Since yesterday's post about the citrus trees, I've had Versailles on my mind. I've been thinking about the morning ceremony known as le lever du Roi, when the highest nobles in the land, having intrigued for the privilege for years, would awaken the King and offer the kinds of services that, in our day and age, are tendered only to incapacitated inmates of nursing homes.
Although I get out of bed with a lot less hoopla than le Roi Soleil my mornings are not entirely devoid of ritual. I'm talking about the Rite of Socks, which involves me, the two dogs, and my chaussettes.
Every morning while I get dressed Wolfie lies down on the rug between the bed and my dresser. When I sit on the edge of the bed with my socks in my hand, Bisou comes running, throws herself on her back on the rug next to Wolfie, and does a frantic snake dance. Then she rights herself and, growling fiercely, starts to nibble Wolfie's lip. This causes Wolfie to open his mouth wide and break into a high-pitched yodeling, which gives Bisou the opportunity to put her entire head inside his mouth.
"Gentle!" I caution, seeing those saber-tiger teeth flash close to Bisou's eyes, but the dogs are too far gone to hear me. As Bisou's nipping continues, Wolfie's yodels rise in pitch and her growls descend a couple of scales. Between the two of them I can barely hear myself think. When he can't take it any more, Wolfie rolls on his back and does his version of the snake dance, snapping his jaws for accompaniment. This is the point where I have to make sure I keep my bare toes out of the way.
Then suddenly the frenzy abates. Bisou, seeing that I now have both socks on, throws herself at me, ears flapping, tongue hanging out, "Are we going out? Are we going out? Are we going out right now?" As she rushes headlong down the stairs Wolfie flops down on the rug. I flop back on the bed. We both need a minute to catch our breath.