Chapter 9

The Philosophy of a Wheaten

1. Walk brightly (prance, bounce, scamper) and carry a big stick (adapted from Theodore Roosevelt)

Enter Gráinne's Woods via the Stick Shop (south entrance); here the selection is excellent and the supply inexhaustible. Twigs don't count; a proper stick has at least the diameter of a Wheaten nose, length 18 inches to 6 feet. Any wood is acceptable; however, those who don't have bark (pardon the pun!) are most appreciated. In narrow spots tilt head to get between trees with long sticks. Especially long sticks should be carried by one end.

Bang Daddy and Mummy with the stick (repeat as necessary) to get maximum attention. Should the stick become too heavy, offer one end to Mummy; she's a sucker and will relieve you of part of the weight. Should you discover that there are other things to do in the woods, have Mummy carry the whole stick home alone. Leave problem of disposal to her. She will leave it to Daddy.

2. A winning smile makes one eligible for peeking over the edge of the counter when Daddy or Mummy is cooking.

Daddy is the bigger sucker. Daddies are for cuddling and cookies. Mummies are for combing, training, commands, showers ... . Daddies succumb to a winsome smile; Mummie knows that trick. (She used it on Daddy).

3. Do not allow Them to become too complacent about your behavior.

(See Behavioral Psychology, Prof. Tatarski, Knox College, 1971. This one is worth boning up on).

Occasionally not returning immediately when called makes them appreciate good behavior more. It also makes Them afraid that They have lost you. When They have imagined all sorts of dire scenarios, it is safe to return even covered from head to paw in mud. However, humans are not as dumb as they seem and are likely to turn the tables on you, hiding behind a tree and causing you to panic about your next meal.

4. The World is divided into crowded places and open spaces. The latter are preferable.

Cooperating in the former means getting taken along everywhere: to restaurants, fairs, markets and meetings, on boats, trains, buses and, of course - the favourite: The Car.

Before long, They even feel guilty if  They even think of leaving the sWheatie at home. Open spaces are the reward. After They have subjected you to enough crowded places, They plan the next vacation just for sWheatie's benefit.

5. There are two kinds of wet feet:

a) Those which one gets from walking on dewy grass in the yard in the morning. This is to be avoided at all costs. Smart Wheaties play dumb.

b) Those which result from plunging into mud puddles, brooks, ponds ... These are fun and make Mummy jump around screaming like Rumpelstilzchen. That's fun, too! (see #2: Mummy is responsible for showers).

Love and slurps!

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