Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my

D. Wallace Peach (Diana) wrote a brilliant post about her muse who betrayed her by hiring a thug to make her accountable. As is so often the case, when one person shares such a personal experience, it gives others the courage to share theirs.

Almost Iowa’s muse offered a tearful confession about her twisted relationship with Diana’s muse, admitting this thug was her source of discipline until they broke up.

Robbie Cheadle’s muse is a General, barking orders with the expectation she will follow them without delay. He even threatened to make her trim her own hair when he deemed a trip to the salon a deterrent to his writing schedule.

Sarah Brentyn had an unwelcome visit from her muse’s petulant sister, who is a bona fide diva. I decided if my muse sent annoying relatives to my house unannounced, I would either move or enter the witness protection program.

Julie Homes’s muse is sadistic and left a bullwhip behind while he went out drinking with other muses. This reinforced my belief that muses are party animals and writers are their slaves. I made a resolution to show my muse I can write without her and that is what I will do, as soon as I polish off a glass of wine. Okay, it’s a box of wine, but that’s a minor detail, don’t you think?

The more stories I read about writers getting intimate with their muses-with-issues, the more fearful I was to encounter mine. What if she is a tyrant with no sense of humor? But what would I miss, if she is more fun than a barrel of animatronic monkeys, hanging out in amusement parks? Like Disney World?

I mustered the courage to look for her. And since I didn’t have money in the budget for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I decided to hunt for her in my backyard.

I searched for a Muse Hunting Call in the app store, downloaded it, and it put it to use. It made a throaty, grunting sound.

To my surprise, a full grown, bull moose lumbered out of the woods, looking confused as to why a middle-aged woman without a gun or a moose-hunting permit would call him.

He asked, “What do you want?”

I said, “There must be some mistake. I was calling my muse, not a mangy moose.”

“Hey, watch who you are calling mangy. You don’t look that spiffy yourself with all those stains on your t-shirt.

“Er, well, I admit I have a problem keeping my clothes clean, but if I was going to call a moose by mistake, why couldn’t it have been chocolate?”

I scurried into the house with the moose at my heels.

“Be careful. That china belonged to my mother, and I’m saving it for my son so he can sell it in a yard sale someday.”

“You do know that no bull of any species has ever upended a china shop, right?”

“You’re one to talk about stereotypes, Bullwinkle. Now everyone who reads this will think Mainers not only wear plaid year round but also have a pet moose.”

I shooed my unwelcome guest outside, saying ‘Scat, scat!” Then I got out my cleaning supplies because he may not have broken any china, but he took my admonishment to ‘scat’ a bit too literally.

I wasn’t discouraged and started searching again, abandoning the flawed app and calling my muse by name. I heard a familiar sound, and soon enough the source plodded into view, uttering moos.

Photos courtesy Pixaby, edits by author

“Do I look like Old MacDonald? Listen, Bessie, I am not amused!”

I knew I needed to improve my enunciation if I was ever going to catch a glimpse of my muse.

“Muse! Muse! Here muse!”

The neighbors’ cat emerged from the thicket.

“Mew, mew!”

I looked at her with irritation and said, “You aren’t fooling me. Two mews don’t make a muse.”

Have you had a close encounter with your muse? Was it a beast, like mine?


©2017, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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87 thoughts on “Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my

  1. “Be careful. That china belonged to my mother, and I’m saving it for my son so he can sell it in a yard sale someday.” I spit coffee and laughed a good hearty laugh at that.

    My mom has some ancient china that to my knowledge we’ve never used and I often look at it when visiting her, thinking “I wonder if that crap is worth anything” so that maybe we could sell it to someone else for them to never use.

    • Hahaha! I have started to view all of my ‘stuff’ as future yard sale items, Tony, since my son has everything he needs. I hope he’ll hang onto 1-2 small things for sentimental purposes, but it won’t likely be the china.

    • We don’t really know how your muse would behave since her sister was the gatekeeper for your contact with her, and we know how that worked out. And mine was a virtual zoo! I would definitely prefer the chocolate kind, too. Thanks for dropping by, Sarah!

  2. My muse is erratic and spontaneous and picks the most inopportune moments to visit and then refuses to leave until she has got what she wanted. Therefore, I am certain my muse is my inner child. The one that screams ‘not fair, not fair’, the one that believes that love really IS all we need if only we would let it be. The one that rules me and the one that I allow because I like it that way. She is about 6 years old.

    • Haha! But think of yourself riding bareback at break neck speed through a mountain valley! There is nothing you can’t do, and no where you can’t go, right? I wonder where the phrase ‘break neck’ came from. Oh well, not important.

  3. I read this earlier, clicking on a reblog of two muse stories. I thought I left a comment, but I don’t see it (spam trash, perhaps?) Then I saw it again on the Senior Salon and jumped over to reread it because it made me laugh the first time. VERY funny! I’m pretty sure my muse is a hydra — each head pushing me in a different direction. 🙂
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  4. Molly – always a joy to read your blog! I have not located my muse, either, but have established what it is not. It is not my dog licking his privates while I try to write…that I’m sure of. Thank you for the laugh today!

  5. Ohhh, how I love a person with a sense of humor. And a WRITER with a sense of humor is whipped cream on top. Moose, Moo, Mew, where oh where is your MUSE? I have a strong feeling that your muse is like mine, right inside of beautiful youse. <3

    • Thank you, Pam! I’m so glad you commented and I LOVE whipped cream. I can embrace your idea that our muses are living inside our beautiful selves. I’m glad I didn’t have hippopotamuses emerge from the woods! LOL.

