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La Octava Parte

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4 Septiembre 2005

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O! My dear and gentle readers, it has been far too long since my last royal missive! All is well with William and myself. We are still well pampered, and delight in fabulous salads and long, lazy afternoons snuggled together in the royal Palacio.

Regrettably, there has been some sadness in our Kingdom since our last communique. We mourned the passing of our dear Nellie, Teniente de Los Protectores Reales, in February. She passed quietly at home in the Chancellor's arms after a lengthy illness. Her fine, audacious spirit will be greatly missed.

Rosario, a beautiful rosy Bourke's parakeet, was the source of both great joy and deep sorrow with his arrival and untimely passing. A more darling and gentle little spirit one cannot imagine. Rosy was with us for only 19 days, and we loved him dearly.

On a more cheerful note, the Duchess will be welcoming another Bourke’s parakeet into the royal household by the middle of this month. He will be a new personality in his own right and not a replacement for Rosario. He is however, Rosario’s little brother from a new clutch by Rosy’s parents. We are certain he will be deeply loved in his own right.

By no means is all the news from my Kingdom sad! Life with Billy is sheer domestic bliss. By that, I mean he spends almost all of his time grooming me or sleeping snuggled up with me. We play together and delight in throwing things down the ramps of our Palacio. We share our two daily salads, which is very nice. He always gives me the tastiest bits, which is only right, after all.

All the others in our royal household are doing very well indeed. Pal works hard, and he, Ginger and Hadabah play just as hard. Since we now live in the same building as our new shop, the dogs are learning to enjoy the pampered lifestyle of being "apartment" dogs. The cats seem to enjoy our new home, too. Jack and Phoebe like the 8' walls and 12' ceiling, since they can use the tops of the walls as "cat freeways." They remain in excellent physical condition thanks to all this feline leaping about. Major, being elderly, explored the cat freeway system once, but he vastly prefers the comfort of furniture and blankets for his resting places.

It took many months of preparation, but our shop, Tres Hermanas Wool Works, has now been open for a month. The name, Tres Hermanas, translates into "Three Sisters." I have graciously allowed the Duchess and the Chancellor to believe that they named the business when it was I, of course, who named it in honor of my own sisters, whom I have not seen since ascending the throne.

The Duchess and the Chancellor have been very busy with getting Tres Hermanas opened. They spent much time packaging various types of spinning fibers from many different kinds of animals (including, I might add, angora fiber donated by both William and I). The two of them were very excited about the contents of the many interesting packages that were delivered. I was excited too, until I learned that the beautiful wooden drop spindles were not chew toys for us bunnies. In fact, none of the packages contained toys for either William or I. Disappointing, really, and I have now lost interest in packages.

At present, William and I reside in the "living area" behind the shop, but the Duchess assures me that our move into the shop area is imminent. What a lovely arrangement that will be! So many of our admirers will be able to come and pay us the respect we are due... during business hours, of course!

Recently, all of us have all been terribly saddened by the events surrounding the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. I know that people are being rescued every day. I just hope that some thought is being spared to rescuing all the animals that must be down there, too. I have been informed some dogs and cats are being rescued; but, of course, I worry mostly about the bunnies.

In the hopes of assisting with the recovery effort, I have decreed that the Duchess and the Chancellor establish "Knit (and Crochet!) for Hurricane Relief," to be conducted under the auspices of Tres Hermanas Wool Works. Knit-ins will be held every Saturday between now and Christmas (crocheters, spinners and weavers are, of course, also welcome). The goal is to have lots of hats and gloves and scarves and toys and baby items and afghans and such to take to the people who have suffered so much! When the immediate crisis is past and everyone is safe, the Texas/Oklahoma Kiwanis Club and The Salvation Army will take all the hand-made things that they can collect to distribute to the survivors of the disaster.

(When we first conceived this idea, I thought that the Southeast United States was warm year-round. At my behest, the Duchess undertook a fact-finding mission about winter in the deep south. What she found out amazed me:

  • The average low temperature in Louisiana in January is 37 F (2.7 C).
  • The overall average temperature for January is 54F (12.2C)
  • In addition to getting cold in winter, it is a wet and clammy cold. Since people do not come equipped with lovely warm fur coats like yours truly, they will find it especially miserable if they have no heat this winter.)

It has been most heartening to see how many people have already come in to make donations. One lady brought in several blankets and hats she had made over the summer. She said, “I worked on these all summer, and I really didn’t know why. Now I do.” An elderly gentleman brought in an armload of yarn, which had belonged to his late wife. “I think she would be happy about this,” he said.

We had a lot of people come and knit and crochet yesterday. The Mayor of Ponca City, Mr. Richard Stone, put in an appearance, as did Channel 5 News from Oklahoma City. People from the Salvation Army and the Kiwanis Club stopped by, as well. Needless to say, William and I did not put ourselves forward for this event as it was about helping people, not aggrandizing our bunny selves.

So, with all its ups and downs, life is good. As the Duchess says, quoting the artist, Marc Chagall:

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”

On to El Nueve Parte

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"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." 
- John Steinbeck 

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