When the severely pregnant flivvervaat appeared in the garden, I was overjoyed. They are such secretive and private creatures that I took it as a species-wide acceptance.
When the creature headed into the kitchen on my heels the other evening, after an especially moving lute performance by Eggburn (apparently this dragon is more than your run-of-the-mill jazz flutist), I silently clapped my hands, anxious to bear witness to the birthing process and ecstatic that this flivvervaat felt comfortable enough with me to enter my house whilst pregnant.
I should have listened to that little voice that tells me I’m not thinking things through. That little voice being, of course, Bubo, who was tutting and shaking her head so vigorously on my shoulder that a feather got lodged in my ear.
The flivvervaat soon made the lower left cabinet the birthing area. Luckily the only thing I keep in there is rice and a few fire extinguishers, so the loss of the cabinet was no big loss.
This morning I could hear the heavy breathing and dissonant whistling sounds that signal the beginnings of birth. I ambled to the kitchen, soft towels in hand, prepared to boil water or whatever is needed for a new litter of flivvervaats to safely and healthfully enter the world.
Those little beasts have teeth like needles! There are currently fifteen of the bloody things making quick work of my favorite wicker rocker and I’ve blockaded them in a corner of the breakfast nook with piles of Gordon Lightfoot vinyl records. Apparently the creatures have no taste for either records or folk music. (Oh, do not judge, pets. First off, you must admit to knowing most of the words to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and secondly, Mordecai sent me a case of them at some point.)
In any case, the flivvervaat is still birthing and according to Dr. Thompkins I can expect about twenty more of the buggers. Once their third eyes open you can bet I’ll be putting them up for adoption. Unless their father takes them back to the park. Which works for me as well. So much of this place is wood and I worry what will happen if they have a run-in with Barkley. One sentient vegetative creatures versus an army of flivvervaat young means I am witnessing the destruction of one sentient vegetative creature.
Did I mention that flivvervaat fathers give birth to the young? Much like the male seahorse carries the incubating eggs of that species, the male filvvervaat carries the young in a hairy satchel that expands beneath his tail. The female flivvervaat, it seems, gets incredibly anxious around the young and will kill them.
I can’t say I blame her.
Oh, goodness. Here comes another batch. I think I have some Pete Seeger and Carly Simon records in the basement.