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The Rodent says my umbrella is babyish, but I don’t care. Mrs. Ordinance gave it to me. Yes, it has ducks all over it. “Ducks like rain,” sings Mrs. O, and I’m glad that Amanda the Rodent can’t hear her. What I don’t get is why more people don’t use umbrellas. Umbrellas should always be colorful. Black is too gloomy for a rainy day. If the wind blows hard and the umbrella doesn’t turn inside out, you might even fly. It’s been pouring for a week now and I’m so glad I have my babyish umbrella. (I will try not to poke Amanda with it.)


Tofu misses mud. Usually in April, we have plenty. But there wasn’t much snow and there isn’t much rain. I hear peepers, way off in the woods but there aren’t any here. Our vernal pool was big last year, but not now. It’s just dry. What will the salamanders do?

Rain, rain…don’t go away.

Come again, like how about today?

(I have a good book to read anyway, about a girl who can fly.)

Ice is Never Perfect for Long!

There’s a little pond in the woods near my house, and sometimes skating. Ice is like magic. It doesn’t happen all the time. But today, I fly over the ice like a girl in a fairy tale. The sun is  under a winter spell, so it’s always off to the side, never overhead. Tofu on ice is hilarious, skidding all over the place. At the far end of the pond, there’s a motorboat, under the ice. It’s been there forever, and nobody knows the story. I feel like I’m skating on top of history, on this new ice, in this new year!


I like both my houses at Christmas. Over at Dad and Richard’s, Beatrice Strawberry Bird went missing and scared us all for a while. We always worry she’ll actually get out of the house. That wouldn’t be good, especially right now since it’s winter. But we found her when we heard opera coming at us from the top of the Christmas tree!  Maybe she thinks she’s an ornament?

Dear Deer, I wish I could pat you. You look so beautiful, standing there at the edge of the woods. Only your ears are twitching. The rest of you is still. But I can’t go into the woods, because it’s still hunting season. I have to make sure Tofu doesn’t either, even with his bright orange collar. Colby’s out there right now, with his dad and uncles. They almost always get their deer. My mom says we prefer to shoot our deer with a camera, but it’s true we eat meat. So it’s complicated.

For right now, I just stand in a clump of birches, holding my breath. Looking at a deer.

On the last day of summer, my mom took Colby and me to the lake. There was a grasshopper just floating around, far from shore, so I rescued it. It sat wetly in my hand, until we got near the rocks. Then it got up on my fingers, ready to leap off, like a dog in the bow of a boat. Colby said it is probably going to die by winter anyway, but I don’t care. I am a hero and my grasshopper is alive somewhere for now, under the trees!

There’s a toad in Dad and Richard’s garden. He loves to hang out by the tomatoes. Some people think toads are ugly, but I do not. So what if he’s warty? What’s cool is, he can dig himself down into the soil and pretty much disappear. I wish I could do that, especially when that nosy neighbor comes by all the time and asks me silly questions!

In the summer, we have thunderstorms. Tofu doesn’t like them. If I don’t hug him really hard, he hides under the bed. Sometimes helping somebody else not to be afraid works really well for not being afraid yourself. Because, actually, lightning is scary. Scary and beautiful!

8ne9pa That’s what India looks like if you try to type it with your nose. (I was bored at Dad and Richard’s.) I tried it again and it came out india!! The trick is to close one eye and make your nose as pointed as possible. Mine’s pretty small. The third time I tried it, I got india again, so that really works. Next time, I should put the caps lock on.
I think I’m going to teach Beatrice Strawberry Bird to type. Why not? She’s almost the smartest cockatiel in the world. (I had to stick the “almost” in, since sometimes she confounds me. Like this morning, when she got lost under a pile of my clothes on the floor, but maybe she was just feeling cosy?)

I walk into the woods behind my house, with Tofu. The trees are still bare. There is a lot of leftover snow. I have my mudboots on, but only a long-sleeved t-shirt. That’s because, just a week after our huge snowstorm, it finally feels like spring. The birds are singing as if today is a Disney movie, only better. Tofu bounces all over the place smelling spring things. I find a circle of crocuses. It’s a fairy circle for sure.  I stand in it and wish big things that I can’t tell anybody. Sometimes, it’s just wonderful being alone, especially with a dog in springtime.

My name is India McAllister and these are my true, random, sort of secret thoughts.

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