Hanging On

“Let’s keep going,” I said, and we carried on up the hill and across a large paddock toward a gravel lane. On the lane we saw a couple of young ladies on horseback, going for a light hack, and, of course, along with them were the requisite KerDoodles. This was a little different, though, in that there was a third who apparently wanted to go with them, but for whom it seemed there was no room. We watched this for a little while, and listened to the barking back-and-forth between the KerDoodles, and couldn’t help but stand there and smile.

“Just life as a KerDoodle,” smiled Clive. “Basically, we like hanging out with you human-types.”

I smiled too. We joined the gravel lane, but our hike took us the other way, down the slope toward a little outdoor paddock where some other ladies were working on horse things.

“There’s Dee!” I hollered when we got closer, pointing her out in my excitement.

“And look!” added Clive. “She’s got a KerDoodle too!”

“Looks like that one’s just started learning how to ride.”

“How to hold on, anyway.”

“At least she’s wearing a helmet.”

I paused to wonder: “Hey, can KerDoodles get hurt?”

“Of course. We have to be careful too. We are, however, a great deal more flexible than you, and our forms are a bit more forgiving of the bumps and scrapes of life. And that’s a good thing, because quite often we have to take the hit for you.”

“Um, have you taken a lot of bumps for me?”

At this Clive rolled his eyes and fixed me with his gaze. “Honestly? You have no idea.”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Vanilla

After my most invigorating dream I decided to get up. I swung my legs out over the edge of the bed and rubbed the sand out of my eyes. I stood up, pulled on my lightest sweater, and opened the door to my room. I went along the hall to the living room and saw Clive, still napping, in one of the living room chairs.

I made some deliberate noises, walking by, to see what it would take to wake him, but I didn’t really have to.

“I’m awake,” he said. “I’m only ever asleep when you are.”

“Wanna go for a walk?” I asked.

“Sure. Where?”

“There are some fields near here…”

“Well sure, as long as we don’t encounter any coyotes or such.”

We struck out for the north twenty. For October the weather was glorious – sunny and warm – friendly, in fact – completely non-threatening. We walked over hills, over dales, and yes, along some dusty trails before finally stopping for a bit of a rest.

“Hey,” I said, “stand over there and I’ll draw you.”

He did, and I did.

After a while, resting, he said: “I told you the weather’s going to change, right?”

“Yes, I think you mentioned it. Do you have to cover yourselves more when the weather turns cold?”

“Well, we’re not prone to the cold in the same way that you are, but the wind can smudge our lines so yes, we cover up.” He hesitated. “Of course, I don’t have much of a wardrobe.”

“Well, we’ll just have to see what we can do about that,” I said. “You know, when the weather turns.”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Think Big

“A walk in the forest?” I said. “I’d like to, but I really could use a nap. I think that bang on the head has done more than show me KerDoodles. I feel very tired.”

“No problem,” answered Clive. “In fact, it’s probably a good idea.”

So I retired to my room. I got comfortable, and lay down on my bed. I stared at the ceiling and thought of everything that had been happening. It really was quite overwhelming in a way. I was seeing things, after all. Strange things, by my all-too-human standards. And we all know what can happen to people who start seeing things.

I tried to think back. Had I eaten or drunk anything that might explain such hallucinations? Could it all really be attributed to one little knock on the head? Of course, it was a pretty good bump. I’d seen stars, after all. But still…

I closed my eyes and let the room calm down around me. Then, even as I heard a bird singing outside my window in my mind I was suddenly swept up into the air. I flew across fields of green, of yellow flowers, and ranges of glorious, tall, white-capped mountains. I swept low and soared high. I saw big, red barns and long paddock fences, a dog, no, two, no, three – two of white-golden curls and a third, smaller, with a chocolate-brown coat and floppy ears running after me, barking silently as I flew higher and higher and higher. I looked back as I flew, down and down, toward the ground, the earth, toward the planet that I live on, that I call home, the planet that I love, and then suddenly, it seemed in only a moment, I was above it all, looking at everything, seeing it all at once. I was holding on to the planet as if for dear life as it spun and spun, this globe, this orb, watching all the people run around on the ground below me. They weren’t scared. They didn’t know I was there. They were just living their lives as I watched, and in a moment I felt supportive and kind and loving and caring and magnanimous as I held on, way up high, and watched them live their lives. I watched and I watched, and in that moment I realized that I was a KerDoodle too, that I was just as responsible for them as they were for me, and even more so because I was so very big. I felt so much larger than life. I was more than the wind. I was taller, higher, brighter than any fire, more steadfast than any Sun, and it was a glorious thing indeed, at that moment, to be me.

