I never thought I’d describe my spouse, the Carpenter, as a Disney Princess, but if the tiara fits … 

Sure, his gown is a bathrobe (best left tightly belted), and his crown is a well-worn baseball cap, and his ability to sing is nonexistent (understatement),  but I assure you, when it comes to communing with the wild animals that share our little country place, this man is, in fact, a Disney Princess. 

Think Cinderella, but with facial hair. From the birds that help her dress in the morning, to the chickens in the barnyard, to the mice that act as designer seamstresses. Oh, that Gus-Gus. Well, that’s the Carpenter and his personal pet chipmunks, Willy and Chippy. These two striped-back scampers are identical to everyone but the Carpenter, who can tell them apart based on their peanut consumption. Both are trained to respond to the tapping of a peanut on the table that brings them running right up his chair, where they sit and eat their shelled peanut next to him. I think they watch sports reels on his phone. Pretty sure Chippy is an Arsenal fan. 

But the rest of us mere mortals are not eligible for one-on-one chipmunk attention. I have seen the chipmunk stop to watch me tap the peanut, seen him look around for my husband, realize he’s not around, and dart away, despite the fact that I am literally holding his treasure. No matter. I must have a wicked-witch vibe.

Raccoons love this man. They not only tolerate his negotiation skills in encouraging their removal from the chicken coop in the wee hours of the morning, but when the raccoon babies lose their moms, they head straight to the Carpenter like he’s a Block Parent. Eventually, he coaxes them back to nature, but I swear, they hover on the perimeter just to stay close. And he loves that.

The mouse in our house may not have been keen on mending clothes, like Cinderella’s rodent pals, but when recently captured, the house mouse was gently and carefully removed from the premises and released to run free in the field. A happy ending (I know it’s not a happy ending, but let me believe in fairy tales). That is until his cousin showed up a week later. That didn’t go super well for that particular mouse. So, I guess the Carpenter isn’t a Cinderella.

He could never be Snow White either, though he does seem to commune with the Thumpers of our little farm. Even the deer stop to gaze at him when they frolic through the yard. Red squirrels? They come in packs to watch him drink his morning coffee.

Like Snow White and her blue birds, my spouse and our resident songbirds communicate in the communal language of the whistle call-and-answer game. Though the Carpenter’s whistle could shatter glass, and his mimic of birdsong is as off key as it is off-putting, the chickadees and cardinals respond. He has a flock of fans. 

But, to be clear, if he were Snow White, he’d boss the Seven Dwarfs around. He’d call them slacker, telling them to stop singing on the job and get to work, because breaks are for wussies. He’d make Dopey cry. 

I wish I could see the teasing the Carpenter’s going to get at work when the fellas at work read this one. Princess.

WriteOut of Her Mind