here is gracie. gracie is snoring in the manner of a lumber truck.

gracie is snoring in the manner of a lumber truck

here is pia, who dragged in at 4 a.m and is asleep on the kitchen floor.

pia is dead drunk

me i am the first one awake and setting about doing things. i have many summer jobs!

first i must deliver The Daily Bolus to all the horses in the neighborhood. there are many fine horses! i quietly drop off The Daily Bolus to the horses while they are shaving with their straight razors in their stalls. they prefer to read The Daily Bolus with their morning tea before they go out to do their plowing.

sometimes those horses, they engage in heated arguments. over news in The Daily Bolus. they bang their tea cups down. they kick the walls of the breakfast hutches.

such was the story 2 days ago. it was regarding the incident in which mr. bob edwards was required to leave his very important job on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

on account of it was discovered that he is a horse.

some of the horses in the neighborhood, they say ha, he is no horse. if he is a horse why does he like hot dogs. that is what they say. some of the horses, they say yes bob edwards is a horse. don't you know a horse when you hear one on the radio.

me, i just pedal away on my new Schwinn Kittenmaster to the next farm.


6:30 a.m.
now that i have delivered The Daily Bolus to all the neighborhood horses it is time to say my morning friskies! i am to be a franciscan nun someday and so i must practice my friskies every morning whilst holding a candle over my head and standing barefooted in a basin of wheat. someday i will be a real franciscan nun and will get to say my friskies in a real nun house!

for now i say my morning friskies in the nut house. it is the little house at the back of the shed where paPA stores the filberts and whiskey casks. i have decorated the nut house with candles and a life size blessed virgin mary which menudo toblerone gave me for doing a good job cultivating his artichoke plants.

the blessed virgin mary, she is a full 8 inches high!


7 a.m.
here is nini.


here is weakie.


here is chessie. chessie is dreaming about cheese.

chessie dreams about cheese

oh well, time for a nice breakfast!

for breakfast i shall have this little tub of caviar plus a leftover corn dog. also some nice apple juice.

first i will clear pias empty budweiser cans off the breakfast table.


7:30 a.m.
i have washed the dishes and swept the kitchen and dusted all the surfaces and put the chickens outside in the sun.

now it is time to take iron john for a ride in the wagon.

i pull iron john around the yard in the wagon every morning so as to provide him with fresh air. fresh air is essential for anvils.


8 a.m.
time to bring in the bedsheets off the clothesline and to iron chessie's socks!


8:15 a.m.
now it is time to deliver The Daily Bugler to all the elks. i deposit The Daily Bugle along the edge of the woods in special antler-proof mailboxes. the elks, they come down to the edge of the woods in their terrycloth bath robes and their slippers sagging at the heels. they pick up the daily bugle, and they stand there snorting at the headlines. then they shuffle back up to the woods in their slippers and they read The Daily Bugle over coffee and cigarettes and they snort a great deal. they shake their antlers. they say it is a shame.

they do not usually care for the news in The Daily Bugler.

however i cannot worry over that. i must pedal home and prepare a special holiday breakfast for my family!


9 a.m.
breakfast time!

i am preparing scraggled eggs and warmed over tostitos for gracie; flounced egg white canapes with dingleberry jam for nini; caviar with little onions for weakie; boysenberry pancakes for chessie; lightly toasted wild oat cakes with soy milk for ben; flank steak strips and a six-cheese omelet for charlie.

pia, she does not ever eat breakfast.


9:30 a.m.
here comes chessie in her long white flannel nightgown with the slightly grimy ruffle around the bottom. chessie has a empty pillow case wrapped around her ears to keep them from getting rumpled in the night. the end so of the pillowcase tied at the top of chessie's head, they look like ears. chessie is dragging her toy lamb by one leg. chessie's eyes are pinched shut.

lower the grapple fork!

that is what chessie says.

coming through on the garbage scow!

chessie is still asleep.

paPA is stomping around the pantry in his impressive upholstery robe which can stand up by itself. PaPA is hollering why are all the coffee filters cut into snowflakes.

set out the lawnmower! clams! weevils are loose pot sink!

chessie has toppled over onto the turkey rug.


