Youthful life stories

Sometimes Hoot’s mind is a mystery to me. He heard the name “Donald Trump” on NPR this morning. “Trump? Why’d they say Donald Trump?”

“He’s running for president, sweetie. We’re going to hear his name a lot.”

Hoot laughed. “Donald Trump is not a president! He’s a movie!”

I didn’t understand at first. “He’s a what?”

“I say he’s a movie! Not a president!”

At other times, he’s completely familiar.

Walking Mocha, he says, “Mama, next time I’m a dog I’m not going to be a little dog who goes ‘yip yip’ all the time.”

I smile. “Oh you were a yippy dog before?”

“Yes, last time.”

“In a dream?” I asked.

“No! Last time I said! I was a little dog. The next time I’m a dog, I will be a big big dog!” He stomped his feet and stopped walking.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Why are you going to be a big dog next time?”

“I was a little dog who barked at Mocha last time. I was not a friend. Next time I will be a big dog who is Mocha’s friend.”

“Oh, you want to be Mocha’s friend next time you’re a dog?”

“Yes, but I will not be a big dog who steals food from tables. I will be a good dog.”

“That’s nice, Hoot.”

“Yes, Mama, that’s nice.”

We walked on.

“Last time” I wasn’t a dog–in the 1970s, I guess–I was a bunny, but not the kind of bunny who harassed my dog Stormi. I was a friend to dogs. But then our neighbor ran me over with his lawnmower.

Mama Young



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