Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe


Just the Facts Ma’am

Of Mice and Awards Earthdate 2017.290

I went outside to get the empty fox dish. Now before y’all go worrying that I’m upsetting the balance of nature, and encouraging bad habits in wild suburban animals, Martin Hemmington, the very founder of the National Fox Welfare Society UK says it’s OK. He says it’s perfectly acceptable to leave just snacks, not so much that they become dependent on you. That way you can keep an eye on them so if they develop a medical problem or get injured, you could intervene more easily. And I sorely miss Lucy, the amazing fox who befriended us when we first moved here, but that really is another story.

So, there I was picking up the dish licked to a gleaming shine when one of our English Language students came out of the house, stopped and pointed toward our cat. ‘I think Charlie’s got something,’ she said, then strode off toward town.

I hadn’t noticed him at first, but he definitely had something dark, and furry, mostly stuffed into his mouth, with the tell-tale tail hanging out like a piece of errant spaghetti.

‘OK, Charlie what have you got, now?’ I could only surmise that his bounty was already dead with a lack of sound or movement from his prize. Phew, no pressure of rodent rescue. As I closed in, he uncharacteristically growled at me and slunk under the car. In that growl, I heard, Get your own effing mouse, you lousy hunter! And to be fair, he never has seen me catch my own. Another embarrassment for him, I’m sure.

I remained crouched down, peering under the car, reaching toward him aimlessly, and beseeching him to come within reach. Stupid, I know.

I heard footsteps and saw the flash of red socks – our postman. He stopped.

‘Perfect, I was about to ring your bell.’ There was not one bit of anything in his voice like it was normal to speak to someone crouching, talking to the space under a car. But then again, I can only imagine all the weird and wonderful bits of humanity he must witness as a postie, hence why my antics didn’t even warrant a stifled smirk.

‘Oh, hi, yes, thanks,’ I managed as I got up. I liked this guy – just my sort of human; beaded necklace peeping out from his uniform collar, and he always wears the red socks. Not a requisite part of the uniform even though they match the trim and lanyard perfectly, just his signature addition, as he’d explained when I’d asked before. He held out a cardboard mailer toward me. ‘Won’t fit through the letterbox,’ he offered and smiled. I took the outsized mailer marked ‘DO NOT BEND’ and he carried on up the street.

I have this strange default of always thinking I’m in trouble. Even though I really haven’t done much to brag about in that realm. Hence, my mind raced, what could I have done, now? Could it be a photo of me eating a grape (maybe it was two) before I bought them at the supermarket? Surely, they wouldn’t go to all that bother? My mind scrambled to remember any other recent misdeeds. Meanwhile, my hands ignored my ridiculous thoughts and worked the stiff envelope open. Inside there weren’t any photos or even subpoenas. Instead, there was not one, but two awards for two of my books! Well, knock me over with a feather.

Mill City Press Author Awards 2017 – 1st in the Children’s Category
Oswald, the Almost Famous Opossum

Mill City Press Author Awards 2017 – 2nd in the Fantasy Category
Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For

Writing’s a funny thing, in that it’s a form of human expression not unlike many others; you feel a pressure, a drive to do it. But I also saw a study done by the Society of Authors, London, finding that the vast majority of us do it to connect. And that is certainly a huge part of it for me. So, getting these awards was terrific. It gave me the feedback that some folks ‘get’ my writing, and even enjoy it. Thank you, Mill City Press. You’ve pumped up my oomph, revved up my mojo to keep on keeping on.

Lousy Hunter Turns to Writing.