I was working with some old pictures, trying to spiff them up so they would look fresher and more up to date, when the phone rang. I often disconnect it when I work (what do we have e-mail for?), but I hadn't this time.
So I answered it, and this sweet, melodious voice with a slight French accent said "'ello? is this Mr. Stobble'ouse?"
My irritation disappeared. The right kind of voice will do this. So I answered that this was he. Him. Me. Stobblehouse, that is.
"Mr. Stobble'ouse, I would like to come visit you, because I 'ave 'eard about your Dimple Pear tree in your garden."
Well, this was a new one. I was not aware that I had any special trees in my garden, but it appeared that a botanist had come by and spotted a rare kind of pear tree, and this chick from some research institution wanted a look. I happily agreed, and she came over on Saturday.
So, late in the afternoon on Saturday, I was standing with her (Jennifer was her name) in the garden. I was rather satisfied that I had invited her, for she was a very pleasant sort of woman. Soft and cultured, sense of humor. Long, full, curly jet-black hair. Long, straight nose, full lips. Laughing eyes. And a figure that supported it all really well.
"Congratulations, you do indeed have a genuine Dimple Pear," she said.
"Tell me, does it usually bear much fruit?"
So we talked about the tree, and then Domald spotted her.
Domald is an owl living in the big oak also in my garden. He has a good eye for beautiful women, and it did not fail him today. "Hooooooooohh!" He stated. I looked up at him and winked.
Jennifer was surprised. She turned and looked up. "What was that? An owl? In daylight hours?"
"Yes," I said. "That is Domald. He has good eyes, and often calls to my attention when he sees a beautiful woman." I grinned at her.
After half a second, she got it. "Ohh." She smiled. "Thank you." She looked up, trying to see Domald better. "And thank you too, Domald."
"Hoooooh!" said Domald.
A bit later, I invited her for dinner. Now I am not a great cook, but I mixed up something passable, and she graciously said it was delicious.
Just as I was putting away the plates, we heard some dreadful coughing noises in the garden. As we investigated, they turned out to come from Domald's tree. And as we stood looking up into the tree, suddenly a handball-sized grey lump came crashing down to us. It was Domald, and he was apparently choking on a mouse or whatever! (I thought that animals had more sense than humans that way, but maybe he was in love or something.)
"Oh my god, It's terreeble," said Jennifer. And she bent down and picked him up. And then she performed the Heimlich maneuver on him! (pressing in under the ribs, forcing air to push up the stuck item.) Up shot a mouse the size of a hamster. (Never get too enthusiastic to remember to chew your food.) Domald coughed and spat and generally looked very miserable.
"Ooooh, the poor darling," said Jennifer. And then she carried him into my house! I would not have done that, but now she was doing it, I could find no good excuse to protest.
She sat down with him in the kitchen. "Do you 'ave a baby bottle? And some milk you can warm?"
I was getting more surprised by the minute, but I followed orders. And then she started feeding him milk from my youngest niece's old baby bottle! "It eases 'is throat and 'is stomach," she said. After a minute, Domald looked more content. And then he threw up on her! All over her patterned silk shirt!
"Ooh, I should 'ave remembered that that happens sometimes," she just said. Then she handed me the owl for a moment, took off her shirt and then continued feeding him warm milk.
When I had rinsed out her shirt and hung it to dry, I looked at her again. She was sitting there in a small, lacy, dark blue bra! I don't mind telling you, I thought it looked damn good.
And Domald looked like he enjoyed it also. He was sitting pressed solidly against one of her nice soft tits, sucking from the baby bottle. That Dirty Old Owl! Even though I don't often desire warm milk, for a moment there I felt a bit envious.
It was getting late, and her shirt was not dry. So I put her up in a guest room. The next day we made an appointment that she come back when the pear tree bore fruit. Domald felt fine again.
End of story.