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WHERE INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY

Experience the world through the eyes of

A COVERED BRIDGE and more

JANUARY 2011


PERSPECTIVES About the Magazine ISSN: 1920-4205 Frequency: Biyearly Founding Editor: Monique Berry Designer: Monique Berry Editorial Assistant: Jennifer L. Foster

Contact Info

 : http://1perspectives.webs.com

 : perspectivesmagazine@gmail.com  : 1-905-549-3981 |  : 1-905-549-5021

Photo Credits Header images ©iStockphoto.com/AptTone, p4 courtesy of Peggy Fletcher. All other inside photos courtesy of Brian Cobbledick. Front, back, and p8 courtesy of Monique Berry.

In this Issue From the Editor’s Desk ........................................ p2 Antique storybook ................................................. p4 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Peggy Fletcher Cat hair................................................................... p4 Fluff Ball’s Adventure by Jennifer L. Foster Cell phone............................................................... p7 Rituals by Rachel Loveday Covered bridge ...................................................... p9 Enduring Secrets by Monique Berry Raindrop .............................................................. p10 Restless Exodus by Carolyn Agee Mirror ................................................................... p11 Reflections by Donna McDonald Saddle ................................................................... p12 A Western Saddle’s Story by Rebecca R. Taylor Potato .................................................................... p13 A Potato’s Dream by Craig W. Steele Toilet ..................................................................... p14 All in a Day’s Work by C. Douglas Johnson Interesting facts about represented objects ...... p15

Page 2

From the Editor’s Desk Resolutions. For or against, the word has traveled through the mouths of reporters, psychologists, lovers, writers, fitness trainers and more. Initially, I was against making any goals; I thought my goals were too ho-hum and common—diet more, walk more, write more, bla bla bla. Then, I had an aha moment—get a 2011 weight watchers membership. But here‘s the twist! I will create my own emotional weight loss program. I resolve to be an emotional weight watcher. When applied to the body, before I seek to lose even one physical pound, I need to lose the damaging, negative weight in my heart and mind. If I lose weight, my mirrored reflection will be appealing. But my mind‘s eye will still reflect an individual with a heavy heart. Even if I lose twenty pounds, I'll still carry a heavy mind. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, Proverbs 23:7. The same discipline works with writing. Applied to writing, I need to remember to plan encouraging and stress-free talks, and stop feeding my mind with fear of failure and rejection. I am going to stop living with my eyes locked in the backward position. I wasted too much time walking forward and looking at the past simultaneously: I have a successful magazine (looking forward) but even established ones are folding (looking back)! If you are pursuing writing, drop the emotional burdens. You will write well and you‘ll feel great. Now, please excuse me. I have to start making some resolutions! Until the next time, keep the ink flowing.

Monique Berry


Page 3


ANTIQUE STORYBOOK

Page 4 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland By Peggy Fletcher In sad disrepair

I was greatly loved

my yellow pages

by a single child

crumbling into history

who received

I reside

the gift of inspired

on wooden shelf

imagination

oblivious

that still lives

to those incisive eyes

inside

that dismiss

these ragged pages

early technology

as small brown flakes

for digital form

tumble like tears

but where

released

in deep remembrance

from my fragile spine

of my bedtime role

to her aging hands.

CAT HAIR

Peggy Fletcher is a retired teacher and journalist whose work has appeared in many literary journals and books in Canada and the United States. Contact her at p_fletcher@live.com.

Fluff Ball’s Adventure By Jennifer L. Foster

W

e were pressed in an unnatural bond—marble, moth, deflated balloon with string, broken mirror and I, a clump of cat hair—but we had the strange and captivating advantage of having heightened perspective. If you asked me how the last few months have passed, I would answer: it‘s been hair-raising. Life began on my elegant mistress‘s plume tail. Flossie, a longhaired calico tabby, had almond-shaped green eyes and uneven striped markings in grey, black and ginger. Her soft underbelly and feet were white. But her S-curved tail was the envy of all who gazed at her. It was especially long for such a small cat. We flourished. Our luxurious cream, taupe and orange hairs grew glossy. People often remarked on her delicate beauty. Then they‘d pat her head, and stroke her back and bushy tail. Flossie arched her back and fluffed her tail into a crescent shape; she mewed with joy. In addition to all that pampering, Flossie's owner brushed her every day. All that stroking sent long hairs flying from her tail.


