One week after moving to Curioville, Rufus found himself adjusting nicely to the slower pace of his new community. For the five years prior to this, Rufus lived on a library counter. A glorious life filled with books and stimulating conversation that formed the basis of a community called Countertown.
That is until the old librarian retired and the new librarian decided all non-essential clutter had to go. So he and all his nic nac neighbours found themselves evicted from their wee community. After a stay in an internment box sporting a degrading and thankless sign that read ‘free for the taking’ Rufus found himself on his way to a new set of shelves. The life on that shelf formed a community called Curioville. In order to join the community Rufus had to respectfully ask the crusty natured sentry/boatman Captain McCray to bring him across Cotton Lake.
After thanking the bombastic Captain McCray, Rufus climbed out of the boat and was met by a large white dog who regarded him with curiosity. “Hello boy” Rufus greeted him. Their eyes met. The dog opened his mouth as if wanting to return the greeting but shyly held back instead. Rufus had an idea he would see more of his friendly greeter sometime soon.
Rufus traveled light. He owned just one trunk to hold his possessions and he was able to move into any space and set up quickly. He lucked into a treetop loft that was just the right size for his needs.
It smelled inviting and there were lots of places to climb as well as to just hang about. It was well hidden. He could remain in stealth mode and enjoy his privacy. It was also rent free, he just needed to make a peace agreement with the birds who owned the tree…..
However, living surrounded by birds in spring could be very loud. So when Rufus had enough of the noise of birdy sex he decided to explore the local park.
The water was refreshing and in no time he was lost in his own thoughts about his latest life change. On his second day in Curioville Rufus ventured to the local variety shoppe run by Mavis. They struck up a great friendship along with the great conversation that day. Rufus was also able to order some books that he looked forward to receiving in the next few days. Sadly, while he was there a clown pinched a cookie while they chatted.
“Hello again boy”Rufus recognized the large white dog as the same one who initially greeted him on his arrival to the community. Not that he really expected a response “Lovely spot wouldn’t you say?”
“Yes it’s my personal happy place” answered the dog as Rufus’ eyes popped open “The name is Vincent but everyone likes to call me Snowball.”the dog’s answered as he moved in to sniff Rufus’ outstretched hand.
“You talk.?!?”Rufus was pleasantly startled by Vincent response. He stared hoping to hear more.
“So do you.”Noted Vincent staring back at the sock monkey.
Rufus thought about that for a moment. “You’re right!” Rufus laughed. Which started Vincent laughing too.”Why do you get called Snowball?”
“Well, folks don’t have much imagination and it’s an easy name for them to remember. Nobody thinks dogs can talk. Not worth my time and energy to try to pull them out of their beliefs. As well, sometimes the shock can be a bit messy.” Vincent laughed a little as he thought about it. “Besides I don’t mind the name Snowball, I never felt like the name Vincent fit me anyway. You may as well call me Snowball too. How are you liking Curioville so far?”
“It’s a change from where I use to live, the library, but I am enjoying the quiet pace. I traveled quite a bit in the younger days as well. I like the prospect of settling down and most everyone I have met so far is friendly,”noted Rufus.
“Yes,”Snowball agreed “there are good folks here. I have always lived here though. I only dream of travel. I hear about other places but I know it is all so out of reach for me.”
“Not necessarily, “Rufus felt bad for the guy.”Where would you go if you had the opportunity to travel?”
Snowball stood staring out over Cotton Lake and thinking about this for a moment.”I don’t honestly know.”
That started Rufus talking about some of the places he had seen and the many places he still intended to visit. Rufus enjoyed being able to travel when he wished. It was through sheer willpower born out of needing to get out of tricky situations fast Rufus became an adept traveler. But when Rufus lucked into an oasis community such as this he was content to stay put for a while. Today he not only found a nice new spot by the water to contemplate the universe but he found a new friend. “Never disregard your dreams my friend…”
He and Snowball hung out for the duration of the afternoon. The day was beautiful and breeze on this mid spring day was warm and sweetly scented with new blossoms. It wasn’t often that Rufus felt at home in the company of others. Now, twice in as many days he had found such kinship.