Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blind of Doof

Broer hangt met zijn armen over het stuur van zijn fiets. “Wat is erger,” zegt hij, “doof of blind?”
Zusje draait de klossen van haar springtouw rond. Het touw kletst telkens onder haar zwevende voeten. “Blind,” hijgt ze. “Veel erger.”
“Kan je nog steeds touwtje springen.”
“Maar niet fietsen.”
“En niet lopen,” zegt Bennie.
“Best wel, lopen kan best.” Broer laat zijn fiets op de grond zakken. Hij doet zijn ogen dicht en gaat met zijn handen opzij, tastend langs de heg.
“Ja, zo kan ik het ook,” zegt zusje. “Je mag niks aanraken. Dat is pas echt.”
Broer laat de heg los. Voetje voor voetje schuifelt hij over de stoep. “Zie je wel! Het gaat best!”
“Je spiekt!” zegt zusje.
“Niet!” zegt broer.
“Als je doof bent kun je niet praten,” zegt Bennie.
“Tuurlijk wel!” Zusje steekt haar vingers in haar oren. “Bla, bla, bla, bla.”
“Je kunt het niet horen.” Broer heeft zijn ogen weer open gedaan.
“Heus wel,” zegt zusje. “Ik hoor je nog steeds, alleen zachter.”
“Dat is niet echt doof. Als je echt doof bent, hoor je niks. Ook niet als ze een kanon afschieten.”
“Wie schiet er nou een kanon af?”
“Dat kan. In de oorlog schieten ze kanonnen af. Die hoor je dan niet.”
“Dus blind is erger,” zegt zusje.

“Ik weet er één,” zegt Bennie. “Wat is erger: geen vader of geen moeder.”
Broer fietst keihard weg.
“Doe niet zo stom,” zegt zusje.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Afraid of the Light

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Adam or Eve

One of the kittens has escaped. Someone inadvertently left the door of the quarantine room open, and Adam or Eve saw its chance. Soon after I spotted him in the garden. But how does one catch an undomesticated cat?
We called in the auxiliaries: the animal shelter, the cat finder, the animal ambulance. Leave food out for the stray and hire a trap cage, they said.
This we did. We left a bowl of cat food in the shed, and a day later we put the trap cage there. Within two hours we saw Adam (or Eve) sitting outside the shed, and five minutes later we heard the clang. Bingo! Bob’s your uncle!
We released a very angry kitten into the quarantine room, who immediately scurried behind the piano.
The adventure has almost been forgotten. He is still a little more wary of our movements. But the two are playing wildly again, even when we are in the room.
Case closed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve have been with us a week. The man in the pet shop said that they would need three months to get used to the house, and three more months to get used to us.
They now spend a lot of the time in the room, lying comfortably on the sofa, watching the world go by from the window, and chasing each other across the furniture.
Our dog Tazi is the least threatening being in their new lives, in spite of his vigorous barking. Our old cat is as afraid of them as they are, so he ignores them completely.
We, humans are tolerated from a distance. All we are allowed is to watch them.
And that we do, never tiring of the graceful antics of young felines.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Two Kittens

We got two kittens from the animal shelter: 12 weeks old, pitch black, and undomesticated.
Their adjustment to our household is wonderful to watch.
Day one: as soon as they have the chance, they escape from the cage in which they came and find their own hiding place. We discover it behind the piano.
Day two: overnight they have used the litter box and eaten their food. Good guys! Still in hiding. When we are not in the room they skulk around.
Day three: the braver of the two is making reconnaissance trips into the new territory while I am in the room. I throw a cork that needs investigating. However, not while that big animal is around.

To be continued.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blackberry Jam

Count one kilo of sugar for each kilo of handpicked blackberries, and the juice of two lemons.
Bring the berries to the boil and allow to simmer until juicy. Add the sugar and the lemon juice and allow a rolling, bubbling boil for about 3 minutes. Test for consistency. (A drop on a cold saucer should not be runny, when cooled.) Allow an extra minute if not correct.
Pour into warm jam jars that have been washed in hot soda water. Seal immediately.
Thus enjoy the taste of summer during the winter months.