Page 5 One day after a vigorous brushing, I went soaring. Just like that, I was tossed into the air where I swirled in the draft of forced air heating and then floated onto the kitchen floor. I—a bunch of Flossie's plume tail hairs—narrowly escaped being sucked into the household stick vacuum by a hair or two. I ended up under the fridge as a fluff ball. I lodged there for a few weeks until the lady of the house came looking for one of Flossie's toys—a miniature teddy bear that was prostrate beside me. She poked at us with a yardstick and pulled us out. ―Good grief, Flossie!‖ cried her owner. ―Here's Teddy!‖ Flossie rushed over, eagerly eyeing Teddy. She merely sniffed me but gave Teddy a little lick and playfully batted him across the floor. Regrettably, Flossie‘s owner hastily swept me up and tossed me in a green trash bin by the garage. I became enmeshed in the compostable kitchen waste: egg shells, stale coffee filters, banana peels, cabbage cores, slimy squash seeds…you name it, it was there. In the confines of a heavy plastic bin, I could no longer see my beloved mistress. Trapped, we sweated it out in the bin until garbage day. When a city worker tipped open the trash lid on a sunny April morning, it seemed like a trip to freedom. Fresh air! But the kitchen waste just landed in a big truck with more and more recyclables. We met tons of dandelions. Severed heads and roots. Flies. Chicken bones. Smelly fish heads. Mucky brown paper bags. It was a rotting brotherhood! We shook as the enormous city garbage truck accelerated and braked. Panic overtook us each time we heard the crazy whine of what turned out to be a mechanical crusher. Push! Whrrrr. Rotate! Whrrr. Squeeze!! After driving for hours on an urban route, we came to a rough, unpaved road. Bump! The whole back end of the truck was raised and our packed load was dumped into an open pit. We had reached the garbage dump. Amidst the smoky burned smells, other trucks churned us—moving us into mountains of waste. Eventually, the grinding clamor ceased. The sun filtered through the dusky haze. A breeze slid over our battered bodies as the spring evening settled with a damp coolness. Now that the workers had long gone, we were left with nothing more than eerie silence and a blank sky.

At daylight, seagulls soared above; they flapped around and chided us while attacking ragged eggshells and bits of chicken fat. During their gluttonous frenzy, I somehow broke free of the sticky glop. I flew in fits and starts over shrivelled dandelion heads. I escaped! Incredibly, I landed on the grassy slope of a nearby landfill. Two days later, a light rain washed my sticky hairs; the April sun dried me out. My old color and shine returned. I was me again. Flossie's little fluff ball! But how to return to her and all that was lost? Then my rescuer came a calling. Or so I thought.

O

ut of nowhere, the biggest, blackest bird I had ever seen swooped down and carried me in his short bill. His iridescent black feathers shone in the sunlight as he steadily flapped his wings while we rose high in the air above the landfill. Before I knew it, we were on a journey over the city past the rooftops of hundreds of homes. Compared to my usual bearings on Flossie‘s tail, the sudden aerial sensations were out of this world. From this changing vista, I could see a large city spread out on two levels. Travelling north toward the lip of a rocky shelf, we soon spotted freighters stretched along a bay, and a great lake to the east. I later learned that my capturer was a common crow, an American Crow, and that I was a treasure find. I landed in a rarefied place called a nest, high in a red oak tree along the city‘s escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment. Wait! There was more quirkiness. I was dropped into a bowl not much bigger than Flossie's water dish. An outer, rougher section was fashioned from dead oak and black walnut branches. Now, two enormous crows were coming and going with materials to build the nest‘s inner wall and lining. Moss, grasses, velvety pine needles. And who should I have for neighbours? Why, of all things, a battered gold-striped marble, a dried-out moth shell, a deflated mauve balloon with string, and a shard of broken mirror. We lodged at the bottom of the crows‘ treetop home and were played with from time to time. My capturer nudged me with his beak and tousled my hairs with his talons; he cocked his head and admired me with keen, brown eyes. On every hairy strand, my razor-thin eyes regarded him with sheer (Continued on page 6)


