Echidna fever

Mookie wrote a big report on echidnas and made this great diorama.


Ecihnas are monotremes, like platypuses–in fact, the only monotremes besides platypuses–which means that they lay eggs but are mammals in other respects. We have learned a lot about echidnas in the past few weeks, and I think the only reason we aren’t being begged for a pet echidna is that they live only in Australia and New Guinea and would be homesick.

Detail, so you can see the ants properly:


Echidnas love ants. I love the log. And the use of sushi grass, and the drawing of the echidna.

Flappy Flappy

A little ways outside our motel room was a tiny baby bird, apparently uninjured but out of the nest. As we were trying to keep it warm and wondering what to do, the motel’s owner came by and shared our concern. (We could hold it and breathe on it to keep it warm; people used to say that if humans touched a baby the parents would reject it, but I’ve been assured that’s not true.) The motel owner thought she knew where the nest was, and we could hear the cheeping of other birds overhead, so she went to get a stepladder. Then she said, “You ladies will have to hold it steady for me,” and climbed up to the second rung from the top (I don’t know if I could have done it, even for the sake of a baby bird). I handed up the nestling and she took it so gently and put it into the nest. She reported that there were two other babies there.

Mookie is elated that we helped save a baby bird. Now she is telling the whole story of Flappy Flappy, as she named it, to her stuffies.

I hope the parents are close by and that all the nestlings will be okay. I’m feeling grateful for kind hearts, like my wife’s and the motel owner’s, who think a baby bird is worth our trouble. And for brave ones, like Mookie’s, who stayed outside in the dark to guard the bird while Joy went looking for something to help with. And for the love between mamas and babies, in families and between species.


I still haven’t posted birthday party pics. My cell phone died suddenly, so I hope I’ll be able to retrieve them and upload them here some rainy day.

Anyway, I have to report a conversation we had the other day. I was telling Mookie about the Titanic. She wanted to know why the unsinkable ship sank.

Me: It hit an iceberg.
Mookie, in tone of great alarm: Were there any penguins on it?!

Mi animal favurito.

Mookie has been coming up to us and asking things like, “Can we make Llena Luna’s middle name?” (“Luna Llena” is a song we sing to the cat often, since her name is Luna.) “How do you spell meow in Spanish?” The project: a description of Luna, in Spanish. Here it is, as spelled by Mookie.

Mi animal favurito.

Mi animal favurito es una gata. Mi gata tiene pulgas. Mi gata una naris negro. Mi gata tiene cuatro patas. Mi gata es real. Mi gata es anadanjado. Mi gata sellama Luna Llena [ourlastname]. Mi gata es muy suave. Mi data dice miau. Mi gata es muy bonita.

Luna, age 10 months, with Mookie, age 22 months

Luna, age 10 months, with Mookie, age 22 months

My favorite animal.

My favorite animal is a cat. My cat has fleas. My cat a black nose. My cat has four paws. My cat is real. My cat is orange. My cat is named Luna Llena (“Full Moon”) [ourlastname]. My cat is very soft. My cat says meow. My cat is very beautiful.

Welcome to our new location

Hello, Mookie fans,

I’ve moved over here because the Livejournal format was really cumbersome for loading photos, which are the high point (some would say the point) of this blog. Also, it’s easy for you to sign up to get a notice whenever there’s a new post about Mookie–click on the “Follow” button at right.

So, I’ll jump right in with some updates. Last Saturday we went to the zoo before opening time for a special breakfast with the lemur keeper and an early-morning visit to the lemurs. Mookie won a red-ruffed lemur in the raffle! Stuffed animals have gotten so much more interesting since Mookie’s Mommy and I were kids. I seem to remember the choices being pretty much bears, rabbits, dogs, cats. The occasional mouse or snake. Now we have, not a snake, but a coral snake. Not a monkey, but a spider monkey. Not a lemur (a creature I hadn’t even heard of when I was her age), but a red ruffed lemur. Another child won a ring-tailed lemur. The distinction is important.

We renewed our membership, even though it seems sometimes as if we are paying $95/year for a playground membership. The playground is Mookie’s favorite part of the zoo. Second favorite is this tiger.

She would rather visit it than the real tigers. But once dragged to the animals, she does enjoy them enough that we decided to stick with membership.