Don't Throw Sardines at Your Neighbor's House

                Don't throw sardines at your neighbor's house. It will only confuse your
dog. 

sardines.jpg
This is a cautionary tale, but not in the way you think.  It's a
warning you need to be very careful what you say in front of your
writer friends, even your oldest, dearest friends, because what you say
could end up in what they write.

I had breakfast today with some of my oldest and dearest friends, the mothers of my sons' grade school classmates. We all met about ten years ago when our kids were four.  We hadn't seen each other in a while. Many of the kids have switched schools. But as a group we still get together about once or twice a year simply because we really, really like each other.

When my boys started at their pre-school, the principal told us to look around the room at the other moms, because the friendships made here would last us our lifetimes.  She was wrong. About those moms, anyway.  But what she said did hold true for my boys' Junior Kindergarten class.  When my sons switched schools in seventh grade they mourned what they thought would be the loss of these friends.  I told them it was too late for that. Those kids were going to be their friends forever and we would be seeing them a lot because I had hopelessly and irretrievable fallen in love with all their mothers.

Which brings me to my point, finally.  At breakfast my dear friend, we'll call her  "Janet," told a hilarious story about seeing a stray cat that seemed to be living in the empty house next door.  Janet is the kindest soul you'd ever want to meet and even though she's allergic to cats, she began throwing fish at her neighbor's house.  Sardines, to be exact.  She said the cat would turn it's nose up and away in disgust at the offering, but when it thought Janet wasn't looking, would hurry over and gobble it down.  Turns out, it's bad to feed sardines to cats, (Part one of the cautionary tale. This is actually true. Sardines are NOT good for cats to eat.) especially if, when you throw them over the fence they sometimes get stuck on said fence and then freeze, and maybe even accumulate snow. This is the part that confuses your dog, who will stand in your back yard for an inordinate amount of time staring at the impaled sardine and wonder whatever it is that a dog would wonder about while tilting it's confused head at an impaled frozen fish on a fence.  (Part two of the cautionary tale.)

But I think the most important caution is--and you're wrong, because I've changed my mind and I'm not going to say you should never admit to throwing fish over your fence into your neighbor's yard while you're in the presence of your blogger friend--to never underestimate the bond of motherhood, the power of female friendship and, okay, how really funny flying sardines can be when you've had way too much coffee.

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