“Hey Missy!” Marica called out. “Misssyyyy!”
“Yes, yes, Marica. What is it?” Missy asked as she ran into the den.
“You’ll never believe this! You just won’t,” Marica said excitedly.
“Ruff?” Rocky asked as he, too, trotted up to Marica’s desk.
“What’s got you so excited, Marica?” Missy asked as she slid down on the floor in front of the window.
“Our friend, The Alchemist, is going to throw a vase for us!”
“WHAT?!?” Missy jumped up and ran to Marica’s side. “Oh, Marica! He mustn’t!! You must stop him!! Oh my, oh dear! His beautiful beautiful work laying in a pile of shards. Oh. I cannot bear it. Oh please do something.” Missy moaned.
“R.U.F.F.,” Rocky said. He may not be as appreciative of the finer things in life as his Dear Friend was, and Lord only knows he had not undertaken a careful study of The Arts as she, but even he knows what it means to throw a vase. “Ruff,” he grumbled as he made his way to his box with Baffling Detective Stories by Masters of Mystery.
“Oh, Missy,” Marica said gently. “I’m afraid you’re confused. Our friend, The Alchemist, is not going to throw an actua– well, he is, but not in the way you think.”
“What in heavens name do you mean, Marica? I certainly am quite familiar with the definition of the transitive verb, ‘to throw‘.”
“Missy, it’s potter’s jargon. “‘To throw’ for a potter means, I think, to shape something on a potter’s wheel– to make something beautiful from a lump of clay,” Marica explained.
“Oh, yes, of course, silly me,” Missy sat down and waved her paw quickly through the air several times, thus waving away her embarrassment.
“Ruffruffruff,” Rocky chuckled.
“My Dear Friend,” Missy began scolding, “As you know, for quite some time I have been immersed in creating an epic novel, and in the businesses of self-publishing and marketing said epic novel. My brain has been absent from The Art World.”
“Ruff,” was all Rocky said before he returned to Baffling Detective Stories (which, if you asked him, weren’t all that baffling).
“I’m sorry, Missy. Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown the news at you like that!”
From somewhere deep inside a box they heard a low, “ruffruffruff.”
“Indeed. But wait! Wait just a minute!!” The implications of The Alchemist throwing a vase for us were beginning to dawn on Missy. “Do you mean to say that our friend, The Alchemist, is creating a work of art for us?!?”
“I do indeed!”
“Well! I am… I am just… . I’m speechless!” Missy exclaimed.
“Ruff?!?” from inside the box
“Boy, for a conversation in which you’ve expressed no interest, you sure do have a lot to say,” Marica teased Rocky.
“Good one, Marica!” Missy slapped her paw on Marica’s lap. “Surely, and knowing you, there’s a story behind the news that we– we Country Mice in rural Mississippi, as you like to say– are going to be the recipients of a vase by The Alchemist!”
“There is, Missy,” Marica said as she began to tell the story of the sale at The Alchemist’s Studio, of having chosen– after some thought– a particular piece, of inquiring about its cost and size, of sending The Alchemist a picture of where its home might be, of The Alchemist’s truthful consul that he did not think the piece was large enough, and of his offer to throw two larger pieces– between which she could choose– in the white cracked finish that she liked.
“Well, that’s an amazing story!” Missy said as she ran over to her desk and pulled out a fresh pad of paper.
“What are you doing, Missy?”
“Marica! There are plans to plan and lists of lists to make!”
“Why, for the party, Marica!”
“The one we shall throw celebrating the arrival of our friend, The Alchemist’s vase here on The Farm!”