When we returned home from the library this morning, Tea ran straight for his train, which is set up around the Christmas tree.
I heard his voice as I struggled to get Pea out of his winter coat in the back hall.
“Mama! Punkin is stuck behind the tree!”
Hmm. That’s strange. In our years together she’s never gone anywhere near it. “Just back up, Sweetie, and she’ll come out.” I peeled off Pea’s mittens and put them away.
“OK Mama. She came out.” <pause> “MAMA!! She dropped her BONE under the tree!!”
“Uh, OK. I’m sure she’ll get it later. Or is it on the train track? Just move it off so you can drive you train. You can throw her bone for her to fetch, if you want.” I started to unlace my boots.
“But MAMA!” (Tea’s voice was suddenly near tears.) “It’s her BONE! How’s it going to get back in her SKIN?”
Wait. WHAT? I raced to the living room and the tears started to flow from Tea’s eyes. “Where’s the bone? What are you talking about?”
“Right under there.” He gestured all the way under the tree. I couldn’t see anything, but I shot a quick glance at Punkin, who was observing us calmly from the couch. I scooted Tea out of the way and lay on the floor to take a look.
Sure enough, snuggled up against the tree stand was the gnawed remains of a turkey leg bone. Presumably from Thanksgiving, but I’d tossed the last of our uneaten leftovers a full week ago. It was utterly disgusting.
I calmed Tea and explained that it was not a bone from inside of our dog, but a turkey bone that Punkin had found. I called Kyle at work to investigate and discovered that, to avoid attracting rodents, he recently started storing kitchen garbage in the basement instead of the garage. Unfortunately, we had a communication breakdown, so I didn’t know this, and he didn’t know the garbage had a leg bone in it. We don’t often cook meat at home, so our food scraps usually get composted. The holiday food threw us out of routine.
Tea is now traumatized and thinks that bones fall out of animals’ skin willy nilly. (Shudder.)