Page 6 terror. Wedged against the nest wall, I watched crow peck at broken mirror and roll marble a bit with his bill. He tossed string in the air but hopped right back on balloon‘s fragile membrane, keeping them captive. When he spread his wing over us and made ‗clicketyclick‘ sounds and soft ‗caaw caaw‘ noises, I relaxed somewhat and reconsidered my plight. By month's end, the smaller bird spent all her time in the nest. She laid eggs. Bluish-green with brown and grey markings. We were hard pressed under the weight of her clutch of three eggs and her black, silky breast. The larger crow brought seeds, garden snails and tiny birds‘ eggs for his partner to eat. Two weeks passed. One rainy May evening, big crow arrived with a limp field mouse. The brown-faced dried moth almost quivered with wild anticipation. But smaller crow gobbled up the mouse in one gulp. Four sunny spring days slipped by. One morning, new life emerged. Baby crows! Small helpless creatures with a fine brushing of down to tickle us. And were they hungry! The parents kept busy. The father and other members of their family searched for the young chicks‘ food. Feeding time was always a ruckus and a joy; a tender, caring activity for all. Several times we heard a great squawking—a great hullaballoo. Caaw! Caaw! Caaw! Never by the nest. Down on the ground. The male and other family crows were hollering and squawking thirty to forty feet away. A predator must have been nearby. But whatever it was, silence—always silence. The nestlings were cared for and reared by their parents and extended family. After many weeks, the plump fledglings took hesitant steps around the nest rim. One day, they learned to flap their wings and timidly flew aloft. A life thrill to watch. The nest is empty except for my strange kin and a piece of a chick‘s eggshell. With all this movement in the nest, marble, dead moth, balloon and string, broken piece of mirror and I, Fluff Ball, have shifted up the side. We're drying out in the sun and the mild June breezes. Funny thing; I've finally looked over the top of the nest, wondering where I am. What a shock! Bizarre, really! I recognize the backyard and the house. It's where Flossie and her owner live and where I once was whole. Here I am up in the nest at the top of a massive red oak. Same Fluff

Ball. Different life. And down there they haven't a clue. Flossie could never hear my faint, whispery voice over the swish of wind in the oak leaves and white pine boughs. A conundrum in this escarpment strip of Carolinian forest. We've started to talk. Plan. When words fail, we use a kind of easy talk—minimal gestures, squeaks and grunts. The others want to get back to their roots, too...if they can.

W

e're working on a sort of parachute. Dead moth for the wings. Chick‘s eggshell—ideal for canopy and decoy. Striped marble for ballast. Deflated balloon and old string become materials. Mirror fragment for the floor. I'll be a lightweight for the ride. Maybe I can help stabilize the drop and cushion a landing. Too little breeze and we're going nowhere. Too much wind and we're doomed to crash in the prickly pine branches. All we can think about is getting back to the earth. We're aiming to land at the foot of the yard. By the wild catnip patch. I dream of reuniting with Flossie. In my mind, I repeatedly hear myself calling out, Flossie, it's me! Fluff Ball! Remember? Part of your plume tail. I'm back! I wish, with all the combined strength of my hairs, to ground myself in her presence once more. To nuzzle with Flossie in the catnip patch where she loves to linger; roll on the moist bumpy soil on a fine spring day. Smell the spicy tang of catnip on her whiskers. Curl up with the tip of her chin on my hair. Feel her warm breath and soft heartbeats. Catch her kittenish mews. To be a part of her feline world. Back here in the nest, we're waiting for a slight breeze to get us over the top. And then it's anyone's guess how things will go. Yet, we're a special parachute contraption. But no sense just dreaming; better get on with it. We haven't much time. The rhubarb is poking up in the ground, no doubt. And before long, the stalks will leaf out and cover the catnip. Jennifer resides close to the Niagara Escarpment. She graduated from Queen‘s University and has retired from counselling and programs work. Her poetry for children has appeared in Cats, Cats, Cats and More Cats (Mini Mocho Press) and a short story in a previous issue of Perspectives Magazine. Contact her at jenniferlfosterlit@sympatico.ca.


