Thursday, May 31, 2007

From: Snook (The Elder) at Home

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

As we approach the anniversary of the passing of my dear old friend John Parry--who was inexplicably shrunken to the size of a mouse in the summer of 2005, and who spent what was to be the final year of his life here, in the relative security of Casa Snook--I find myself given over to fond reminiscences of the time we spent together.

I found the following in my diary, dated November 3rd, 2005. (And I'll ask that you refrain from judgement of me in the matter of my parenthetical musings about the Buckley's Mixture bottle. You must remember that I could not have known at the time that a second spell of what was likely the same illness would indeed take our Little John from us, and only a matter of months later. I am filled with shame at the thought of even suggesting so undignified a commemoration of my friend; I could never do such a thing. You'll recall, rather, that we flushed him down the toilet.)

John reappears today, much to our relief, and brought with him not only the late autumn cold of which I am so fond, but a chill of his own. Yet another nuisance and I’m not at all pleased.

How the hell does one nurse an ailing mouse?! I told him that I didn't think mice could even get colds, but he just squeaked away in protest to the effect that he wasn't a mouse, that I wasn't funny, but that I was various other, unmentionable things.

At first I considered filling him up with Buckley’s Mixture, as I’ll do to myself when I’m in similar shape. But I very nearly got him stuck in the bottle. (Which, incidentally, he would have fit very neatly into. Indeed, it occurred to me--and I told him so--that if this illness proved too much for him, I should have his corpse pickled in a dark brown Buckley’s bottle and keep it upon my study desk for inspiration. He laughed, but without mirth I’m sorry to say. Poor little critter.) Anyway, Lenore pointed out that this was probably unwise in any event, given that the medicine in question was concocted proportionate to the needs of men of proper size. Of course, she whispered this to me, and I tactfully reiterated it to John myself:

“This magical potion," I said, "only works for giants, Jack. Anyone from the land of the munchkins, such as yourself, who sips of this bottle will turn to stone!”

This scared him so much that his thimble helmet rattled upon his head as he shook, and he clutched his sword (a thumbtack christened “Catsbane”) the tighter.

Salad days.