I woke up, and it was just me and the ceiling. My thoughts echoed the dream over and over and I grabbed the pad and paper from beside my bed, and I drew what I felt, what I remembered, and in the drawing I relived it, enhanced it and reinforced it.

My heart beat fast, from the excitement.

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Training Grounds

I turned and followed his gaze, and what I saw was just about enough to knock my socks off! There, stretched across the summer-warm paddocks was an absolutely amazing sight!

“What the heck is going on over there?” I asked, my mouth gaping wide in surprise.

“Yes, those are KerDoodles in training,” announced Clive.

“In training?”

“It’s like boot camp for KerDoodles – where we go to get in shape. We learn some pretty important things at boot camp.”

“Like what?”

“Like recognizing emotions, tenacity, determination, patience, dealing with adversity, being supportive, assimilation.”

“Assimilation?”

“Yes. We learn to mould ourselves according to the person we attach to. That’s why each of us looks so different.”

“Some are pretty – umhomely.”

“Same with people, eh? We can’t all be Rock KerDoodleson or Marilyn MunDoodle, you know.”

My sister had gone back to the barn to deal with a horse issue, so I sat down on a nearby rock and drew what I could for her. Believe me, there were far more KerDoodles than you see here, but after a while I got wrist cramp and had to quit.

“So I notice they don’t all look like you,” I said to Clive.

“Some people like dogs, some people like cats. Some people,” he said, looking over my shoulder at my drawing, “appear to like funny-lookin’ rabbits.”

Hey!

He laughed and wandered into the fray to chat with some of the younger KerDoodles. I sat on the rock, just looking at the amazing tableau before me. I thought about the people these critters would ultimately attach to – the kinds of problems they’d see. I wondered about their names, their personalities, and I wondered if these critters had their own lives and thoughts, or if they merely supported and became the thoughts of their attachments. What an awesome thing, I thought. And to think I had no idea that these guys even existed! That’s when Clive came back.

“The weather’s going to turn,” he said. “Where’s Dee?”

“She had to wash a horse. Ell had to make another run to the burn pile.”

“Okay. Well then, shall we go for a walk in the woods? You never know what you’ll find in there.”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Dangerous Work

“Okay,” said Clive, getting up from the kitchen table. “Time for you to see the kind of things we do.”

We followed him out the front door of the house. Well, more accurately, I followed Clive, and my sister followed me. We looked around the yard for a while, then Clive pointed.

“Who’s that?” he asked.

Following his gaze we saw Ell, driving the quad thing at a fiery pace from the barns toward the house.

“That’s Dee’s husband,” I said.

Dee whispered in my ear. “Is he talking to you now?

“Yes. He’s looking at Ell.”

“Why?”

“Because I can already see his KerDoodle.” said Clive.

“What? I can’t see anything at all,” I answered.

“What did he say?” said Dee. “Did he say something?”

“Look closer,” said Clive. “He’s right there!

I stared harder at Ell tearing along the driveway. It was like one of those puzzles where they say if you don’t try so hard you’ll see it. After a few moments, there he was.

“Well, I’ll be a sonofagun,” I breathed.

“What? Who?” asked Dee, desperately looking all over the place.

“Ell’s KerDoodle. He’s right in there behind him. Can’t you – ?”

I turned and looked at Dee. The look on her face answered my question before I could finish asking it, so I hauled out my pad and pencil and started scribbling.

“Wow,” she said. “I’m going to have to let Ell know to slow down. That poor little guy’s really holding on!”

“He’s okay,” said Clive. “He’s actually having fun. Look at his face!”

“Clive says he’s okay – ” I reported. “He’s having fun.”

We all watched Ell speed along the driveway. He got to the top and we joined him – greetings were exchanged, hands shaken – and we helped him fill the bin with the branches and twigs felled by a recent windstorm. Ell’s KerDoodle smiled to see Clive even as I smiled at seeing Ell. We filled the bin and we all hopped into the quad, then we drove back past the barns and up the hill to the burn pile. Clive sat in the back for this journey, with Ell’s KerDoodle.

“Um,” Dee said to Ell, “you might want to slow down a bit. You’ve got passengers.”

“I know,” said Ell. “There are seatbelts if you’re nervous.”

“Not us, the KerDoodles.”

“The what?”

I suppressed a smile as Dee took her turn explaining what was going on….

* * *

When we got to the burn pile we all got out and Ell started tipping the bin to discharge the branches. I stood back with Dee and this is what I saw.

Clive was beside me, watching the other KerDoodle’s antics. He was laughing so hard he was crying.

“We do like to ham it up,” he said, rubbing his eyes.

“Aren’t you worried?” I asked.