Page 7 By Rachel Loveday

I

am not just a mobile phone—I am Ellie Brandon‘s life. I am more than a wireless device that chats with her family, friends, and work colleagues. I am her schedule keeper full of editorial meetings, and her personal trainer. I record her daily running times, which are getting shorter each day she gets fit. Ellie‘s working week always starts the same. When I yell ―Wake Up!‖ at 6 a.m., she silences me and then lays me down on the bedside table where I sleep. That prepares me for the next day, but I still get to snooze before she wakes me. I rest in the armband where her now-broken IPod used to sit. On her morning run, I get dizzy as she moves her arms forward and backward to maintain her balance. The Lake Albert walking track, path, and people are the same—it‘s starting to bore me. She needs to run somewhere else. Once when Ellie was training, my face was slammed with a violent hit. She had run into an unfamiliar jogger wearing a red shirt.

When Ellie arrives at work, I stay in her black leather handbag for the day. Loneliness creeps over me as I lie in the dark bottom with her wallet, car keys and eyeglass case. I don't like waiting until the day is over to see into Ellie‘s world again. I‘m guessing that the bag is sitting on her desk because I can hear muffled conversations. Shortly after, I hear Jenny asking her to lunch, Peter reminding her to attend the new gym opening, and then the desk phone rings a few times. During her lunch hour, Ellie places me in a black leather holster, and then clips me onto her hip while she pays her bills and looks after the new gym opening. The comfy holster keeps the sun out of my eye. To be honest, I‘m always afraid of falling off her hip. I have a few times. Occasionally, I fall so hard that I split open. Ellie just puts me back together like nothing happened (but it hurts like hell). Apart from a few bumps and bruises, I keep pictorial memories of her festive parties and special loved ones. I send her emails and I keep her day running smoothly. I am her life. Rach Loveday is currently studying a double degree; Bachelor of Creative Arts (majoring in Creative Writing)-Bachelor of Journalism in Wollongong, Australia. This is her third article in Perspectives Magazine.

CELL PHONE

Rituals


Page 8


Page 9 By Monique Berry

T

wilight is drawing near. It‘s my favoured hour because it conceals my weathered appearance. Okay. I admit to getting twinges of vanity and fear. I‘m not a young bridge any more. Not long ago, a female cardinal told me that my brother‘s face was vandalized. Graffiti all over him. But he gets lots of visitors. On the other hand, walkers seldom pass over my boards. So, I guess I can relax. Covered bridges are generally detected by word-of-mouth or by chance—I certainly was for one couple. No matter. Weatherworn or not, I love being available as a serene hideaway for animals and people as the need arises. Woodland creatures, who scurry on rugs of green earth, are my daily companions. For years, I had frequent conversations with a bubbling brook while it polished its stones but it has since dried out. I savour the dawning voices of birds and crickets, and the occasional clip clop of horses‘ hooves. Yes, from the moment the first streams of light filter through the trees to when the lengthening sunset shadows cover me, I am content. The best part of being a covered bridge is that I‘m privy to secrets! Enclosed inside my walls are umpteen secrets—including those of animals. You see, the promise of privacy breeds honesty. Fifty years ago I remember well, even though it was many decades ago, a secret shared by one couple. It surpassed all other memories dear to me. Every Friday night they used to rendezvous here in the spring. The couple would arrive on horseback en route to the librarian‘s log cabin where budding writers and historians met. Since I was a young

bridge at the time, my woody aroma inspired months of passion and romance. On the night of his departure, she arrived thirty minutes earlier. The red-headed woman rested on me for support and then told me everything. I guess she felt I could be trusted. For the first time, the young woman spoke her secret aloud. Her voice trembled as she uttered her fears of being left alone—again. The toughest part about learning her painful circumstance was being not able to console her. But I knew her lover would make it right. Incidentally, if you‘re curious to know what her secret was, you‘ll be waiting a long time. I‘m not free to disclose that information—it was spoken in confidence. Her gentleman caller arrived with a single rose. Their bodies locked in unashamed affection. No one spoke for the longest time. When he saw that she was having trouble coping with the situation he raised her chin, wiped her tear-streaked face, and comforted her with promissory whispers. ―Oh, my love. No matter what happens, I will always, always treasure our special place.‖ How I longed to close my wooden arms and hug my romantic visitors! ―Our love will return one day. After all, he or she will find the directions in your journal someday. And our secret!‖ With a final look, he backed away. As he faded into the distance, their eyes kissed each other ‗farewell.‘ Present Day Well, like I mentioned before I reminisced, it‘s twilight. Every time a rider from a nearby hamlet or village comes by and whispers secrets, my heart races. I ask myself, Could it be the rose child? It would be so comforting to know their love endured into the generations. Clip clop!

