What kind of spider would that be?

A conversation overheard between Junior and Pumpkin:

“Have you ever kissed a spider?”


“I did.”

“What kind was it?”

“A crab spider. C-R-A-B. I kissed a C-R-A-B spider.”

“Do you like them?”

“No. I hate them.”


“Because they’re evil, vicious, terrifying. I hate them with the passion of a thousand million tera-suns.””


Some Liturgical Lightheadedness

I told this joke at the dinner table. It was followed by the ensuing conversation.

The bishop was coming to certain parish, so the pastor pulled out all the stops in his effort to impress the prelate.  In the middle of the Mass a liturgical dancer whirled up the center aisle as the bishop sat in the presider’s chair.  After the show the priest leaned over and whispered to him,

“Well, what did you think?”  The bishop replied,

“If she asked for your head on a platter she’d have it.”


“Liturgical dancing isn’t liturgical.”

“What about what Africans do?”

“That’s not dancing. It’s bouncing when they walk because they’re African.”

“That’s not liturgical dancing.  That’s called liturgical bouncing.”

“Liturgical bouncing is what ushers do.”


I was out in the garden picking strawberries and the little boys had come along.  I think it really had been their original intention to help pick, but the job was boring and the insects much more enticing.  Junior had a tent caterpillar and a gypsy moth caterpillar, which he was keeping for the purpose of racing.  In the meantime he was playing make-believe.

“Pretend this caterpillar is an alien.” (I had never thought of that. I guess if there were aliens they might look very much like ordinary caterpillars.)

“It comes from Alienland, which is like a different country except that it’s not in this world.”

That was a few weeks ago.  Two days ago I was picking gooseberries and once again accompanied by Junior, who had come along to help but quit after a few scratches from the thorn bush.  I discovered a tiny snail on a berry and gave it to him.  A few minutes (and questions) later I found a big one, with all its parts tucked in.  I gave it to him, and was rewarded with a detailed report of its emergence.  And then…

“Pretend this snail is an alien.”

Cat Bath

For some time, Shamus had been telling me that the cat needed a bath.  I told him it could not be done.  Little did I know.

The other evening I looked out the window, and saw him gently but firmly petting the cat, keeping it where it was with one hand, and pouring handfuls of water on it with the other.  When he poured the water over it, it would strain and try to get away, but he calmly and firmly petted it down so that it would give up and stay.

A few minutes later I caught Pumpkin trying to smuggle the family hairbrushes outside. “Oh no, you don’t,” I said, interrupting his mission, “Those are for people only.”

He put the brushes away and ended up bringing out an old toothbrush from the stash we keep for cleaning.  A few minutes later he walked past again, this time with a fistful of toothbrushes (all no-longer-in-use ones, thank goodness!) I went outside to see the operation, and found three boys brushing a wet cat with toothbrushes in each hand.  And now I know that it can indeed be done.

That would be okay.

“B-O-K. What does that spell?”
“What if you put an S on the end?”
“Then it would say ‘box’ but that’s not how you spell it.  It’s B-O-X.”
“Go up to your brother and tell him he’s a B-O-X.”

“He was shaking my neck.”
“Now go tell him he’s a B-U-D.”

“B-U-M-O-S-O-G. What does that spell? I’m a B-U-M-O-S-O-G.  I’m a B-U-M-O-S-O-G.”

That’s a fish story

“How big was I when I was born?”

“I think you were about twenty-two inches.”

“Wow! That’s pretty big!”

“It’s about this big,” (he demonstrates.)

“Yeah. I guess that’s about as big as a fish.”

Encounter with a young insect enthusiast

“Did you see some of those caterpillars?”
“I don’t know. What kind are they?”
“They’re green and about this long,” he demonstrates with his fingers- about an inch and a half, “and they have horns that if you poke them they go in, and they smell kind of weird.”
“Nope. I didn’t see any of those.”
“Darn. They’re awesome.”

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