The yearly telling (typing?) of the Christmas story. This is way too twisted to be fiction, according to my ex-husband; it is the Goddess-honor truth. Feel free to share.
Many moons ago, around Samhain, Mr. Bunny the First woke up one day and announced that he didn't want to be married any more. Mrs. Bunny was heartbroken, at the time. Tales such as this one remind her why that split was a good thing.
See, Mr. Bunny the First had strange relatives, damn peculiar folks, residing in southwest Missouri. Several lived in Springfield; his mother and her 2 children by her second ex-husband (the abusive pot farmer) lived in Willard, a small town nearby.
Mama-in-law (hereafter referred to as Mama) decided that her Southern Baptist religion didn't do it for her anymore, so she invented her own. It consisted, roughly, of a combination of Hindu deities and veneration of the Virgin. Far be it from me to Tradition-bash, I guess it worked for her. And it would explain that one year she sent us a framed picture of Jesus, Autobiography of a Yogi and some trail mix for the holidays.
Evidently, her faith still included Christmas and she decided that December that her drafty (only heat was from space heaters and the fireplace), falling down farmhouse (sometimes the boards would collapse in the bathroom, and next to the sink was a spot to hang the pasta tongs. They were used for catching the snakes that would periodically visit the restroom. There were only a few venomous ones...) needed a little holiday cheer. What it needed was a bulldozer... anyway, she went out in her yard (this being Willard, "yard" is a relative term. Her yard was several acres), dodged a few major appliances, free range chickens, some poison ivy and a few goats, to whack down a small cedar tree, which she then dragged into the parlor and stuck in a stand.
Have I already mentioned that Mama was a poor housekeeper? I am far from a neat-freak; piles of books, baby stuff and sweaters line my stairs and coats hang on nearly every chair. However, my house is not gross. Mama's was gross. Once, while looking for a dropped pen, I found a sandwich under the decades-old sofa. It was dried and curled up around the edges; Heaven knows how long it had remained under there. I washed the dishes there BEFORE I ate off of them because I swear she just let the goats lick them clean and put them back in the cabinet. Yes, occasionally the goats would be in the house. By the way, you can't litter train a goat, in case anyone is tempted to try it. Nor can you teach them not to bite chunks out of your stuff.
Anyway, she has this cedar tree up in the parlor and is pondering it... what to use for decorations? I guess her myriad tiny sculptures of Ganesh and Shiva seemed inappropriate. She called her boyfriend in to look at it (he was one year younger than Mr. Bunny the First and she met him at Narcotics Anonymous). He came in from lighting something on fire in the yard (he did that a lot), but could offer no suggestions.
Then it dawned on her! Turtle doves! Live turtle doves would be perfect! She climbed in the old station wagon, the one with the cardboard box taped to the floor to cover the hole by the brake pedal, and drove to the feedlot. She bought a dozen doves and took them home. She placed them on the tree and was quite pleased with herself.
I am not so sure that the turtledoves were all that pleased, cedar trees are not a very comfortable roost, but as they were not restrained in any way, they made themselves comfortable flying around the room and doing what all birds do. Or, do-do as the case may be.
So, the holidays arrive, and Mr. Bunny packs up his CRX with the two dogs and heads down 44. He arrived at Mama's and opened the car door. Pepsi, the elderly bulldog, gingerly lowered himself to the ground, ambled up the steps, found the fireplace and went to sleep. Sweetie, the fawn greyhound, bounded from the Honda, leaped up the porch steps, and pranced, as only greyhounds can, into the parlor.
Greyhounds, of course, are hunting dogs, sight hounds. They are genetically programmed to chase down anything smaller than them that moves and kill it. She took one look at that turtle dove encrusted Christmas tree and proceeded to do just that. Frightened bird noises! Barking dog! Shrieking children! Screaming Mama! Feathers everywhere! Poultry carnage!
When the (rather significant amount of) dust settled, there was one smug greyhound and 11 little bird bodies. But where was the 12th? A Christmas miracle? Had one escaped the blood-bird-bath?
Alas, it was not to be. On Easter, when Mr. and Mrs. Bunny were attempting an ill-fated reconciliation, both were there when the mummified remains of number 12 were discovered... wedged under the sofa cushions. I told you she was a bad housekeeper.