Monique Berry is the founder of Perspectives and Christian Perspectives. Her work has appeared in Searching for Answers anthology, Personal Journaling, The Sitter’s Companion, and others. In her spare time, she facilitates a critique workshop, enjoys photography, offers editing services, and is involved in several creative projects. Contact her at perspectivesmagazine@gmail.com or visit her website at http://www.moniqueberry.ca.

COVERED BRIDGE

Enduring Secrets


RAINDROP

Page 10 Restless Exodus By Carolyn Agee

Restless in the womb of waiting, the cumulus tent. Trembling for exodus. The film weakens, breaks. Freedom. I slip silently through the air, wind lashing my face, my shape shifting to the whims dictated by cruel fate. The gray sky lightens, mauve in the east. My breathing slows as I take a new formation, beneath a fresh sunrise, dropping to earth, toward the scent of ripe, cut hay, past dew suspended in rough, withered branches. Tumbling, rushing, running toward the endless sea gleaming in the light of dawn.

Carolyn Agee is an internationally published poet. She found inspiration for this poem in the humid climate of her home in the Pacific Northwest. Her recent and forthcoming credits include: Petrichor Machine, Christian Perspectives, and A Flame in the Dark. You can reach her at carolynagee@ymail.com.


Page 11 By Donna McDonald

I

am whatever you think you are—love, hate, good, evil, beauty or ugliness. I am the window to your illusions. All perception is my domain, and vanity is my specialty. The wicked queen in the Grimm‘s fairy tale Snow White asked, ―Mirror, mirror, who is the fairest in the land?‖ I am magical, reflecting her thoughts. You may say I am guilty to a fault of your self-examination. I would not deny it. My fragile condition is that I do not bend; I only break. You too may break if your ego looks for eternal beauty and youth. Folklore has it that I provide protection by reflecting the intent of an intruder back to himself. No wonder I have places of distinction in all dwellings. My powers bring light to the shadows. Put me in a cage with a bird— it will not mate, preferring its own vanity. Do not underestimate my power! Dorian Gray, in Oscar Wilde‘s Picture of Dorian Gray, saw himself aging in the portrait, which was the mirror to his soul. In the end, he destroyed his image and died because he could no longer deny his true self. Most of us prefer to see ourselves in a better light, but mirror knows. The reality I project needs an admired reflection. Otherwise, I am a blank, shiny surface of no account. My value and insight requires perception. My being depends on you; otherwise, I am not noticed. But not to worry— vanity is everywhere.

Although Donna McDonald has had a long nursing career, she’s never given up on her love of writing. Donna has taken many writing courses at Mohawk College, and attended one year of journalism at Ryerson University. She has self-published her first book this year and is currently working on a poetry book. Donna is retired, married, and has an adult son. Contact her at mcdonna@sympatico.ca.

MIRROR

Reflections


SADDLE

Page 12

A Western Saddle’s Story By Rebecca R. Taylor

H

owdy! How are ya‘ll doing today? Me? I‘m just back from an exhilarating day out on the range. I was riding with my best friend Zeus, a white gelding covered with black spots. It belongs to our master, Brett Harrison. Brett‘s putting Zeus back in his stall right now, and then it will be time for him to wipe all the dust off my brown leather exterior. Tomorrow I get my weekly rubdown with saddle soap. I love the way it feels. It is so refreshing; it soaks into my pores and removes the last of my grime and sweat. If I stay in good shape, Zeus and Brett stay safe. There is nothing better than the smell of fresh country air and a breeze brushing you with its breath. Today, we are moving Hereford cattle into another pasture for better grazing. I love spending time outside. It is so peaceful. The only sounds are the mooing and pounding of the cattle‘s hooves, Zeus‘s occasional whinny, and Brett‘s whistling. You might think, So what? You’re only a saddle. Yes, I am a saddle but I am also important. I help the

