“Oooh, dah foot, it hurt.”
That was Darlusz Zabagaiski, the ceramic, resin Polish frog who lives here. He’s my mascot and muse. He’s in pain this morning.
The moaning was annoying, but I had to be sympathetic. Darlusz’s foot is broken, and I have to find some glue to at least partially patch him up.
I brought Darlusz down to the family Christmas celebration in West Rutland, Vermont. Everybody had a good time, except my mother’s grumpy fat cat Simon.
Darlusz always tries to make friends with everyone and everything, but Simon would have none of it. Darlusz broke his foot trying to dash away from a swipe from Simon’s paw. Darlusz’s sin was he got too close to the cat, and was too cheerful.
Simon HATES cheerful.
“Dat kot, viscious,” Darlusz said, using the Polish word for cat.
“I warned you Simon’s mean, that you should stay away,” I said.
“Yeah, I know dat. But it Christmas. It time for da peace and da love. I tot we have, what you call, cease fire.”
“Cats never abide by cease fires,” I said.
Darlusz sighed. “Well, you patch me up best you can in next coupla dayz. I still had da fun. You family iz veddy nice. Why you mom act nice and her cat so mean?”
“Just one of life’s mysteries,” I said.
“At least I ate well,” Darlusz said, always looking for the bright side. “All dat food you mom and you sisters make. Good! And we ate da Polish candy Denis got. Dat was some treat. Why we wait so long to eat da Polish candy? Denis nice guy brought it to you two week ago. Why not eat right away?”
“Because you would have ate it all up before my parents tried it,” I said. “So I wanted to wait for Christmas so we could all share. And wasn’t it fun for you and my dad to translate the Polish words on the packages for us?”
“Ya, dat true. I like da label on one, Krowlewska. Mean ‘like a king’ in Polish. We ate like da kings, no?”
“Yes, and that Polish candy was delicious,” I replied. “We really have to thank Denis. And what was that on the other package, what did it say?”
“Wesolych Swiat,” Darlusz said. “It mean happy holiday.”
“An’ you no, even my foot, it broke, but I still have happy day,” Darlusz concluded.