    • Thank you so much Jennie. My mission is to make people laugh since there is so much seriousness in our broken world. If I can lift someone’s spirit for even a moment, I’ve achieved my purpose. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      • My pleasure! Keep writing and I’ll keep laughing. After all, laughter is the best medicine. It was a big factor in bonding with my preschoolers the first week of school. Hmmm… gotta write a blog post about that. Many thanks!!?

  6. “Now everyone who reads this will think Mainers not only wear plaid year round but also have a pet moose”

    Actually I beg to differ and concluded that the afore mentioned box of red was devoid of its contents, the stains were from spillage under the influence thereof and possibly the conscious thought influenced by magic muserooms on toast. Kudos to the moose though; from his or her POV there may be some concern that it’s muse is a young lady from Maine tripping on halucinomuses and breathing ethanolic fumes sufficient to intoxicate said beast into taking liberties by entering your sanctuary and revealing it can talk quite fluently in good old english. Then again Maine is a place of strange tales as a local author constantly reminds us

    I now wonder if I have a muse. I can’t say I’ve noticed a patronus type beastie wandering about while I write and distracting my thoughts with anything other than rational story telling of nice things. Not counting the man in the box in Dragon Stone, or the Black dragon…or the wizard at the edge of a lake lost in time…or the twins as yet unspoken about…or Rose..or…the pentagram experiences of the paranormal brothers or…hmm… my definition of nice is twisted… of course that relies on conventional norms not being twisted…. I will muse on this later…

    Excellent post and so had me chuckling. If this is up tomorrow I will so share it about…time not being favourable for that today alas. I have a moose to find.

    • If you find your muse, Gary, I cannot imagine where your imagination will take you, since you are off the scale now without one! You made me laugh with your creative comment. Maybe I’ll try to do a horror story with a moose at the center of the story. Stephen King has succeeded with a dog with Cujo. Why not a moose? I wasn’t able to participate in BUYB today due to other commitments but thanks for offering to share. Perhaps I’ll post in the group next Sunday. As always, love having your comments.

      • Most kind of you to say that; I really ought to open up the imagination again and write something. Been a bit lax on that front of late; my bad!

        Just think of the possibilities though; Cujo worked but a rogue chocolate mousse could be a trifling terror… Oh, we were talking about your muse moose; my mistake! Post whenever you can there too; I’m way better at picking posts up from there at the moment as my reader flashes past so quick and if I blink I get hundreds of blog e-mails! Really need to get some reader lists working. I feel that might be my best solution!

  7. How this made me smile, I enjoyed the play on words. Mine is probably a muse…ician and hears me singing very badly so doesn’t reveal his where abouts, only in sleep. Great fun i’m glad I follow you.

    • A scorpion or alligator would not be warm and fuzzy muses, but from what I’ve learned about them they can be snappy and even poisonous at times, so it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. The hummingbird would be more your speed, Terri, with all you do!

  8. Ha ha ha. That down home humor. It must be the Maine accent that’s getting you a moose, moos, and mews. Keep looking. And by the way, we might be related, or our kids are: “That china belonged to my mother, and I’m saving it for my son so he can sell it in a yard sale someday.” I nearly spit my coffee. Too familiar!

    • I’m not sure I ever encountered my real muse, Robbie, but I do feel good about trying to find her. You are most welcome and thank you for stopping by to leave a comment. Such fun to look for our muses!

  9. Ha! ” … and I’m saving it for my son so he can sell it in a yard sale someday …” Ain’t that the truth? I’ve not only got my grandmother’s china but I’m also blessed with a friend’s bits and bobs and some teacups that were my mother-in-laws. Any chance you could lend me your muse for a wee trample? Oh dear, perhaps not. With my luck, the china is my muse …

    • What an interesting idea, that the china could be your muse. Maybe it’s mine, too, Kelly! I do love those teacups – some from my mother, my two grandmothers, my aunt. They give me joy when I look at them, but I will not care if someday my son puts them in a yard sale. It is only ‘stuff’ after all.

  10. I have yet to find an effective muse call – and believe me, I have tried every one that Cabella’s and Bass Pro Shop sells. Having said that, the best way to bait and trap a muse is with a pail of chocolate chip ice cream and do not let anyone try to convince you that it doesn’t work with Discipline, he is fool for the stuff.

    • I can see how the chocolate chip ice cream would work, Almost Iowa. I know it would work for me at least. I do wonder if you’d have better results if you got your muse call from LL Bean. It would be dressed in plaid and would have a pet moose, but other than that, would be pretty normal.

  11. LOL! What fun, Molly! And I agree, if it’s gonna be a moose, it should be a chocolate one 😀 Although, a cat muse isn’t such a bad thing, except when they want to lay on the keyboard because you aren’t paying enough attention to them 🙂

    • Chocolate moose is definitely superior to the moose I called, Julie. Cats are adorable but I’m allergic so I would give them a lot of attention – between sneezes. Glad you enjoyed the post today – thanks so much for leaving a comment.

    • How do you always come up with the perfect comments, Dave. The YouTube is priceless. Sort of a ‘Godzilla meets deranged Teddy Bear’ theme which is in line with my animals that appeared on my ‘hunt.’ And Maine black bears are almost as famous as our moose!

    • What a lovely image of your muse, Brigid. We have a couple of hawks that come back every year. One of them crashed into my window one day as I was writing at the computer and scared the stuffing out of me. Now I’m going to look at them differently. Maybe they are my muses!

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