Triple H Ranch run smoothly. Without me, Brett and Zeus wouldn‘t be able to do their job securely. Our relationship is built on teamwork. Brett, Zeus, and I make a great team because we are all skilled in our work. Knowing that I have a purpose makes me feel great. When Brett takes his place within me and his boots touch my stirrups, I know that we are ready to take on the day. My heart thumps with excitement because I know that we are going to do important work out on the range. I love riding on Zeus‘s back and feeling his smooth, quick movements under me. I am thankful for having kind friends like Brett and Zeus, and for having a meaningful job. My biggest fear would be losing what matters most to me: my friends and my job. They are what make me who I am and give me purpose. Some days are long and we work in all kinds of weather. It doesn‘t bother me though, because I know that I am helping to make a difference. Without me, Brett would not be able to go out and look at his stock, to check over his land and see all that he has accomplished. We work hard, and in return, we get our rewards. Being valued is my reward. Brett makes sure that I am cleaned


Page 13 everyday and hung on my peg in the tack room until we are ready to ride again. I still remember the day that Brett got me, five years ago. It was cold, even in Mr. Branson‘s tack shop in town where I sat on my makeshift rack–a sawhorse. Here, I was just merchandise, a piece of fine leather for Mr. Branson to earn his trade. Then Brett walked in, looking for a new saddle. He smiled and spoke to several people in the shop. Brett‘s family has been ranchers in Alberta for three generations so far, and he knows everyone in town. Although he had loved my predecessor, a saddle that had belonged to his father, Brett had to accept that it was beyond repair. He hung his old saddle on the wall in his tack room and took me home to show Zeus and the other ranch hands. The morning after he bought me, I was swung proudly over Zeus‘s strong back and the three of us went out to work. I live in the barn, which is attached to the tack room. The heat from the hay and animals keeps me warm. After a day‘s work, Brett wipes me down. I look almost as new as the day he laid eyes on me.

To Brett and Zeus, I‘m an essential working partner who eases the way and makes our job we have to do more comfortable. When they chase cattle, Brett rides high in my saddle, his long legs in my stirrups. I keep him secure while he swings his lariat, to lasso a cow that needs to go back to the barn. There are many more years in me. When I retire, I expect to have earned a special spot beside Brett‘s previous saddle. Well, I‘d better go; I hear Brett‘s footsteps in the barn. He‘s heading this way to look after me before I settle in for the night. Well, morning comes early here at the Triple H Ranch. G‘Night y‘all!

Rebecca lives along the St. Francis River in St. Felix-de-Kingsey, Quebec. She enrolled in an online course at St. Lawrence College to prepare her to be a full-time writer someday. Her recent publications have been included in Bread n’ Molasses, Grainews, and previous issues of Perspectives and Christian Perspectives. Contact her at rebecca_taylor2@hotmail.com.

By Craig W. Steele I dream of becoming an onion, ever since I saw one being peeled this morning. I‘d gladly pluck out every budding eye in trade for those curvaceous folds that strip away provocatively, each one exposing yet another sheer, silken petal underneath. But I understand why humans will never redesign a food grown to conquer famine that would dehydrate their eyes with every cut.

Craig W. Steele is a writer and university biologist who lives in the urban countryside of northwestern Pennsylvania, USA. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Aurorean, Crow Toes Quarterly, 3LIGHTS, Modern Haiku, Time of Singing and elsewhere. You can contact him at csteele@wildblue.net.

POTATO

A Potato’s Dream


TOILET

Page 14 All in a Day’s Work By C. Douglas Johnson If I were a psychiatrist and paid big money to have people come unload that would be one thing, but I’m not. I have to take crap to keep a job and a roof over my lid. And my social life has completely gone down the drain. At least when I lived in the appliance store, I modeled and interacted with people almost everyday. Those were the days… Now, my family and I live in the same house but we never get to see each other. Heaven forbid! There’s always the threat if we ever act up, we’ll be thrown out. That’s right, porcelain junkyard. So, most of the time I just sit in my room–alone! And when I do get a visitor, it’s not much better. Some just sit and read, silently, with no thoughts of me. Do their business, and leave. Rude, simply rude, I tell you! Others, particularly the little tots in training, come in and just stuff me until I choke. Then, their mom or dad will come in, fussing and cussing, and stick something down my throat to make me spit up. Oh, and some are downright disgusting. If they didn’t have me bolted to the floor, I’d run right out that door. The smell–whew! The odor is unbearable. And they don’t have any manners; they leave without even a spray.