“Of course not. He does have the option to get out of there, you know. I mean, look where I’m standing!” He paused. “Don’t worry, we make our own fun. And besides, machinery can hurt you, but it can’t hurt us.”

Then, with the bin empty we all got back into the quad thing and drove back down toward the barns, and as we got out Clive turned to us and said:

“Do you see what I see?”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

The Gift

After watching the cat play for a while we all turned around and walked back toward the entrance. On the way there we happened on an amazing Christmas Tableau, which immediately made it obvious to me that people aren’t as ‘in charge’ of their Christmas decorations as they like to think. I stood and watched as two Doodles worked away at the Christmas tree, and one chatted amiably with a dog. I drew it for my sister, who expressed amazement.

“You know,” she said, “whenever I’ve seen those tree branches move before I’ve always assumed it was the wind. But now I guess I know better.”

We walked past the wash bays and back outside, then up to the house for coffee, again, and bran muffins, fresh from the oven. We sat in the dining room and the two big dogs rushed up to greet us. Oddly enough, they ran to see Clive first, and were rewarded for this with all sorts of love and attention.

“So, what do you mean to do with this gift of yours?” my sister asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “First, I don’t know how long it will last – it started with a bump on the head, after all – and second, I don’t really know what I can do with it. I mean, does it really do any good for people to know that KerDoodles exist?”

“Well, only you can know that.”

I looked at Clive. He was sitting on the chair beside me, staring at his toes.

“All I can do,” he mumbled, “is show you what it is – who we are. Whether you do anything with the knowledge or not is up to you.”

I waited a moment or two, then: “Hey, don’t get me wrong – I like you KerDoodles – and if it’s going to do people any good knowing that you are here I’ll find a way to tell them. But that’s the big question isn’t it? I mean, people aren’t very good at new things, are they? What’s the old saying? We hate what we fear and we fear what we don’t understand. So, while I definitely look on this ability as a gift, I don’t want people to start hating you just because they suddenly know that you’re there.”

My sister looked at me. “You’re talking to Clive now?” she asked.

I smiled, and sighed. “Yup.” Then I took out my pad and paper and started drawing again, flipping the drawing around, when finished, to show her what I’d seen.

“Oh yes,” I said. “You’ve definitely got KerDoodles.”

* * *

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Creaking barns

After a good night’s sleep Clive woke me with a gentle nudge. He watched me eat my breakfast (he had already eaten) and handed me my brush.

“Combover!” he said, and I did.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Dee’s place.” Dee is my sister.

“Dee has KerDoodles?”

“Of course. She has a veritable battalion of KerDoodles at her place – each and every one of them with a job to do. She’s told you about creaking in the barn, right?”

“Yes.”

“Not wind,” he smiled. “Us.”

“I don’t know if she’ll be pleased about that or not.”

“Well, you get your pad and pencil going and at least she’ll have the option.”

We headed to my sister’s big and beautiful property in the country – he let me drive (probably a good thing) – and the moment we turned into the driveway I noted a big gust of wind. Clive smiled as we drove to the right, past the Elephant Tree, and to me it looked like he was waving at someone.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

“Ha! Who isn’t?”

I felt suddenly, though only momentarily overwhelmed. We pulled up to the barn and parked.

“Now take a look around,” he said. “What do you see?”

My sister was sitting in a chair in front of the barn, enjoying a warm fall day with her two big puppies. She was waving at me.

“There!” I cried.

“Yes!”

There, in the window behind my sister’s chair I saw a large KerDoodle. He took up almost all of the window, as he was clearly keeping watch over her. I snapped a photo and later drew the KerDoodle from memory:

We got out of the car and my sister and I hugged.

“You seem different,” she said, looking me up and down.

I glanced over at Clive. “I, um, got a bump on the head,” I said.

“Are you okay?”

“Well, that’s always debatable,” I said, and we both laughed.

She took me – us – into the barn and we had a look around.

As we passed through the doors Clive nudged me in the ribs with his elbow.

“Anything, um, unusual happening around here lately?” I asked.

“No. Why?”

“Oh, no reason.”

This time Clive poked me hard in the back. I turned around and gave him ‘the look‘.

“The thing about a bump on the head,” I said, and continued to tell her the story that I’ve already told you…..

“So, you can see them now?” she asked, a little while later.

“Yes. I’m here with Clive and…” I looked up and down the main passage of the barn. “Even as I speak I can see a KerDoodle up there, playing with your barn cat.”

“Show me,” she said. And I did.

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Holy KerDoodle

“I think you’re ready,” said Clive.

“For what?”

“To see us in action.”

“Haven’t I been seeing you already?”

“Well, yes, but not in action. We actually have a job to do, you know. Let’s go meet the Padre.”

