by J. A. Buxton
Written after Sydney Olympics; This time, B.C. or Buxton, which would you prefer seeing?
|Day one from the Buxton Olympics
This morning I grabbed a lawn chair and sat outside near my open front door to watch the sun come up. Bundled up in a warm fuzzy robe with a mug of hot coffee, I had a reserved front seat to the Buxton Olympics. The sky was just lightening up with a background of the moon and stars making for a beautiful opening ceremony, bar none. To set the stage, I should tell you about Spock, the tall cedar tree about 12 feet from my front door entrance. This tree has many long limbs that curve down from the trunk then curve back upwards again; this provides a perfect jungle gym or parallel bars for the gymnastic portion of the agenda. There is also one extremely long branch that comes down from the tree and wraps around in front of the big living room window. Various sturdy trellises hold up the weight of this limb, and there are four bird feeders at the very end. Others have wind chimes hanging from them providing the background music for the feline Olympians.
Suddenly, an elongated shape darted out from the open door behind me to make an awe-inspiring jump from ground to main limb. Flat out, ears back against head and tail straight out behind for balance, the first feline entrant raced up the limb, jumped to an adjoining limb in a graceful move that humans can only dream about, and then disappeared into the upper reaches of the tree. For technical merit, I gave it a 9.8 and a 9.5 for artistry. At this point, the returning champion, 14-year-old Rumpus the Remarkable was in first place.
The second contestant was waiting under my chair for her turn. She decided to try the more difficult approach, from a complete standstill under the limb to get up on to it. She looked up, crouched, and then jumped. Oh, no! She missed a clean four-point hold, only barely catching the limb and swinging back and forth struggling to get on top with some shred of dignity left. The rest of her performance was only halfhearted, and she left the field only getting a 6.3 for technical merit, and 5 for artistry. Bad luck, Jenna! Maybe you'll do better next time.
We took a break from the gymnastics to watch track and field. Chardonnay was the official race starter in lieu of a gun or other signal. With the various racers watching him as he cautiously advanced towards them, you could see these athletes preparing for the race. Bodies tense up, muscles are at the ready for the contest.
So quickly that you would miss it if you blinked, Chardonnay sprang forward at Jinja, Ralph, and Jenna, who had decided to give up gymnastics for track All three raced across the front yard followed by Chardonnay who urged them on to try to break the Olympic time record. They ran under the gate to the side yard, around the house through the back yard, up to the fence on the other side of the house, and back to the front yard. I could chart their progress by following the noise they made since the sun hadn't fully come up, keeping the yard still filled with shadows.
To the finish line, which was the open front door behind me, came the racers, an exhausted group if ever I saw one. They were followed by a triumphant Chardonnay, who was all revved up and ready to go again. The bronze went to Ralph, who really would have preferred to be left alone to watch the proceedings. Jinja, the youngest, got the Silver. He should be watched to see if he improves with age. He still has a tendency to trip over his feet when excited.
As if to make up for her poor performance in an earlier event, Jenna came in first to garner the Gold medal. She turned around and, with tail held high in well-deserved pride, she walked up to Chardonnay and gave him a nose nuzzle for helping her to win the race.
Yes, you all can remember the games in Sydney or watch the Canadian Olympics. I'm excited about seeing what will happen tomorrow at the Buxton games.
Day two from the Buxton Olympics
Today's games consisted of wrestling combined with the unscheduled 10-yard dash. It suddenly started raining during the morning, although the TV weatherman called it a slight drizzle or melting of low-lying fog. In any case, the ground in the front yard became damp very quickly.
These finely tuned athletes had been lounging around waiting for their events to start when suddenly they were drenched. Chardonnay, who is terrified of rain, trampled on Azotemia in his mad rush for cover. Azo, never one to turn the other cheek, showed Donnay the latest wrestling hold accompanied by a verbal description of what he thought of his ancestors and his descendants with a few strange anatomical suggestions thrown in, all delivered at top volume.
Refusing let a competitor half his size beat him, Donnay caught Azo in a headlock and used his two back extremities to jackhammer him into submission.
Chardonnay was clearly the winner of this bout, but defaulted by leaving the arena. Last seen, he was attempting to do the 10-yard dash between the raindrops to the safety of the front doorway.
By default, Azotemia was declared the winner; he claimed the gold medal and swaggered off the field in triumph. It may have been my imagination, but I swear as he passed the whimpering soaked Chardonnay, he said ever so sweetly, "G'day, mate."