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   I finally found someone to fix my washing machine. Unfortunately, it won’t be fixed until sometime at the end of the  week. Until then, I think I’ll clean my clothes by getting a washboard. Or, maybe, rocks and the bathtub. 
And that’s the funny thing, isn’t it? There isn’t much that can go wrong with a washboard. Or a clothes line. Or an icebox. Either they work or they’ve been utterly destroyed, somehow. There’s some food for thought for you. 
I think what we’re good at, as a race, is making things more complicated than they need to be. We take a simple idea and we keep adding on to it until it’s a precarious mess, ready to tumble down. Or confuse people. 

Lately, Junior has been behaving in two modes: napping and following me around making really, really, sad noises. Maybe two and a half modes because when he was laying down but not actually sleeping he’d be glaring at me. It breaks my heart, really, when he goes running for the pantry door hoping to get his old food.
I called the vet this morning and told them, truthfully, that Junior was no longer eating unless I was out or asleep. If I was in the apartment or awake he’d be in one of those two (or 2½) states and just wouldn’t eat any more. It’s no wonder he’s crying because he’s starving himself all day and waiting for me to feed him his regular food. So they gave me a care package with two different types of canned food (still, sadly, paté style) and a very small bag of dry food.
Since I’d already opened a can, I opened up the dry food and put it in his bowl when I got home. I’m happy to say that he tore right into it. And he must’ve eaten a lot because since then he’s been sleeping on the couch by the birds. So that’s several hours. It’s good for him and it’s great for me because it was driving me nuts. With any luck he’ll like at least one of the two other canned foods. Then I can spend another hundred or so on food. At least the sample stuff was free. That’s actually going to be a big help.

After many miles, Augustine was tired. He rarely looked up, concentrating more on his feet taking each step and the tip of his walking stick gauging the terrain ahead of him. This is why he nearly missed the old man sitting on a log.
The grizzly man had one leg crossed over the other and he was digging furiously at the sole of his boot with his fingers. Augustine sat down on the log next to him, but the old man didn’t seem to notice. After a few minutes of watching the man struggle with his boot Augustine cleared his throat and asked, “Hello there. Are you having a problem?”
The old man stopped his digging and looked up to the sky and said, “Grappo has a stone stuck in the sole of his boot. Every time Grappo takes a step a furious pain aches his foot!”
“Then you are Grappo? My name is Augustine.”
Grappo had gone back to his boot, though, and didn’t acknowledge Augustine’s introduction.
“May I have a look at your boot? Maybe I can help.”
This Grappo seemed to hear. He pulled off his boot and, without looking at him, handed it over.
Augustine looked at the sole and saw that there was, indeed, a large and sharp looking rock firmly lodged in the boot. He looked inside the boot and could see a sharp point protruding upwards before his eyes began to water. He took out the knife he had found by the well and used it to pry the rock out.
He handed the boot back to Grappo who pulled it on and took a few tentative steps in a circle.
“When Grappo takes a step he now longer feels pain. He thanks his rescuer profusely!” He took Augustine’s hand and shook it firmly.
“It was no problem at all. I’m heading in this direction,” he said, pointing upstream. “If you’d like, we can walk together.”
“Grappo is quite pleased to have a traveling companion and the two set off together.” The old man strode forward. Somewhat hesitantly, Augustine followed.
It wasn’t long before Grappo started limping again. It gradually got worse until he stopped and said, “Whenever Grappo takes a step, something from the ground pokes his foot.”
Augustine thought about that. “I suppose with a big hole there’s bound to be things poking your foot,” he agreed. “We need to block the hole, somehow.”
“Grappo knows!” He got on his hands and knees and started scrounging around on the ground. “A nice big rock will fill that hole.”
“No, no, no,” said Augustine. “Let’s try and find something softer.”
Augustine collected some grass and leaves and soaked them in the trickling creek. Then he mashed them together until it was a pasty mess. He plugged up the hole as best he could and they continued on.
“Grappo’s foot is wet,” said Grappo sadly.
The pair marched on for a while until Augustine noticed Grappo limping again. Investigating the bottom of the boot he saw that the grass and leaf muck had worn away.
“Short of finding leather, I don’t know that we can fix that for you.” He told Grappo. 
The old man shrugged his shoulders. “Grappo is resigned to his fate.”
Augustine looked around. “Then again,” he started. “I’ll be right back.” He went off the path until he found some large trees. He used the dull knife again to chip off a rather large piece of bark. Then he collected some more fallen leaves and headed back to where Grappo waited.
He put the bark on the inside of the boot and then layered the leaves on it.
“See if that will work. It’s temporary, but maybe it’ll be helpful.”
Grappo put his boot back on and stamped around in a circle.
“Grappo finds the solution agreeable, even though it’s not entirely comfortable. Grappo thinks it’s better than rocks in his foot, though.”
They headed upstream together.

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