10 a.m.
all the breakfast items are cleared away and it is time to climb out on the roof near the fireplace chimney. it is nice and quiet next to the chimney, and there are only pigeons. this is where i say my rosary in the warm weather. you can say it too!

gallica! rubrifolium!
xanthina virginiana rugosa hugonis!
eglanteria! eglanteria! eglanteria!


10:30 a.m.
now it is time to deliver From the Snout, Field and Stream, and The Reader's Digest to the gateway soup kitchen and halfway house for homely dogs. these periodicals are handed out for free along with a hot meal every holiday. today we are also handing out miniature flags. the special 4th of july meal is veal ear and bean stew plus a slice of chocolate cake. there will be a showing of Old Yeller afterwards!

sometimes the dogs, they get into arguments over the stories in From the Snout. especially the dogs who are elderly war veterans. they slam their playing cards on the rickety tables and they say nonsense rin tin tin never fought in the big one. he certainly did i bandaged up that ear of his.

that sort of thing.

i smile and ladle veal ear and bean stew into their bowls and pat them on the head, and that is all. sometimes i must remind them to smoke their cigars outside.

there is always a big turnout on the 4th of july, so i must hurry.


11 a.m.
Junipero Serra, the ancient Chihuahua is clanging the mambo cowbell! that means it is time to go get the cathedral ready for daily mass. i am father tooney's special assistant. i assist father tooney with the little candles. sometimes i get to help with the dribbling of the holy water. today father tooney is baptizing 20 baby woodchucks!

Junipero Serra the ancient Chihuahua, he is deaf. also arthritic. sometimes when Junipero Serra is experiencing too much stiffness in the joints i clang the cowbell on his behalf. then i remove my ears beforehand so that the mambo bell does not cause them to reverberate.


time for our special independence day dinner! all except for pia who is snoring like an old refrigerator. i am helping paPA prepare the chicken legs!


12:35 p.m.
there is the mail person in his nash rambler with the tail pipe that bounces along behind. he has delivered our mail! it is a daily miracle.

gracie has received a letter from muffin. chessie has already peeled off the stamp.

also paPA's chicken pups have arrived! we can see them wriggling and hear them peeping through the bubble wrap.

weakie's set of Weekly Readers, tools for industrial arts class, the special slide rules and other educational items have arrived in a voluminous wooden crate. weakie will spend the rest of the day dusting off school supplies and devising lesson plans.

pia will be pleased to know that her new black and white saddle shoes from montgomery ward have arrived. however at the moment pia is still asleep.

me, i have received letters from my brothers!

Dearest Snooples,

You will be pleased to know that the new Lawless-Hampton Wing of Snooples House is completed as of last week. We will hold an outdoor picnic to celebrate, and you shall be the guest of honor. It is an impressive structure, with its multitudes of sunny windows, built-in laurel swamp, and of course the apple orchard beyond in the old rugby grounds.

We shall move the young deer to this part of the orphanage as soon as possible, as it is getting rather crowded. The smaller animals are continually dodging their spindly legs. You may not realize it, but young deer are all legs. Legs and eyeballs.

With more fawns of road kills coming in nearly every day, we are immensely grateful to your friends Mr. Bucky Lawless, and Mr. Bing Hamton for their generous donation of $5 million. I understand they raised it selling sweet corn at their roadside stand.

At your wonderful suggestion, the older woodchuck pups and marmot pups are helping in the bakery these days. A few have become quite proficient patisseries, I must say. I enjoyed a mayfly nymph eclair just this afternoon with tea. It was sprinkled all over with little toasted crab spiders and some colorful little sugared caterpillars that I cannot identify. Delicious!

I must go now, as I am coaching the junior league Whiffle the Mouse team. It is mostly comprised of extremely young o' possums.

