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January 1st, 2006

But where did it come from?

When I woke up this morning there was a dead bird at the edge of the living room carpet. A sparrow, I think, though it was hard to see any markings due to the disarray of the feathers. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there last night--younger niece, who came over to get something around 9 PM, would surely have seen it even if I didn't. And I certainly wasn't aware of a live bird flying around. The cats would have alerted me to that even if I didn't see it on my own.

My best guess is that the bird flew into the garage when I had it open, and was trapped. (That's happened once before, but I managed to free the bird that time.) Then later in the evening I had the door from the house to the garage open so Fish could go out there and sit on the car--maybe the bird moved from garage to house at that point. Or maybe Fish caught it in the garage and hid the body in the house for later play.

However, sometime after I went to bed, one of the cats (probably Fish) played with the bird in the living room, scattering little feathers all over part of the carpet and one cat-scratching post. No blood and gore, thank heavens, and I just hope the poor bird was dead before the play began. With my almost-exclusively-indoor cats, I'm not used to this.

German language help

OK, German speakers out there: I need help. Younger niece is trying to catch up on the work she missed while in the hospital, and one item was a Halloween worksheet for her German class. There was a group of scrambled words, which should have unscrambled to become one of the Halloween-related words on the page.

But there's clearly a mistake somewhere on this one: plenctzhä. There's no ä in any of the words in the list. With my scant German vocabulary, I can't get it to unscramble to anything intelligible, Halloween-related or not. Anyone care to give it a try, keeping in mind that typos are possible? Nächtplez? plenächtz? Are these close to anything that means something?

(Later....after more searching) How about pelznacht, or nachtpelz? Fur night? Night fur? Any clue if there's some idiomatic usage like this? Googling only shows that nachtpelz appears in Doctor Faustus.


Nancy Barber

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