Hobkin’s brain

Hobkin was very frisky this morning. He kept wanting to play, pouncing first on my feet, and then when I bent down to dislodge his fangs from my toes, he’d relocate them to my fingers (his fangs, not my toes). Once, when I was putting my socks on, he charged full tilt at me in my vulnerable foot-in-the-air position, but in his excitement, he misjudged the distance (being myopic and all), and careened head first into one of the pillars in our dining room. I was worried he’d knocked himself silly. And, to tell the truth, he did look a bit dazed for a moment or two. But then he went tearing off, most miffed with me as though it was my fault he’d collided with a pillar. Silly beastie.

It did make me wonder, though, about how our animal companions view us. Obviously Hobkin understands some cause and effect. He’s very good at training us to do things for him. But to what extent does he understand it? He knows that we are the source of food, and also things like comfort and companionship. But when it thunders and rains, does he think we cause that too? When something scares him, does he think we caused it? And when he runs into pillars, does he blame me for putting that pillar there?

Writing stuff:

Received the edits from Andromeda Spaceway Inflight Magazine for “Body and Soul Art.” Gleep.

1. I haven’t looked at this story in a while. I’m a bit appalled at how rough it is in places. I really thought I had it polished.

2. The editor who I’m working with is excellent, just fantastic. I’m so glad I get the chance to fix this baby up before it hits publication. A couple times in the past, my stories have gone pretty much straight from submission format to print, and upon seeing them again, I wished for a more meticulous editor.

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11 Responses to Hobkin’s brain

  1. You almost make me want a skunk.
    But he sounds too much like a cat. And I have plenty of cats. :>

    • Eugie Foster says:

      There’s some cat in Hobkin, and a bit of puppy, but there’s also something uniquely skunk in him. I think he’s got more ‘tude than most dogs, and is far more clingy and comical than most cats.

  2. harmonyfb says:

    The teachers are reading “Ascendancy”. I’ll keep you apprised of their response. Hee.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Goodness, I’m as nervous as if I’d submitted it to an editor!

      • harmonyfb says:

        Sadly, they said no. Little Tree quoted them as saying, “We like it, but we really don’t think we need that much blood & guts.” ::chuckle::

        My daughter scoffs at their delicate sensibilities.

        Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that co-teacher discussion.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Sadly, they said no. Little Tree quoted them as saying, “We like it, but we really don’t think we need that much blood & guts.”

          Bummer, but I’m amused they even considered it.

          Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that co-teacher discussion.

          Me too!!

  3. Good question…

    I’m not sure if animals blame us. But they do remember some things that really hurts them.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Good question…

      Animals have a lot of common sense, a lot more than most people usually give them credit for, but I do wonder how their thought processes work.

  4. Saw a couple of pictures of Hobkin’s fangs. They look quite needle sharp. Do his bites draw blood? Or does he know how to nibble?


    • Eugie Foster says:

      He knows how to nibble, nip, and bite! Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to kiss. To him, a nip on the nose means “I love you.” My nose gets nipped a lot. And we’ve trained him to think that a cloth-clad limb is fair game for attack. That’s what we get for using a mitt to wrestle with when he was a baby. He’s carried over “mitt is okay to bite” to “sock is okay to bite” to “sleeve is okay to bite.” Although he does understand “no bite!” But he likes to pretend sometimes that he can’t hear us.

      When he puts his teeth in me in play or affection, he doesn’t break the skin, although he sometimes leaves welts–like being pinched by someone with long fingernails. But when he’s scared or angry, he has drawn blood, mostly in other people like Matthew. But even then, he’s still holding back. His fangs are sharp, but they’re not as scary as his back teeth which are designed to both tear and crunch. I’ve heard that skunk teeth and jaws are strong enough to bite through another skunk’s leg!

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