What a grand day it was. The sun shone, a light breeze kept the humidity in check and all went remarkably well with my parade appearance. I still harbour grave doubts about the dignity of the costume, but am willing to graciously overlook that point. I would have much preferred vintage cricket garb, or a golfing costume from the1920's. Oh well.
The tall woman arrived with her metal box on wheels and off we went, my woman riding in the back with me. She was a bit selfish about letting me stand on her toes, but I managed. I can't see out of the damn thing and had to content myself with checking the wiring and pawing moodily. As we arrived a Bagpipe band suddenly burst forth with "The Maple Leaf Forever". I was touched by the welcome, though the woman suggested it was just coincidence. Possibly, since they would probably have used the more appropriate "Hail to the Chief". A team of the largest equines I have ever seen were parked across from us and I became very excited and made wheezing noises boredering on braying until I was taken to meet them. At first they didn't see me down at knee-level but when they did one of them gave me a stimulating scalp massage. I wanted to stay with them but was unceremoniously dragged away to be harnessed and"costumed".
The assembly and departure of the parade was a wonderful study in chaos and confusion, with everyone shouting happily and visiting and ignoring the many organizers who kept contradicting each other with the order of start. We ended up behind my large friends and followed by a locomotive type thing on wheels. My large friends had their own clean-up crew with shovels and a shopping cart with a large orange garbage bag. By the end of the parade, they had filled the entire thing! I was awestruck with their output.
The town looked very much like a set from long ago. Old houses with large trees on the lawns, gardens overflowing with flowers and people waving and cheering us on. Some of them inexplicably yelled "Hey Donkehhhhh!" in my directon but I politely ignored their breach of etiquette. On Centre St., a mob of attractive young ladies who work at the trendy "Banana Cafe" all rushed into the street to fuss over me. Unfortunately, they were food-less.
We wound up at the park where Sports Day is held. It had some odd and torturous contraptions that fling people in all directions, causing them to scream and turn green but they actually pay for the priviledge. There was a large beer tent and many of the parade watchers and some of the actual parade members marched right over to it in a purposeful manner. The entire band looked like it might veer in that direction but they bravely carried on to the bitter end.
By then I was quite tired and my costume had become disarranged, with both socks and knee pads around my ankles. They unhitched me and the humans pulled the cart back to the starting point. Did my heart good to see them between the shafts. I met a policeman in a car along the way and stopped to have a word with him. He refused to arrest the woman on charges of negligence in my care and nurturing. Ridiculous. He could see how wasted and frail I am.
And so home, triumphant and tired, to be greeted by Jack who acted as if I had been away on a world tour. I quite like having a "follower" and he seems happy to leave all the responsibility of leadership to me. It makes a change from the TJ reign of terror. The sanctuary is still in a state of shock and awe as a result of his arrival. More on that later.