My Animal Friends

October 2nd, 2011 by Melina

Meet Morty and Cornelius 

Well. Sadly, I am back from my summer adventure. I was gone for over two months, and now I’m home, and back at work. Creature’s back too.

It’s like I never left.

But even though they don’t seem real, I still have a few stories and pictures to share. Specifically, of some of the animal friends I made this summer.

There was the frog who showed up in front of my door one morning. The cats and dogs who showed up in the garden above my patio (I was in a basement), and a whole bunch of others (but I’m leaving the mosquitos and flies off that list, thank you very much).

But there are two animal friends I feel especially attached to.

The first is Morty, my cousin’s dog:

First of all, my cousin (well, rather her husband) has about 10 dogs. But they’re not pets. They work with and for him in the greenhouses.


Now, Morty’s whole lifestyle left me with a few questions. First off, his name. I have an Uncle Morty, on my mom’s side, who’s in his 90’s, Jewish, and from Queens. It’s just not a name I’d expect for a Cretan dog.

Second, he’s the only dog who came home and didn’t live at the greenhouses. When I asked why, I was given the following reasons:

1. He’s “a little stupid.”

2. He needs training. (I didn’t know the Greek word for training, so they told me they were “making him school” which I understood.)

But who are they trying to fool? My theory is that he was brought home because he’s the most social dog in the pack and he managed to charm them all. I think my cousin’s husband liked walking him in the mountains in the evenings. My cousin herself, who claimed to be annoyed by his presence, would took him in the eye and ask him, “Where did you go today, Morty?”

Yeah, he basically made himself into a pet this summer.

But Morty works hard, too, hunting mushrooms and rabbits etc.

Oh, and I didn’t know the word for “hunt” either. But I understood when they said “safari.” That’s why I love my cousins. They know how to talk to me.

About those mushrooms, by the way. Apparently, they can kill you. But my cousin’s daughter said not to worry. Her father knew how to find the non-poisonous ones. I guess she’s right, seeing as I’m sitting here talking to you all. All is well that ends well.

And then, as those of you follow me on Facebook well know, there was the famous Cornelius The Baby Goat (I don’t know if he has a name, but on FB, he became Cornelius).

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you how I feel about goats, right?

Behold the cute overload:

You can see more photos here.

So Cornelius just showed up one day in somebody’s front yard, and is basically the goat version of Creature. He’s moody, adorable, charming, etc. He quickly became the village’s biggest tourist attraction.

Apparently, some crazy guy won him in a lottery. His wife had just left him, with his human kid, but then he got this kid. Leave it to the Greeks to have a goat as a lottery prize.

He loved when I pet him, and scratched him between the ears. And when I walked off, he’d follow me as far as his rope would allow and stare at me with those big, cute yet pathetic eyes.

One day, he disappeared. The next day, his water dish was gone. I was in an unusually emotional state, as some of you Betties might remember, so I almost lost it. It was just too much.

I was sure Cornelius was somebody’s dinner.

Thank G-d, he showed up again a few days later. I really, really hope he’s still there.

By the way, whenever I saw him, I wanted to sing this song from summer camp.

I really wanted to bring Cornelius back with me. I think Creature would be willing to share the apartment. An Austrian woman fell in love with a stray kitten who hung out at her favorite restaurant, and brought it back with her. All she had to do was bring it to a vet and then make her a plane reservation. As far as I know, she named it Gyros. Easy peasy, even if she did have to bribe the vet.

Mark my words. My next trip to Crete, I’m so bringing home a goat. :-) It’s research for my writing, of course.

Posted in Mel's In Greece!

4 Responses

  1. Karen

    Now, say you were to travel to Israel from Greece… How easy would it be to get the goat there? Hypothetically, of course ;)

  2. Melina

    Karen, don’t think I haven’t thought about this! ;-)

  3. Jennifer

    I have to say, bringing home a goat from Greece just seems like something a quirky romance heroine would end up doing. I just can’t decide if it would be better at the beginning of the book or the end of it.

  4. Cynthia

    So how is creature going to handle having a sibling?

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