Dedication

Rusty joined us for the trip back to the farm, and I noticed that his KerDoodle was no longer brown. I looked to Clive for an explanation.

“There’s stress in the air so he reverts,” he said.

“I guess that makes sense. I’m pretty sure I change colour when I’m stressed, too.”

We had to pass by the airport to get to the road that heads back out to the farm, and that’s where I saw one of the most amazing KerDoodle sights yet. I was watching an airplane on short final as I sat at a light – it was flying in, right to left. Its wheels were down.

“Well, would you look at that!” I hollered, and quick as a whip – and apparently reading my mind – Clive picked up my cell phone from the console and snapped a pic.

“Well, I’ll be a sonofagun,” I said. “What do you suppose happened to him?”

Clive smiled. “I’m guessing he was in the John when they closed the gate and he did what he had to, to stay with his assignment.”

“Well, that’s dedication,” I said, a new-found respect for KerDoodles and their tenacity coursing through me.

The light changed and we continued our drive to the farm.

* * *

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.

Everybody’s Got One

The next day we went for another walk, this time to the corral just west of the house where Clive and I found Ell watching Dee pick up some wind-blown branches. It didn’t escape my attention that Ell was not alone.

“I thought everyone had just one KerDoodle,” I posed.

“Well, everybody has at least one, but there’s no technical limit, and we KerDoodles tend to gravitate to people we like.”

I looked at him and he smiled.

“By the look of it Ell’s got three,” he continued. “Hang on.”

He walked over and spoke to the nearest little chap, who was purple, with an orange baseball cap. In a moment Clive came back and reported to me:

“As I thought. KerDoodles will sometimes check in with a new person if their regular assignment is asleep, or boring. These two extras are actually assigned to those two horses over there, so technically they’re working and resting. They’re multi-tasking.”

“Interesting,” I said. “Let’s go for a ride. I wanna see if some of my other friends and family also have KerDoodle company.”

He looked at me. “Still not convinced? Okay fine, let’s go.”

The car bore us both swiftly and warmly away from the farm and back to my place, where I found Rusty waiting by the front door for his Gamma.

“Hey,” I hollered after enjoying a happy reunion with little Rusty, “that one’s brown!”

“I told you – we adapt. Over time, and when we’re feeling comfortable, we lose the initial hue and adopt a colour more suited to our subject. That KerDoodle has adopted Rusty’s colour to help him feel very comfortable.

“Amazing,” I said.

I made a nice sandwich and we sat at the table to eat – well, I ate, Clive watched. Then suddenly the phone rang and we both darn near jumped out of our skins. After a few moments, listening, I hung up the receiver and said: “we have to go back to Dee’s place. There’s trouble at the farm.”

* * *

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.

Teachers

We decided to head back to the house for dinner, but to do that we had to pass through the barn again, and on the way we saw a most idyllic scene.

Now, to describe it properly I need to explain something. You recall, of course, that I secured my ability to see KerDoodles from a bump on the head. Well, children don’t need that sort of thing at all. Children and animals, in fact, have the ability to see KerDoodles as much as they want, and to interact with them at will. Have you never heard a child tell of their ‘friend’, which you interpreted (because you couldn’t see them) as ‘imaginary friend’? Well, that sort of thing goes on all the time. Actually, kids see KerDoodles quite easily – they just don’t think they’re anything unusual so they don’t often bring them up in conversation.

Anyway, we passed the Lounge by the arena, and saw little Jewel and her KerDoodle enjoying a very nice catalogue moment.

“We’re excellent teachers,” said Clive. “We’re patient, and soft-spoken, and completely understanding. We also have a vast knowledge base to draw on when teaching – especially when we’re teaching kids. And we love it. We love to teach.”

We watched them learn together for a while, then headed back to the house. I would prepare dinner while Clive had a bit of a nap. Poor chap – I think I was wearing him out. Here he is now, in fancy jammies, copping a snooze with Dee and Ell’s pooches.

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.

Before and After

Dee rode off with her little friend to the other end of the paddock and we turned to walk back toward the barns. After a while, walking in silence, we both suddenly heard splashing and noisy chatter from up the hill.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Over there,” said Clive. “At the pond.”

We both took off running, and sure enough there were Ell and Jay, working away in the pond.

“What are they doing?” I asked.

“Reed control. They have to pull out the bullrushes and cattails to keep them from taking over.”

We sat on the grass and watched for a while. Ell was in front, Jay at the rear. They were reaching over the edge of the canoe, lugging and tugging and mugging to get the silly reeds to give up their squishy hold on the pond-bottom. And there, of course, snugged right in with the two men, were the now obligatory KerDoodles. I’m not sure if they were helping, but they were certainly having a good time.

As we watched them all work I have to say I noticed the canoe wobbling rather a lot – this way and that, up and down, side to side, wobble-wobble-wobble... It seemed pretty clear to me that some of those reeds just didn’t want to let go of their nice little perch in the pond, but still the men plugged away, tugged away, doing everything they could to get them out.

They worked their way along the edge of the reeds, back and forth, taking one at a time, piling a few up in the boat, then rowing them all over to the bank. They worked hard and laughed hard until finally they came across a particularly stubborn little fellow, holding on to its place in the world with all the might it possessed. Ell grabbed it with both hands and pulled. He pulled and he tugged, and he wrestled and he wrangled, but still that hard-headed little reed said no. And the boat wobbled terribly! Of course, Jay leaned back to try to counteract all that wobbling, but when Ell gave one final, furious, body-clenching tug to rip the thing from its roots it was more than the narrow little boat could bear. Suddenly, in an apoplectic fit of balancing and counterbalancing the poor, confused little craft could take it no more. Over she went, spilling everyone on board into the watery shallows.

Well, suffice it to say that only the KerDoodles were laughing. KerDoodles, so Clive tells me, love to get wet. They like their bath time and shower time – they even like to splash around in the kitchen sink when no one is looking! Hey, I can’t count the number of times I’ve found water on the kitchen counters that I just couldn’t explain.

Ell and Jay fished themselves out of the pond, lay the boat on the bank, and headed off to their homes to dry off. Clive and I watched all this from a safe distance. I watched the KerDoodles, laughing and playing with each other, alone now, and I confess that I couldn’t help but curl my lips a little bit too.

Then I looked up into the sky. The clouds seemed a little bit thicker now than they had before. They looked heavy with moisture, and I remembered what Clive had said about the weather being about to change. I hugged myself and snugged my coat in more tightly, as if to get ready for something really horrible.

Perhaps it wouldn’t change quite that fast, but I felt like I should be ready.

* * *

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.

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.