The Cleaner

Last night I was able to finish the last of several items that a customer had ordered so EJ and I delivered it to her this morning. I worked at adding a few more products to my Terics Treasures store this afternoon. Then I saw that a customer had sent me photos of a cute little bunny and a unicorn blanket and asked if I could make them for her. I was able to find the patterns on the Internet so I’ll begin working on them this week. It will require a trip to a craft store to buy more yarn. I have coupons for Joann Fabrics–if I can keep Hannah Joy from getting into my purse and eating the coupons. She has been guilty of doing it before. She’s such a pit-pocket!

I often watch a program on Netflix or Amazon Prime while I crochet. It gives my mind something to do while my hands are busy. If I find a really interesting series or movie, EJ and I watch it together when he is home in the evenings or weekends. I have found some really good programs, like The Man in the High Castle, Longmire, and The Blacklist. We just finished watching The Blacklist on Friday evening. From The Blacklist, I learned about cleaners, which are people who clean up crime scenes when the investigation is finish. One of the characters in The Blacklist was Mr. Kaplan, a cleaner who cleaned up for criminals, making it appear that no crime/murder had been committed.

On Saturday, we watched a four-part series based on the book, Watership Down. Watership Down is a story about rabbits, but not a documentary or children’s story. Replace the rabbits with humans and you’d have a nail-biting story about a search for a new home and escape from an oppressive regime.

Ok. so who really cares about what EJ and I are watching on Netflix? I told you because it relates to what happened yesterday. Sort of.

We were in the middle of watching Watership Down yesterday when I had to pause the program and go out to give the chickens fresh water and gather their eggs. The fastest route to the coop is through our attached garage. Just inside the human-sized garage door, I found the headless body of a rabbit. And its head. Another murder by Miss Madeline Meadows, our sweet serial killer cat. She tends to bring her kills into the garage and I often find dead bodies. I’m glad when she kills vermin like mice, voles, moles, and shrews, but I hate it when she kills anything else. Like rabbits. I don’t know how she manages to bring large rabbits–her size or bigger–up the driveway and through the pet door into the garage. I don’t ask and she’s not telling.

Anyway, the body took me by surprise and I gasped. The dead rabbit seemed especially horrifying because we were in the middle of watching Watership Down with its rabbits and beautiful scenery.

I thought, “I will take care of the rabbit after I take care of the chickens.” So I continued on my way to the coop. The coop is a shed (12 x 10 if I remember correctly), and inside it is a nice coop we bought at TSC and a well-built doghouse that the previous owners of our house left behind. The chickens like to roost in or on top of them.

I walked into the coop/shed and immediately saw this long pale thing on top of the gray TSC coop. It sort of looked like a flesh-colored carrot….or a rooster toe. In horror, I tried to tell myself that I should rake the thing–the toe–outside but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. I felt like vomiting and tried not to look at it or even think about it.

I went back inside the house and told EJ about it. I bargained, “I’ll take care of the rabbit body if you take care of the rooster toe.” He agreed. We went out through the garage together, and while he continued on to the coop, I got a shovel, scooped up the rabbit body and its detached head, and walked around the garden/chicken fence to the back of the property where I tossed it down into the ravine. It’s where I dump all Madeline’s bodies.

I put the shovel back in the garage. EJ met me there and said he couldn’t find any rooster toe. I’m thinking, “How could you miss it?” We walked to the coop together while I described where the toe was located. He said, “That? That’s not a toe! That’s a broken egg!” A hen had laid an egg there and it somehow got broken and stretched out so it looked like a chicken toe. I felt both very stupid and extremely relieved that it wasn’t what I thought it was. Whew!

As we walked back into the house, I said to EJ, “You realize that I am Miss Madeline Meadow’s cleaner, right? I take care of the bodies of the critters she kills. I clean her crime scene.” Someday, someone is going to come across a pile of bones where I dumped the bodies and they will wonder what on earth happened.

Life in the country isn’t all gentle and peaceful. Sometimes it involves real headless rabbits and imagined rooster toes.

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