Rostov is overflowing with oxen. They're everywhere - in the stores, out on the street, in sidewalk kiosks. Makes sense though with 2009, The Year of the Ox just ahead.
I've been able to capture several oxen in recent encounters and even shoot them on the spot, thanks to my trusty little camera. Care to come along for a quick look? And then at the end, I'll tell you about a surprise encounter during the Year of the Rat.
Chances are this little cardboard container is filled with candy. Now here's a thought: If one container is an ox box, might the plural be oxen boxen?
Where is Dr Seuss when we need him? Green eggs and ham, I am, I yam.
There are oxes like boxes, there are even stuffed oxes. Oxes on top of oxes. Now here's another thought liguistic: If a confused ox is an ox flummox, would a whole herd be oxen flummoxen? Just wondering. . .
Plastic oxen. Might be piggy banks. Or would that be oxy-banks? Oh, here's a brand new riddle: What do you call an ox that's too stupid to come in out of the rain?
Answer: An oxy-moron.
Dr Seuss, paging Dr Seuss.
Hurrying right along. . .
Here we are at the supermarket in candy section, which I prefer to call the department of fruits and vegetables. You can choose from plastic oxen, tin, cardboard. even cloth oxen. Everybody knows veggies are good for you, they're packed with vitamins and minerals, especially the sort of veggies we find here.
But lest we get too hasty, we're still in the Year of the Rat and in recent weeks, I had a most unexpected encounter with a rodent. Seriously. . .
It was late one December evening when I returned to Rostov after five or six weeks in Ukraine. In the door and then I set about unpacking and such. Just to set the stage, here's The Great Room during unpacking.
After an hour or two of that, well after midnight, I was ready to hit the hay.
At the risk of giving out TMI - too much information - here's a peek at The Master Suite. Now please don't be hating on me that this is so fancy and all. Just keeping it real here, and this is how things look when we're unpacking.
But as I was turning down my covers to settle in for a long winter's nap, what to my wondering eyes should appear . . . but concrete evidence that a rodent had been hanging out under my covers. For a while. There were rodent. . . there were rodent droppings. There were gnawings of something wooden and all of this was arranged in a neat little circle about the size of a doughnut, the center of which was totally bare, again, like a doughnut.
What to do? What do you do when there's been a rodent in your bed? I pulled off that sheet likkety-split, wadded it up to consider another day when I would in the mood for such things. So several days later when I was still not in the mood for such things, friend Misha and I examined the evidence with a magnifying glass and decided that it wasn't a rat at all but rather a little Christmas church mouse who, for reasons of her own, decided to nest in a bed. Precious, right? Nyet, nyet and thousand times nyet!
So now I'm just wondering: If a rodent wants to move in during the Year of the Rat, what on earth might happen during the Year of the Ox?
Dr Seuss, paging Dr Seuss.