Until next time, I remain your Devoted Brother and,

Yours in God,

Brother Nosegay
St. Claws Monastery& Brewery
Ithaca, NY


Dear Kid Sister,

Saw the PBS special on Snooples House this weekend. They're calling you the Mother Teresa of Cats. So! How do you like being famous? Nosegay is a little stiff in front of the camera. What is it with Monks, anyway? He needs to get out more. Tell him I said so.

The Snake Giver was a big hit in the theatre, so I guess I'll go ahead and buy that island off Maine after all. It's covered by old apple orchards. There's a horse farm with a big gambrel-roofed barn poised like Noah's ark. And a tire swing, which I understand has a certain significance to you. You will love it! Make sure you visit often, even after you have to wear burlap underwear and live on Ovaltine three times a day, or whatever it is nuns do these days.

I've been helping Salinger put shingles on his house this week. In the evenings we read our fiction out loud and hurl critiques at one another. It's been good fun, but we tend to drink a lot.

Salinger has trunks and trunks of unpublished novels and short stories, Snooples. You wouldn't believe the good stuff he's got. I ask him, why doesn't he publish? Know what he says? Silkie chickens. Go figure.

Well, gotta go. I have a book signing in Los Angeles before the premiere of The Kibble King.

Enclosed are my three latest novels. I ran a black laundry marker through the risque scenes, so you can read them without being traumatized.

All my love from your Number One Fan,

Pork Boat
Writer in Residence
Hemingway Colony, FLA


2 p.m.
i have finished writing nice letters back to my brothers and have tidied up the porch! gracie leaves potato chips all over the porch. also she leaves her telescope and l.l. bean binoculars out there in all kinds of weather so i must polish them and put them away in their velvet-lined cases. gracie's pawpilot also is out here on the porch today. it is covered with willow leaves. it is open to gracie's diary. here is what it says.

Tooney brothers seem to be building some sort of shrine in front of the Cowboy Bar which is now a Irish Pub. They are stacking up stones in this weird cavelike structure. I suspect it is a tomb.

Now the Tooney Brothers, they are cheering and raising bottles of molasses colored ale and they are swigging from those bottles of ale.


The Tooney Brothers look baffled.

Why it's a toilet. Haven't ye ever seen a toilet?

that is all that gracie has in her diary for today.

time to take my nap!


3:30 p.m.
i have awakened from my nap and am refreshed! now it is time to light the candles and say my novellas. today i am saying My Antonia.

after i say my novellas i will work on my poetry. i am writing a poem called

the cat is inspired by cheese

it will be a good poem!


5:30 p.m.
we are packing up a crab supper!

we are going to the v.f.w. fairground to enjoy the fireworks display!

chessie, she is already at the v.f.w. fairgrounds, as she is competing in the tractor pull. with her little wheel horse.

sugarlips is bundling up yams baked in maple syrup and cow butter.

pia is glopping potato salad into a plastic dish. she is grumbling that the potato salad was made by a moron. the potatoes are raw as boulder riprap. that is what pia says. the cook used miracle whip not mayonnaise. what kind of a moron would use miracle whip not mayonnaise. also, no onions.

now pia is flouncing off to bed once more.

nini is packing all of our winter coats and woolen scarfs and mittens and boots and any leg warmers which are not worn full of holes. nini is exceedingly mindful of our health.

weakie is wrapping up an assortment of potato chips. also chicken legs. this is on account of chessie is not overmuch fond of crabs.

weakie is also packing a volume of walt whitman, which she plans to read as the fireworks explode. i will accompany the reading with sousa marches played on my hand-crank victrola!


