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©1999 Oren the Otter -- all rights reserved

Ah, spring! That time of year when a young mustie's love lightly turns to thoughts of fancy. When the flowers are buzzing and the bees are in bloom and... oops. That's next issue's column.

Ah, Christmas! The season of joy and giving, of generosity and kindness, and the season when parents are dragging their kids through the department store while he or she screams "I want that!" Now, I'm sure that you've all read columns about how you should be grateful for what you get instead of demanding, but none quite like this one I'll wager. I'd like to tell you a story about two little girls I know. Becky and Gigi are their names.

Last Christmas, more than anything else, they each wanted a horse-morph Barfie. Yes, I know it's spelled wrong, but Mattel's Lawyers are everywhere!

Becky and Gigi had a doting aunt named Beulah, who took it upon herself to give each of these girls their own horse-morph Barfie. Her first stop was the Toys 'R' Mine store. Naturally, they were sold out. After that, she tried Kay Oh Toys. No luck there, either. To make a long story short, Aunt Beulah looked in every store for a thousand miles. When that failed, she went to the Internet. Sadly, no one had any horse-morph Barfies in stock.

In a last ditch effort to make some good on her promise, Aunt Beulah bought a pair of model horses from a quaint little store in the mall run by an old man in a robe. Gigi was disappointed that she didn't receive a horse-morph Barfie, but she thanked her aunt for the gift and gave her a kiss, saying that it was a lovely gift she got anyway. Becky, on the other hand, was livid. She immediately set to destroying the horse. She stripped of huge patches of its fur and ripped out the mane and tail. She bent the middle over the edge of the coffee table and twisted the left rear leg with her teeth. That was when the magic kicked in.

Of course, you know what happened. Gigi got to spend the day as a beautiful white mare, an exact duplicate of her toy horse. She had endless hours of fun running through the snow-covered meadow. Becky, however, found herself stuck in the form of a mange-ridden swayback with a twisted leg. So, in the words of Vincent the mink, I would like to propose a toast to what is. Let us all take a moment this Thanksgiving and Christmas to give thanks for what we have instead of dwelling on what we don't. We might find that we're much more content than we think we are.

Oren the Otter
tlhaQ biQ Ha'DIbaH

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