Hi there, it’s me, the Mighty Cairn Terrier Sushi. We’re coming on early spring here at Fields of Athenry Farm. Baby lambs are bouncing around in the sun, doing happily frivolous things. But, that’s not where my head is right now, certainly not feeling frivolous, more like down in the dumps and unloved.
You see, one of the “other” farm dogs, that stage-stealing bullmastiff Clover, is down at the barn primping and preening herself – quite frankly, I think she is acting more like a duck! – All in preparation for her upcoming birthday. She was born on Saint Patrick’s Day, one of my master Mrs. B’s favorite holidays of the year, and, a really big birthday bash is being planned for her here at the farm.
I mean, really? The dog isn’t even Irish! She’s English for goodness sake and for weeks on end it’s been Clover this and Clover that. The dog can do no wrong. It is so annoying. And, that’s when it hits me. Sushi, I say to myself, you’re of Irish descent, you know … and Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up … and since you are in a rather mischievous mood … why not morph yourself into a silly little leprechaun and play some kind of practical birthday joke on Clover?
I am giddy at the thought of a good practical joke on her queenship! It must be something fun. Ahhhhhh, I got it, me as a leprechaun, doing something very mischievous to the queen bee. Fun, fun, fun. (And, it’s just a joke, after all … right?)
And, so, I scheme. I scheme in my small but very inventive Cairn Terrier head and come upon a decidedly Irish idea – perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day. I decide to dye one of those cute little lambs green, and blame it on Clover. It’s such a brilliant idea my mood is almost instantly elevated and so I set out for the house and that special basket Mr. B keeps all of those big chalk crayons – the perfect weapon of choice as when they get wet and gooey, mixed with a little green Easter egg coloring, they will paint a little lamb green as green can be! My plan is just divine! Everyone knows it is Clover who watches over the lambs. I can hardly stand my brilliance. Her glorified days are over!
Gnarly Gander, our stately farm goose, intercepts me on the way to the house. “Sushi, you look funny, like you might be down, but at the same time, you might be up to something? “Are you all right?” Gnarly says with a touch of concern. Gnarly’ s compassion touched me, but I was still in my part angry part mischievous mood and so I said “Go away Gnarly Gander, I don’t feel like talking to you or anybody else!” “Sushi; what’s wrong little man?” Gnarly asked. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong!” I snapped. “Everything is all about Clover. No one notices me anymore. I feel invisible. Mrs. B is dotting on that Irish imposter and Clover is down at the barn primping and preening and I just can’t stand it!” “Awe, Sushi,” said Gnarly, “You know Mrs. B and everyone loves you; but more than that, Clover is crazy about you! Just the other day Clover lay with me in the warm sun and reminisced how wonderful it was doing guard duty with you for the entire farm. She rolled on her back, carrying on about that time you alerted her to the hawk aiming to steal Lady Miss Gracious for his chicken dinner. She went on story after story about how grand you two work together – you, fast on those four little legs, and she with the brawn. What a perfect team you are together. It was so much togetherness Sushi about you two; I had to duck my head into Quackery Pond.
Well, that did it. I looked at Gnarly Gander, a glint of tear in my eye and said, “You know, when one of us is down, here on the farm, another one of us always knows how to lift us up, remind us we are part of a plan, part of a family. Thanks, Gnarly, for reminding me of that. It’s not about one of us, it’s about all of us. I think I’ll go back to the barn and surprise Clover. We have some birthday party planning to do!”
– All my love, Sushi.