Snap and Ginger
When I was a child, my grandmother used o make up stories about two little puppies, one named Snap and one named Ginger. That’s Gingersnap, the cookie, you see, but it was not obvious to me at age six.
When I was a parent I made up stories about Snap and Ginger for my children, AND when they were parents they made up Snap and Ginger stories for their kids, my grandchildren. So Snap and Ginger lived on for six generations. That’s some life span for a pair of playful puppies.
Yesterday I wrote a story for a self-imposed writing assignment called Rover on duty. I put it online in my Blog and later in reading it discovered in wonder what a neat Snap and Ginger story it could become.
I played with the story this way.
Snap on Duty
We bought and moved into the Temecula house because of the wonderful back yard. It was fenced on one side by the house, and on another by spectacular view of the whole valley below, but on the other two sides was a gigantic .fieldstone sculptured wall.
It had been built by an artist whose name was never given to us. Most of the stones were granite stones found in dry riverbeds, but some were bit of lava, rough lava, that contrasted with the main smooth blocks of field stone.
It was plumbed for a fountain, but there was no recycling pump, so obviously when it was built times were different and water was plentiful. It was just as beautiful dry with cactus plants as it would have been with moss and water lilies. One flat fieldstone projected from the wall and was meant, no doubt, to hold a plant
Our two cats, Missy and Goneril liked to climb. Inside the house. they climbed furniture and drapes to sleep on curtain rods or the fireplace mantle. Outside it was bushes or trees or especially the rock wall, and they liked to loll on the projecting flat rock. Snap, the self-appointed leader of the menagerie watched in envy as they scaled the wall to their private sanctuary. After all, he was top dog around here He was master of the feeding dish and got the choice scraps first. He had a spot beneath the kitchen table witn Ginger, and cats were not allowed. But the cats had a place of their own, and Snap was not allowed.
Snap began to climb. He was no cat, so his first efforts were feeble.
Ginger used to say to him, “Cut that out, Snap. You’re not a cat. Why try to climb like one?“
Snap answered with histail drooping, “What a wonderful look-out place. Why should it be wasted on cats?” And he watched as the cats nimbly leaped from stone to stone.
Snap thought if I could just choose the right rocks, I could climb that too.
Ginger, although she did not approve of his cat-like behavior, said, ”Snap, remember when you were a puppy? You were learning to climb the stairs. You had to learn to get one hind foot up before you could get on the next step..”
“Foolishness,” said Snap. “That’s the way humans walk…one hind leg after another, and not using their front legs at all.”
“Well, watch the cats then. See if you steal their secret.:”
Snap just growled at that thought. But later he tried climbing the rock wall by finding places for his hind feet first, and his front feet later. Lo and behold, he made it part way up the wall before tumbling down, painfully striking the sharp stones.
He yelped in pain, but Ginger licked his wounds, and soon he was ready to try again. And this time he got farther before he tumbled again, and the fall was farther too. Ouch.
Eventually he was able to climb to the flat rock. The cats were promptly evicted and had to settle for individual pieces of lava to nest upon,. It seems a cat can sleep on anything somehow. Rover was king of the mountain.
From his elevated post, Snap had a full view of the whole back yard and the streets and sidewalks in front of the house.
Snap was a “greeter“. That is, any person on the sidewalk had to be greeted by Snap.
If Snap approved the person then Ginger greeted too, but sbe always waited to see whether Snap would bark at the stranger, or happily wag his tail in welcome. If that person had a dog with them so much the better. That meant a smelling contest with each dog trying to smell the other‘s behind.
When the smelling and the greeting was over, Snap dashed back to his elevated post on the wall. and became the lookout for the next visitor. Ginger settled down at the foot of the wall, and said to herself, “Cats are cats, and dogs are dogs, and dogs should not try be what they are not.”.