- either of two corvine birds, Pica pica (black-billed magpie), of Eurasia and North America, or P. nuttalli (yellow-billed magpie), of California, having long, graduated tails, black-and-white plumage, and noisy, mischievous habits.
- a person who collects or hoards things, especially indiscriminately.
hank can be pretty cheeky… he gets away with it because he is outrageously cute, but sometimes i am astounded by how forgiving i am of his behavior. if my kids did any one of the naughty or disgusting things he does, i think i would sell them on ebay. somehow, when i discover one of hank’s bad acts, i just end up giving him kisses. (my children HAVE started to notice the inequity in how i discipline - or don’t, rather - hank vs. the time outs and revoked desserts and phones and TV time that they suffer. i figure i am providing them with important material to discuss with their therapists in their forties.)
recently, i was trying to schedule some meetings and i couldn’t find my brand new agenda (yes, i know that i am one of the last people on the planet who still uses a paper agenda… i imagine i will keep it up until they are no longer made.) i couldn’t find it anywhere and then i saw hank wrestling around with a small brown book in the back yard. not only was the spine a bit chewed up - which is actually sort of sweet because now i think of him when i open it to write something down - but the dew in the grass caused the ink to run on several pages, making my writing illegible and my appointments unknowable… adding an extra challenge to my week.
i did learn from this experience. i now know that when hank goes tearing into the back yard, he most likely has something that he shouldn’t. on days when i am not paying attention, an interesting collection can accumulate… i’ve found flip flops, socks, the flashlight, small baskets, felt tip pens, hair ties, my reading glasses, the tape measure… and for some reason, he especially likes the remote. it is now in pretty bad shape (amazingly, it still works!) but i know that it’s a dangerous chew toy and i’ve had to retrain myself and the kids about leaving it on the sofa when we are done watching TV.
he also enjoys my hair brush. he took it out of my open suitcase when i couldn’t unpack because i hadn’t yet cleaned my closets. we got into a ridiculous cycle. hank takes it into the backyard and chews the handle. i retrieve it and put it in the dishwasher. when it is clean, i set it on the stairs so i remember to bring it up and then hank runs off with it again before i get it upstairs. it has now gone through three cycles in the dishwasher. i am having a very hard time changing my system. i like to be efficient AND i am a bit lazy so i don’t like to make extra trips up the stairs. but if i place items that need to go upstairs somewhere else, i don’t remember to carry them up. it is definitely a conundrum.
hank has impeccable timing as well. on the days when we are in a rush, inevitably i can only find one of my shoes or my keys have gone missing or the sole bottle of sunscreen that my daughter will consent to using has disappeared - sunscreen is no joke in boulder as we are practically next door neighbors with the sun. we then have to canvass the yard like a survival search team and find the missing item we cannot leave the house without. and hank will be watching, offering no assistance, just rotating his ears around, looking angelic.