Tale #23: A Most Marvelous Thing

"Rouff! Rouff!"

It wasn't too long after I came to live with Mom and Dad that I discovered that they have what I think is one of the neatest things in the world. Now, Mom would laugh at me for telling you that and she'd say it's actually pretty messy. Dad might laugh about it, too, but he'd say that, with a quick wipe, it's neat enough. I'm not sure which of us is right, but I really encourage all of my readers to get one if they don't have one already.

It's called a kitchen countertop and it's a most marvelous thing!

I discovered this veritable delight but, like so many great discoveries, I really didn't realize the full scope of it for a while. Take, for example, that Fleming guy who didn't like bread. He figured out that if he left the bread out long enough, it would get moldy so he wouldn't have to eat it. That way, he could drink martinis instead, so in the process, Mr. Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin and the formula for famous secret agents.

As I got bigger, my nose kept getting closer and closer to that magical kitchen countertop. There were so many great smells from where Mom and Dad would fix my food or fix the food for the rest of the family. I'm still really not sure why they figured everyone else had to eat something different than me.

One night, the smell was just overpowering as Mom fixed some omelets for supper, but when it came time to eat, Dad wasn't home yet. Not wanting them to get cold, everyone else went ahead and ate. Except for me. She didn't give me a biscuit either. I was very disappointed, but then Mom did something really curious. She knew that Dad was going to be home in a few minutes, so she left the biscuits in the oven and left his omelet on the stove. Then, she went upstairs to do something.

Dad came home a few minutes later and went upstairs to see Mom. He came back downstairs smiling, but after he looked in the skillet, he was hopping mad. He yelled at me for a bit and then fixed himself another omelet. I don't know how his omelet turned out, but I thought his first one that Mom had left on the stove tasted really good!

It was one evening a few weeks later when Mom decided to fix this most wonderful food called steak. It was too cold to grill outside, so she pan fried it in butter and added some pepper. Oh, it smelled so good! But then she and little Buddy ate it and didn't give me a single bite. Dad was running a bit late, so she sat it on the back burner of the stove where I couldn't reach it since he was going to be home in just a little while.

Well, maybe I just misinterpreted it, but I took that steak on the back burner of the stove as Mom making a little bet with me. I never knew for sure, but Dad lost.

He was really upset this time, so he carried the skillet upstairs to show Mom. I heard him upstairs griping at that skillet for a good while before he finally came back downstairs and ate a bowl of cereal.

After that, the kitchen countertop changed a little. I noticed that Mom quit leaving Dad's food on the stove on the nights when he got home late from work. He always gave me this really funny look on the nights when they'd have steak, too: he'd stick his tongue out at me! I'm not sure why, but I suspect that he may have accidentally bit it while chewing his steak.

It was a month or two after the yummy steak episode when I walked by the countertop with my nose held high. That's when it hit me: another delightful smell. Peeking over the top of the counter, I saw a pack of buns that Mom had left sitting out after giving Buddy his hamburger. That scamp made me sit there watching him eat it, but he didn't give me a single bite, so I was pretty hungry, with my mouth watering. Those buns were the final straw. It didn't take too much to jump up to that countertop, grab that open bag, and go.

Oh, hamburger is probably pretty good, but those buns were almost heaven. They were so light and fluffy, with a taste of sweetness to them. To make it even better, there weren't just one or two; there were six or seven of them! I was sitting pretty fat and happy and full when Dad came home that night. That's when I made another discovery: Dad must be related to that frumpy, grumpy Columbus guy with the trenchcoat on TV who discovers places, solves mysteries, and likes to read to his sick grandson about that dread pirate guy. Dad's kind of frumpy like him, but he's a pretty good detective like him, too. It wasn't long before I was off to my crate while he went upstairs to talk to Mom.

From now on, I must remember: I can't leave the empty bag on the floor by the back door. Next time, I have to eat it, too!

~Jake Tales~

Author's Note: Thanks for reading my Jake's tales. Your feedback in the form of follows, favorites, reviews, or PMs is greatly appreciated. Constructive criticism is welcomed, too.

Thank you to TalesOfTreesAndStars and SparrowsOfTheTrees for the recent reviews!

Dad's Note: As alert readers may have noted, Jake is apparently confusing and combing two famous Flemings. Scientist Sir Alexander is credited with the discovery of penicillin, while writer Ian was the creator of the famous fictional British secret agent 007, James Bond.

Finally, Jake didn't mention it, but he made off with a bag of homemade cinnamon cookies just last night. He tried to play innocent so we'd blame sister Janie, but Mom got to try on the trenchcoat to play Colombo this time, quickly solving the case!