He led me away from the two-storey house, the mountains and the indecisive birds towards a church with a very tall steeple. A tall, cassock’d KerDoodle was standing in front, hands clasped loosely together, watching us approach. From a distance he looked to have a pinkish hue, but when I got closer I could see that he was just as mauve as the rest of them.

Clive stepped forward, extending his three-fingered hand, and they shook. He introduced me. We smiled, and laughed, and I couldn’t help but wonder at the strangeness of this little turn in my life.

“You’re here to learn,” said the Padre, apparently reading my mind.

“Yes, I suppose I am,” I replied. “Though exactly what I have no idea.”

“That’s the wonderful thing about learning – we don’t know what we need to know until we know it.”

He gave me a tour of the sandstone church. Everything was perfect – a place for everything and everything in its place. It was very well-loved, and very well looked after – even the hymn books were clean, and crisp and new. It was as if they’d never been touched by human hand.

“They haven’t,” said the Padre.

“Haven’t what?”

“Been touched by human hand.” He smiled, and I realized that they really could read my thoughts. I let this sink in quietly as the tour continued.

Afterwards we went to his kitchen for coffee. The kettle, somehow, was freshly boiled, the cups already waiting on the table, the old, but perfect, stiff wooden chairs ready and waiting for our rest and recreation.

“Biscuits, Gentlemen?”

“Lovely,” chimed both Clive and I.

We chatted at length, about this and that, that and this – covering all manner of most important matters, then Clive pointed at my pencil and paper and asked the Padre if he might allow me to draw him. The good Padre nodded most enthusiastically and sat up straight to pose for me.

Clive looked over my shoulder as I sketched. “You’re getting better,” he said, and I nodded for it was true. “Look how steady your hand is now!” He paused. “Either that or our looks are improving.”

He smiled at his wit as I kept sketching, and after a few moments I turned the drawing around on the table to show it to the Padre:

“Oh, that’s really quite satisfying,” said the Padre. “Very well done, Thank you, though in my next prayers I shall undoubtedly have to atone for the sin of Pride!”

“Well, we must be off,” announced Clive, and to the Padre he added “I think it’s time he saw some of us at work.”

We all shook hands, the Padre offered a blessing, and we headed out of the front door of the church.

“When did it get dark out?” I asked, looking around. I was amazed that the day had disappeared while we’d been inside. We crossed the road and I turned to look back at the church again. The Padre was watching us leave, and to my untrained eye it seemed that he had once again turned pink. I hurriedly took out my pad to draw what I saw, and in that moment I wondered what on earth would be next.

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Flowers

After a short nap I felt more refreshed. I got up and went outside where the morning was crisp, the air clean. Birds were flying in or out of the mountains – I’m not really sure. I saw a house in the distance, brown with a grey roof, and my KerDoodle friend, who was once again standing beside me, pointed to the upstairs window.

“We’re everywhere,” he said.

“Will you ever get over the flower thing?”

“With help, maybe. Perhaps if you show strength, we will.”

“What do you mean? I show strength.”

“Of course you do.”

There was something about the way he said this that I wasn’t too keen on, but I let it go.

“Do you have a name?” I asked.

“What’s the first name you think of?”

“Clive.”

“That’s it.”

Somehow I wasn’t surprised by this. I gazed off into the mountains, letting this most unusual tableau form itself around me, and I took a moment, rubbing the bump on my head, to wonder where it was all going. How long would I be able to see these fascinating creatures? Indeed, was I even seeing them at all? Perhaps it was all a dream, conjured in a Dickensian way by a bit of under-done potato. Or by a bump on the head.

Whatever it was, it was very realistic, and once again I scribbled what I saw.

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.

Fear

He went slowly back to the wall, and that’s when I noticed his friends.

“So there’s more than one of you, then,” I said.

“Of course! There’s at least one KerDoodle for every human on the planet.”

“At least one?”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, some of you take a lot of work. And sometimes, through certain – um – circumstances, there are – um – spares.”

He slunk back in behind the wall and looked suspiciously down at the flower.

“Why are you so nervous about that flower?” I asked.

As if afraid to speak louder, he whispered: “We don’t know what it is, or what it’s for. So we’re careful.”

“Has it ever hurt you before?”

“No, but it could. We’re all very suspicious.”

“How do you know it could if you’ve never gone near it?”

I watched them all as they continued to stare at the little flower, wondering for a moment who had put it in its little pot.

“It’s not going to bite you,” I said.

“So you say, but for now we’ll just keep our distance.”

Follow along to learn more about the KerDoodles, and if you like, contact me to find out if you’ve got a KerDoodle of your own.