Alayne took these photos yesterday of a seasonal ritual — Tanner, Millie and Daisy enveloping me every evening when I start the wood stove. There’s something about the fire that brings them over to be with me … something that no doubt goes back to our prehistoric past. Now, Tanner has always loved the wood stove, but it was our beloved Darla who first had the habit of joining me at fireside. I would be sitting on the floor assembling the kindling in the stove, getting ready to light it, and I’d feel a nudge in my back. It was Darla’s nose; her way of saying, “hey, I’m here and I want your attention.” Then she’d work her way under my right arm and sit there side-by-side with me while the fire got going.
I think Tanner had watched her doing this, and he always did whatever she did (smart boy, he knew she was the queen bee). Pretty soon he was worming his way in for some fireside loving, too. He’s carried on the tradition, with Millie and Daisy joining in these days. Tanner is the first to rush over to the wood stove as soon as I get down on the floor; then the other two quickly come over.
If that scene in the photo above looks sedate, trust me, it’s not that way at all. This “fireside chat” quickly becomes a free-for-all competition for my attention, as you can see here:
They swirl around, jostling for the best position, trying different techniques. Daisy is shameless in her efforts to get me to focus on her:
In this shot, get a close look at that long, flickering tongue of hers:
Millie is not to be outdone, of course:
Fortunately, I’ve got about five more months of this to enjoy!
On that note, Alayne and I wish you a very happy holiday season!