Oh yeah, lest not I forget about the ones who wee-wee all over the place– my neck, my back, my sides. And those who forget to exercise my arm before they leave. No home training, I tell you. No home training. And rarely are we praised for a job well done. Every now and then, we’ll get hugs. It’s usually from the ones who drink too much, calling on the porcelain gods to save them. They fall on the floor and hug us for a while. Get up, wipe their mouth, and leave with a smile. Oh, but there’s another visitor who comes to show me love. Her name is Plumber. She’s so beautiful, and she understands me so well. I don’t think my guardian likes her that much, but she sure makes my day! I guess my life is better than that of my cousins. They’re in that dreadful public place, where all kinds of strangers come and spit in their face. And yet, it’s all in a day’s work. It may not be glamorous, but it beats the alternative. Don’t get me wrong; there are good days, too. They just don’t come around that often. I know my guardian hates them, but I love Bath Days! It feels so great to get a good scrubbing… Yeah, right there…That’s it! It’s nice to know you’re needed and you serve a useful purpose. Yeah, some people may take us for granted, but, I’ve learned life’s not fair. Sometimes, you have to take some crap, and it is a thankless job. Hey, it’s all in a day’s work! Dr. C. Douglas Johnson lives in metro Atlanta, GA, with his lovely wife and two kids. He teaches and researches at Georgia Gwinnett College, and is pursuing research and writing about calling and faith at work. Contact him at cdouglasjohnson@yahoo.com.


Page 15 Interesting facts about represented objects

Alice in Wonderland, p4 Tenniel's illustration of the Jabberwock was originally intended as the book‘s frontispiece, but it turned out to be so horrible that Carroll thought it might be better to replace it with another one. Therefore, he conducted a private poll of about thirty mothers by sending them a letter. To see the letter and other related trivia, visit http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/ alice9.html

Cat hair, p4 1) If a cat is frightened, the hair stands up fairly evenly all over the body; when the cat is threatened or is ready to attack, the hair stands up only in a narrow band along the spine and tail. 2) Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens' hair from darkening on the points.

Cell phone, p7 1) A cell-phone is actually a complicated radio. Areas are divided into small cells, with a cell phone tower at the center of each cell. 2) For the convenience of vote delivery, the Estonians are using their mobile phones. It also serves as a very convenient means to show their personal identification. 3) If you have a Nokia mobile set and you are going out of battery and also you are expecting a very important call. Simply by dialing the code *3370#, the battery of your Nokia set will upgrade up to 50% by using a built-in reserve battery.

Covered bridge, p9 1) Many bridges are painted red on the outside. Historians believe the red coating makes the bridge seem more like a barn to a horse, and as horses tended to be skittish about crossing high over flowing water, the illusion helped farmers and travelers navigate the obstacle with little incident. 2) The same covered bridge can be known by multiple names, but each has its own "fingerprint"; a World Guide Number. These unique identification numbers are very telling about each bridge and are used on a national scale, even being adopted by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.

Mirror, p11 1) The timeframe of the 7-year misfortune for breaking one, came from the Romans who believed that a man‘s body is rejuvenated every 7 years. They believed that a person became a new man after this period. Because the pieces of a broken mirror reflect the corrupted soul, every single piece of the broken item should be grounded into dust. That way, no reflection remains. 2) Chimps are the only animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror.

Saddle, 12 1) The Western saddle was designed for cowboys who spent long days riding the range, driving and working cattle. Leather Western saddles are much heavier than English saddles. 1) At one time, the Scots refused to eat potatoes because potatoes weren't mentioned in the Bible! 2) Louis XVI of France wore potato flowers in his buttonhole to stimulate interest in the plant. 3) In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.

Potato, p13

Raindrop, p10 1) A raindrop with a diameter below 2mm

Toilet, p14 1) The Roman army didn‘t have toilet paper.

is spherical before bursting into smaller raindrops, due to water tension and air resistance. 2) Only spherical raindrops produce rainbows. 3) It takes approximately 1 million cloud droplets to provide enough water for just one raindrop.

So they used a water-soaked sponge on the end of a stick. 2) Thomas Crapper who perfected the siphon flush system we use today, was born in the village of Thorne—an anagram of ‗throne.‘ 3) Most toilets flush in the key of E-flat.


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Perspectives Magazine