Negotiating with Cookies – The Snake

As I read in the yard, Fleegle ambles over with something dangling from his mouth.

“What have you got there?” I ask.

“I caught a snake.”

“Looks more like an old dirty rope to me.”

He drops it on the ground in front of me. “Hmm, it was a snake a moment ago when I caught it slithering through the weeds.” He paws at it. “Do you think it’s some sort of shape shifting chameleon?”

“No, I think it’s a rope.”

“I better kill it again just to make sure.” He grabs it in his teeth and shakes his head vigorously from side to side. Bits of rope and dirt fly everywhere while the length of rope whips his sides. He stops, wags his tail and trots off.

“Where are you going?”

“Even a snake deserves a proper burial,” he says over his shoulder as he disappears into the bamboo.


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Negotiating with Cookies – Truffles

I’m sitting on the couch watching something pointless on television when Fleegle starts nudging the back of my head with his nose, and it’s not just a nose bump, but more like he’s a pig rooting for truffles.

“Fleegle, what are you doing?”

“Where are they?”

“Where are what?”

He stops nudging the back of my head. “I overheard someone say you had eyes in the back of your head.”

“That’s a figure of speech.”

“A what?”

“Just something people say to imply you knew they were coming when you actually didn’t know they were.”

“So you have no eyes in the back of your head?”

“No,” I say and adjust my glasses for watching television.

“Then where are they? I heard someone else call you four eyes.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – Buck

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Negotiating with Cookies – Another Reason for the Ball

“Raud, who invented the tennis ball?” Fleegle asks, mouthing his ball. “Did God invent the tennis ball?”

“Do you mean the God of the Sunday televangelist in the frosty blue suit with white lapels telling you to call the 1-800 God Needs Your Money number, or the Higher Source of the cult guru teaching simplicity so you’ll sell your car, your house, all your worldly goods and make a large donation to his ashram?”

“Oh, did I say God? My dyslexia must be acting up, I meant to say Dog.” He mouths his ball some more. “I’m pretty sure Dog invented the tennis ball so you’d have something fun to take your mind off of your religious worries.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – The True Purpose for Pockets

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Negotiating with Cookies – The Mathematics of Love

While watching a romantic comedy on television, Fleegle says, “Raud, I think you need a girlfriend.”



“You’ll have to explain that for us who are not so mathematically inclined.”

“Well, if you gave me a cookie and you had a girlfriend, she would want to give me a cookie too. Then you would get worried that I might like her more than you, so you would give me another cookie, and then she would worry and give me another and on and on it would go. The mathematics of affection say it would be a boon to my tummy.”

“What if she doesn’t like dogs sleeping on the bed?”

“Don’t be silly. Who wouldn’t like that?”

“Maybe she has allergies, or maybe, god forbid, she’s a cat person.”

He goes back to watching the movie. “Okay, so maybe I should vet any prospects first. They’ll need to fill out a questionnaire. First question: Do you like cats?” He scratches his head. “Or even better: Do you like cats more than dogs?”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – Fleegle’s Impulses

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Negotiating with Cookies – Stone Noses

“I want to take a trip, Raud,” Fleegle says.

“Where to?”

“South Dakota.”

Cautiously, I ask, “Why?”

“That’s where those big faces in stone are carved in the mountainside, right?”

“Fleegle, I know where you’re going with this and you’re not going to pee on George Washington.”

“What about Jefferson?”


He looks at me, hope glistening in his brown eyes. “Roosevelt?”

“No. And not Lincoln either.”

“Awe, come on. Haven’t you ever wanted to scent mark a giant sniffer? Just the thought of it makes me giggle. If I scent mark a sniffer, the whole world becomes my territory because no matter where that sniffer sniffs, it’ll be scented by me.”

“Driving a third of the way across the country is a long way to go for a pee.”

“But I could scent mark all that territory just by peeing out the car window.”

“Scent mark the side of the car is more like it. Your first idea of peeing on the sniffer is better.”

“Ah, so we’re going?”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – Fences and Holes

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies – Fleegle Delivers the Mail