6:25 p.m.
here we are at the v.f.w. fairground!

we have spread out two tartan blankets, one for the picnic supper and one to lie about upon. nini is stacking our winter clothing in one corner of a tartan blanket. nini is wearing a tall fur hat. she says it is carefully stacked chinchillas sewn together. i will inherit it someday. that is what nini says.

chessie is sitting on the seat of her wheelhorse tractor which is festooned with blue ribbons. chessie's foots are dangling down. chessie is eating french fries with ben's stamp collecting tweezers. her whiskers are bejeweled with droplets of ketchup.

pia has dozed off flat on her back on the tartan blanket with a hot water bottle draped over her face and a bottle of aspirins clutched in one paw.

chickenloaf and gracie have wandered off to see the rock-and-roll band comprised of ferrets with mohawk haircuts which is playing in the bandstand. those ferrets are playing macarthur park using only 3 chords. i did not realize this was possible.

the lead singer, he is standing with his foots jauntily spread and his hind claws dug into the old rotting wood of the bandstand, and he is clutching the microphone in his beringed claws, and he is practically swallowing the microphone. he is wearing tight black leather pants with little silver snaps running up the legs.

he is pretty cute!

weakie is ladling crabs onto our picnic plates.

paPA is in the truck with the windows rolled up. paPA is eclipsed by the wall street journal.

ben has gone off somewhere wearing his little l.l. bean jacket and his plaid woolen cap with the ear flaps down and his bb gun slung over his shoulder.


7 p.m.
the rock-and-roll band is taking a little break. the ferrets are standing around moodily smoking cigarettes. now they are posing for a photograph. they are gloomily posing with their paws shoved in their pockets, and they are looking off in all sorts of different directions.

gracie and chickenloaf have returned from the bandstand with gigantic wads of some kind of pink and blue fiberglasslike filament wrapped around cardboard sticks. they are pulling this material off in splintery puffs and they are stuffing it in their mouths. chickenloaf has a big wad of it stuck to her head fur.

what is that interesting material i ask them.


that is what gracie says.

however it is not good.


weakie and nini are setting out the supper plates all covered with crabs and potato salad, and they are setting out little cups of koolaid.

time to lead the supper prayer and spiritual reading. i shall read from derr's manual of woody plants, at maMA's request!


7:25 p.m.
ben has showed up. he has caught a mouse. it is dead. there is a little bullet hole over its heart. ben says this is his offering to the repast. everybody is yelling get that dead mouse out of here.

ben looks so very sad. his whiskers droop.

weakie is stacking corn on the cob on a big shiny platter with swirls all over it. nini is setting out an angel food cake with white frosting and 228 candles.

pia is fishing through that dead mouse's napsack.

chessie is rolling that dead mouse up in some of that pastel fiber, which apparently is called cotton candy. chessie insists that the mouse must be BURIED AT SEA.


8 p.m.
the magical hour of dusk is upon us!

the ferrets are packing up their instruments. nini is lighting the 228 candles on the cake. somebody down over the hill is playing the national anthem on a ancient cornet.

time to get out my sousa records!


8:30 p.m.
now we are going home in the pickup truck with chessies wheel horse in the back. pia and gracie and chickenloaf are swinging their feet off the edge of the seat and they are glum.

this is on account of we had to leave after the first fireworks exploded because the fireworks make me a little nervous.


that is what paPA says.

chessie says we must stop on the way home and bury the mouse at sea.


gracie is in a frightful mood.

ben is lying on his back sound asleep with his paws clasped over his chest. he is on the floor between the potato salad container and the crab bowl which is empty except for a few little crab crumbs. ben is smiling beatifically.

chickenloaf is bending over to get another piece of cake. chickenloaf has a whole stickful of blue cotton candy flattened on the seat of her red corduroy jumper.

we are stuck in traffic.

chessie says she is going to throw up.


pia has slammed out of the truck.

i will play some sousa marches on my gramophone to cheer everyone!


10 p.m.
it is a goodish thing to climb into bed in fresh pajamas after a bath.

it is even better to set in bed and watch the fireworks with your elbows resting on the window sill.

the fireworks, they are far away and they make spattering sounds like raindrops. they are just the right size. like little starfishes you could pick up with your paw.

then the last fireworks sputter out and there's only the moon, silent and big and round and smiling like nini's face. and the chuppers buzzing in the dark places between the blades of grass, they sing you off to sleep.

Snooples is asleep now.

good night


next gracie's world...