Last week we got a package from Florida. It was sent by our good friend Wiley’s parents Walter and Bruny. We always get excited when new packages arrive. After taking us out for our daybreak, pee Daddy brought the box inside. He placed it on the kitchen floor, then sat in his recliner, waiting for mommy to get done showering. Within five minutes, he was fast asleep. River and I decided to check out the box.
It smelled like food. River is the food expert in our family. I think she has smelled every kind. Also, she is a Florida native and can recognize the strange produce grown there. I let her take the lead in our investigation. River sniffed the cardboard box and spent a long time on the flaps where the scent was strongest. “It’s not watermelon,” River determined. She has a few pieces every morning. She makes a big slurping sound when she receives a forkful. I find it to be disconcerting.
River took several deep sniffs. “It is food,” she said. “I would say of the citrus variety.” She took another deep smell. “I believe they are oranges.” Another sniff. “Navel,” she said satisfied.
` Admittedly, I was impressed. “You could be a drug-sniffing dog,” I told her.
“I don’t do drugs,” she said. “Only food. There is nothing special about a food sniffing dog.” She examined the box. Then she looked at Daddy snoozing. “We’ve to get inside,” she said.
I thought this was a bad idea. Mommy would know we opened the box, and she would get mad. “She will think Daddy did it, and he will think she did,” River, noting my concern, told me. “ You know those two never talk.”
“She’s going to know he didn’t open it with his teeth!” I yipped. “And unless you have grown opposable thumbs, that is the only way we can get in.”
River smiled. She walked to the dishwasher. She had seen Daddy put a glass in it that morning. He never shuts it all the way. It drives Mommy mad. River stuck her claws in the door and opened it. Then she pulled the utensil holder out, grabbed a knife with her teeth, and came back to the box. She jammed the knife through the tape and ran around the box, cutting the seal. When she was done, the box opened.
We looked inside: River was right. It was filled with oranges. Despite my squeaks of warning River picked up one of them and put it on the floor. Then, we studied it. River tried biting it, but the skin was tough and tasted worse than the box. “Why do humans eat these things?” she asked.
Then I remembered that our parents peel them before eating. “We have to unwrap it,” I said.
‘Oh bother,” River groaned. We tried everything we could think of to free the orange from its tight wrapping. River bit it, ran the knife over it, kicked it, jumped on the couch with the orange in her mouth, and dropped it, but we could not solve the mystery of the rind. River went back to the dishwasher and took out a small, sharp knife. She stuck it into the orange but could not move it. River told me to get on my back legs and roll the orange. I asked her if I could do it with my nose and she said only if I wanted a nostril snipped off. It would have to be done with my legs.
I pushed the orange, and River was able to cut into it. Then we used our teeth to rip the skin off. We began to pull the orange out like taking the biscuit out of a Kong. The fruit was sweet and juicy. I am not a fruit eater, but I loved it. Then I looked up and saw Mommy staring at us crossly.
I put a paw on River’s shoulder. An orange fell out of her mouth. We looked at one another then back at Mommy.
“He did it!” we said, pointing at a confused Daddy as we woke up.
Boy, is he going to be in trouble.