Saturday, October 4, 2008


In this photo, featuring Jasmine's trademark "sated gargoyle" pose, the bit of white fuzz on her upper lip is not cotton.

Not in her world, anyway. It's antelope guts.

She's just enjoyed another kill. For the last week, said "kill" has generally involved eviscerating a beaver puppet that Jen found God-only-knows where. Presumably at a beaver puppet expo, but I still need to ask her: Why was she there?

I am loath to admit how often Jen and I go around picking up cotton, rawhide, and any other odds and ends we're willing to sacrifice to the Stuffed Beaver cause. Stuffed Beaver, as a puppet, is ideally made for the exercise. Into the puppet go a whole chop suey of household items. Then, presto: they're living bone and innards again, churning in the gut of a very unhappy Pinocchio.

If Pepper finds the beaver first, she tears right into its handhole with a feral passion, occasionally abandoning herself to a beaver-shaking fit. (Even over the inner din of her ecstasy, you can watch in these moments: her ears invariably perk for the sweet sound of beaver-bones breaking.)

Jasmine, meanwhile, is more methodically sadistic, like Hannibal Lectre brooding over far more legal but perhaps less movie-worthy diversions. Beyond said innards mentioned above, Jasmine likes best of all the plastic "squeak" of a squeaky toy, which, about as often as Christmas, makes its way into the toy-o-the-month. In dog-toy world, this is the archetypically visceral, throbbing-heart-in-the-hand of a B-movie villain lifeblood of re-stuffed beaverdom. One rarely sees her eyes filled with such luster as in these moments: the more pained-sounding the squeaking, the wider the eyes. In such cases, neither she nor Pepper will stop until one of them is sprawled out, bloated, burping squeaks.

All fine and good. So here's the question. If Jasmine is so happy to tear another innocent life limb from limb, and this is so seemingly a part of the God-given natural order, what the hell did some forbidden fruit have to do with introducing pain into a perfect world? Wasn't it already there by mid-morning on the Sixth Day, when God said Let there be dog and beaver, Bam Bam and Dino, lion and lamb?

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