... a created word meaning 'white lies' and the like. Verfabula contest, March 2021
|"Can you spare a minute? I've got something to show you."
In my heart I curse that well-meaning man of mine for interrupting a perfectly good flow of words I'm creating; trying to beat a deadline galloping towards me like a maddened mongoose.. uhrr, where on earth did THAT come from?
Just can't resist curiosity versus commonsense, can you? I ask myself. And I mutter my eternal answer to myself, "Drippy dame!" Out loud I call, "Hang on a minute," but I start moving anyway, unsure exactly the degree of urgency in his voice, but reacting fast, just in case. Being a farmer, and his erstwhile partner/wife for over half a century has taught me to ALWAYS expect the unexpected… usually at the worst possible moment.
How well I remember minor hubby shout-outs like —
'Daisy's started calving' ,
'the sheep have broken out of the top paddock and are out on the road now',
'bloody pump's broken and the stock'll be out of water within the hour'
… you understand?… mundane, everyday stuff like that.
"Do I need boots?" (All of those I've mentioned most certainly did)
A firm "NO!" sees a quick change from slippers to old garden shoes before I head out the back door. It's certainly not a 'slipper' job. I just know it.
"Look!" he says, pointing to a furry, lifeless bundle in the middle of our back lawn.
My heart stops a beat or two and begins to plunge… but wait… it's not the colour of any of our 'furries', and not feathered, either. Phew!! "WHAT is it?"
"It's a dead possum." And then he continues in a rush, as though reading my mind — or more likely an obvious response to the dropped jaw and widened eyes I can feel my face performing. "NOT the one in the hens' nest… that's only a little fellow and he was still there not long ago, staying warm." He hurriedly explains he did not kill this larger, adult one… just found it inexplicably dead. No damage, so dogs are innocent... "you'll be glad to hear", he says, a smug but fixed smile on his dial.
Still, I feel sad. For all their faults and wilful damage to our fruit, possums are nonetheless lovable characters with the hugest eyes in the dearest faces. I try to hate them, truly I do…
"Thought you'd want to see for yourself that it died a natural death… before I remove the body." His voice is sympathetic to my tender feelings towards these creatures, knowing my 'rescue' history only too well. Shaking his head, he says, 'Gotta be a cremation for this one, on the 'to-burn-when-fire-ban-over' heap. He's too big to throw up to Heaven, like I do with the mice—"
"I know, I know… and share the good news that there aren't going to be any mice up there, because God doesn't want them and always sends their bodies straight back to Earth! HOW many times have you told me that old furphy?!?"
He gives a typical farmer's sheepish grin (no pun intended) and says, "Well, you know the old homily,
'You have live animals, you're going to get dead ones'."
I roll my eyes in best theatrical fashion and shake my head; sadly at first, then more vigorously, as if I can shake away the melancholy interruption to my so-called concentration. I head back inside to resume the other '...tions', like inspiration, creation, etc. — in a hopeful continuation at the work station some call my brain. Now there's a furphy, if ever I heard one!
**Author's Note: *sigh* — A furphy (as Google will tell you), is Australian slang for an erroneous or improbable story that is claimed to be factual.
**Author's Next Note: Furphyfication is a 'Christine original', believe it or not! Make of it what you will, but it's what my hubby does all the time (and he snores, too!).