My Friend Ella

I have a friend named Ella who, despite her interesting misinterpretations of English and sometimes gross lack of manners (she poops in public!!), is very dear to me.  We have some important shared interests: we both like the great outdoors; we’re avid walkers and hikers; we love to climb all over Mr. Mountain Man and distress him with our amorous enthusiasm; we enjoy treats like ice cream and pizza and jerky; and we are both cuddle bunnies.  We make good friends.

Whenever I come to her house she lets me know how happy she is by shouting frantically at me.  Sometimes she’ll yell through the door, run to the back where the bathroom is to yell at Mr. Mountain Man, and then return to yell at me more.

Now, you might think from the tone of her voice that she’s saying, “Stranger danger! Daddy, get your gun!” But you don’t know Ella.  What she’s really saying is, “Omigod, is that really you?  Did you really come to visit? Please, please don’t go away! I’d let you in but the doorknob is too unwieldy.  Let me go get the guy with those fingered appendages.  He’ll let you in.”

Then she dashes off and you hear her reproaching Mr. Mountain Man. “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!!!! Get your ass out here and open the door!  That GIRL is outside!!!!!!!”  Then she runs back to reassure me loudly that she’s taken care of it.

I think Mr. Mountain Man might have tummy troubles, because sometimes she has to go through this routine a few times before she finally persuades him that a SPECIAL person has just arrived.  Or maybe he’s just intently plucking his eyebrows. No one should be interrupted during the serious task of micro-grooming.

At some point things quiet down.  I hear them whispering behind the door.

Mr. Mountain Man asks, “Who do you think that is?”

“You know who it is!! Let her in!!”

“Should we be excited?”


“Okay, but let’s not be too excited.  Can we keep the expression of our excitement to say, level 5?”

“Ummm. Sure- just open the door.” (Ella is starting to raise her voice.)

“Are you sure? Do you really want me to open the door?”

“Yes, g-dammit!”

The door cracks open.  Ella’s face is immediately smashed into the resulting crevice- she does so want to make her guests welcome and she wants to give me a great big hug. But the crevice does not widen. Instead, Mr. Mountain Man, anticipating a class 12 freak out- I mean expression of positive energy- suddenly scoops her up and then opens the door wide.

Now, instead of using a loud commanding tone, she wriggles and pleads in a little voice to be let down so she can properly greet me. “I promise I’ll be good. Really. Please, please, pretty please let me say hello.”

Her captor isn’t too sure about that, but he releases her. At which point she hurdles all 35 to 40 pounds of her wiry frame about two feet into the air and at my person. Repeatedly.

I must give her credit for becoming a little more refined in her expressions of ardor recently. She has learned to reduce the number of violent greetings and to sit semi-still so I can greet her back.  However, the frenzied salutation is pleasant in its own way: who can be anything but flattered when someone else is that excited to see her?


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